Fast fashion has been a hot-button issue lately. Shein, the Chinese retail giant (which saw 16 billion dollars of revenue in 2021 alone) has been particularly controversial lately. Despite its popularity on social media, primarily TikTok, the fast fashion brand has been the subject of many reports of abusive working conditions at its partner factories. This is on top of the sobering reality of fast fashion’s effect on the environment. According to Business Insider, fashion was responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions in 2019, a number that has undoubtedly grown since the pandemic, when even less shoppers had the money for slow fashion and the safety of shopping in-store. And carbon emissions are just one small part of the industry’s impact. Fast fashion is contributing to water waste and pollution, as well as an increase in microplastics and energy waste. These truths may seem sobering to many of us, but it hasn’t stopped influencers and shoppers from touting the low prices and accessibility of brands like Shein.
Anything as ubiquitous as fast fashion is bound to be meme’d, and you’ll see here that there are memes coming from both sides of the argument. Memes from people who support slow fashion, and memes from people who just want to get $700 worth of free clothing from talked-about brands. And we’ve got a selection of each right here. Honestly, the shipping time on some of these products is so long that we’ve never been a fan. But clearly the cost on humans, and on the planet, is a bit direr than waiting for a package.