Thrifted vs. Fast Fashion: Who is Superior?

Thanks to Generation Z, thrifting is trending, and I’m not mad about it. It’s a trend that helps the environment and brings back styles from iconic eras. Thrifting is an excellent way to give used goods new meaning and create unique outfits that match one’s style. Long story short: it’s phenomenal.

Though I’m not mad that thrifting is trending (and has been for a while), I am a little upset that a recent debate to surface the fashion world and its many subsections is thrifted versus fast fashion.

Even though I’m late to the party, I wanted to give my brief opinion on the subject.

My closet consists of three things: thrifted items, hand-me-downs, and “trendy” fast fashion items. When I style my outfits, I try to incorporate all three items, which I documented in a week of outfits I filmed a while ago:

Yes, I will agree with literally everyone: fast fashion is awful for the environment, considering all the water and air pollution that goes into creating a pair of jeans or cotton shirts.

HOWEVER, sometimes the item you need can’t be found at a thrift store. The quality of items you find at thrift stores depends on the location you’re thrifting from, and if the thrift stores around you aren’t carrying the item(s) you need or are looking for, that’s when stores like Target, H&M, Forever 21, etc. come into play.

Of course, there are sustainable shops one could go to for needed items that can’t be found at thrift stores; however, I’ve found that a lot of sustainable brands are incredibly expensive. For those who don’t have sustainable clothing kind of money, fast fashion is the way to go.

Thrifting is great for sustainability and finding unique pieces from different eras. Fast fashion is great for finding trendy items at cheap prices and finding needed items that can’t be found in a standard thrift store, such as a simple black t-shirt (that works with your figure).

Is fast fashion technically a bad thing? Yes. However, there is a reason those businesses are still thriving– the same way the thrifting industry is thriving and still trending (especially on YouTube).

To answer the question of who is superior: both, depending on your needs. So can we stop hating on people who choose to shop at stores like Forever and Rue 21?

Thank you for coming to my brief TED Talk. I go WAAAYY deeper into this topic in my podcast episode called “opinions on thrifted versus fast fashion.” I’m not telling you what to do, but you should definitely give it a listen.

Be you. Be true.

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