Should We Support Fast Fashion Brands?

With social media on the rise, millions of people are informed about news in a matter of seconds, and our judgments of people and situations are based simply by opening an app. Recently, H&M was under fire for dressing a young, black child in a hoodie that read "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle." Due to the racist connotations and history of this word, celebrities such as G-Eazy and The Weekend have all expressed their frustrations, posting that they will no longer work with H&M. 

After the intense backlash on social media, the advertisement has since been removed from all websites and H&M issued an apology to all customers who voiced their disappointment, stating, "Our position is simple - we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry... We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in the future."

But this is not the only brand to be involved in a controversy as of late. Topshop has also been under fire for a particular item that was called into question, which has since been removed from the site. The photo shows a model in jeans with the words "Fake News" on the sides. And the price? $90. Capitalism at its worst.

But what do these brands have in common, and how much should we care? "Fast Fashion" refers to brands that manufacture and distribute high fashion trends to mainstream consumers at a fast pace. Throughout the years, there have been discussions concerning the ethics in factories abroad. Stores like H&M, Forever 21, Zara and countless others have been accused of neglecting, underpaying and forcing laborers to perform under dangerous working conditions. While these brands are trying to incorporate new sustainable methods in their production, there is no denying that these issues still circulate. 

Despite the latest headlines, H&M and Topshop are not the only brands at fault. The exploitation of laborers and global issues like racism and politics are all evident in dozens of fast fashion brands. However, these companies are well aware that people will continue to purchase items from them due to their affordable prices, which leaves the question of whether consumers should continue to support fast fashion brands, debatable.