Fast fashion companies such as SHEIN are hurting the exclusivity of vintage clothes. (Photo Credit: Eleanor Amoriello/Picsart/Achona Online)
Fast fashion companies such as SHEIN are hurting the exclusivity of vintage clothes.

Photo Credit: Eleanor Amoriello/Picsart/Achona Online

Fast fashion is ruining the luxury of vintage clothing (OPINION)

September 30, 2021

In the fashion industry, trends are inevitable. They keep the industry running — designers wanting to be the trend-setter, buyers want to participate in the cohesiveness that is everyone wearing the same thing. For better or for worse, trends make up the fashion industry and their reemergence occurs almost every season. Recently, trends from the late 1900s have been taking center stage. From the 70s staple Go-Go Boots to “y2k” mini skirts, bags, and sunglasses, almost every trend seen today has been seen before. 

The paradox of fashion’s cyclical nature is somewhat unexplained. It seems as though we wear something, get tired of it, and then think back and realize we liked it all along. Because of this, we look to past generations and realize how, simply put, just cool they all were. Princess Diana’s many biker shorts and crewneck ensembles inspire girls every day to change from pajamas to slightly-less-pajamas (myself included). Trends like this and countless others have steadfastly come and gone, in new styles, colors, and brands. However, the basis of fashion stays the same and we, like so many before us, continue to honor those trendsetters that have paved the way for generations to come. 

Trend setter Princess Diana. (Photo Credit: Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

It would make sense for everyone to be running to thrift stores and vintage clothing shops to continue on the legacy of the pieces that were in-style then and now. While some do utilize clothing pieces that have seen other trends come and go, many take advantage of the convenient tool we know as fast fashion. Brands such as SHEIN and Zara may do an excellent job of mass producing the trendiest pieces and causing major damage to our planet, but when it comes to the integrity of vintage clothing, fast fashion is ruining it. By taking trends once beloved and original and making hundreds of the same exact pieces, we have lost the creativity and originality that fashion is all about. 

I have to admit, the ability to mass produce the same shirt Paris Hilton once wore through the streets of New York City and know for sure that hundreds of people will buy it is amazing for business. However, when these pieces are taking the place of timeless staples, business has to eventually take a back seat. We will always have the Paris Hilton’s and Emma Chamberlain’s to be our trend setters, but when these trends get diluted through the markets and become one singular, extremely popular outfit that everyone wants to wear, what happens to the originality of the clothing? Due to fast fashion we have the ability to buy something for $10 and wear it once when everyone else is and then never again and this process is becoming redundant.

Not only is it taking away one-of-a-kind feeling vintage styles often bring, fast fashion retailers are causing the decline of vintage markets. As online shops climb, vintage stores – which are usually small businesses – lose customers to the convenient yet basic fleet of fast fashion retailers. This not only perpetuates one strand of a trend taking over and the overarching theme of groups in the same exact outfits, but adds to the decline in wearing vintage clothing and appreciating where these trends came from in the first place. 

Young women of today may never actually learn their true style because of the ability to assimilate into one group of specific trend followers and just buy the same pieces everyone else in that group is buying. It is not only taking away the specialty of vintage clothing, but it is taking away the originality of the clothes being made today. 

Sophia Caudell (‘24) said “I think fast fashion steals design and ruins the integrity of the clothes because while the clothes may be more abundant, they care more about quantity than quality.” 


@jaybaby07#greenscreen obsessed switching it up this fall #amazonfashion #amazonfavorites #amazonhaul #keeporreturn #amazonfinds♬ STAN LIZ SANCHEZ – L I Z S A N C H E Z

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