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#PayUp: Fast Fashion’s Latest Faux Pas By Lisa Kaari

#PayUp Campaign

Fast fashion has come under fire countless times in recent years. From Forever 21’s false advertising to Shein’s swastika scandal, it has become an integral part of fashion fails history. Most consumers are aware of its shady nature, however, the true evil it possesses often goes overlooked.

Remake, a nonprofit organization, has made it their mission to bring light to the dark underbelly of fast fashion with their #PayUp Campaign. The campaign was created after suppliers reported that major fashion brands and retailers had cancelled massive orders, leaving factory workers without pay and without resources to fulfill their basic needs.

It’s a simple concept: workers need to be paid for their craftsmanship and labor. Hey, fast fashion, it’s time to #PayUp!

Not Your Mother’s Fast-Fashion

The average shopper likes to think of fast-fashion simply as the obvious chain and online shopping stores, like Charlotte Russe and Fashion Nova. While those are some of the most heavily ridiculed for this practice, some of your favorite retailers are also guilty of this tacky tactic. Major players like JCPenney, Kohl’s, and URBN, which consists of brands like Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie, have all refused to #PayUp, too.

Fast-fashion is so much more than just some out-dated graphic tees emblazoned with taco quotes—it’s an industry that now spans the reach of even our most trusted retailers, even those who we thought were above it all.

“Bad Apple” Brands or Rotten Couture Core?

Why is fast-fashion such a popular business model? Easy answer: corporate greed. Hard truth: the disappearance of traditional fashion seasons. Fast-fashion brands design their garments by having “stylists” look at major runways to try and catch the latest trends. They then take these original ideas and cheaply repackage them in a bang-for-your-buck bargain bin for mass consumption.

Miranda Priestley put it best during the infamous cerulean monologue: “..that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of ‘stuff.’” It would be comforting to think this problem stops here, but the truth is far more grim. It’s not just Boohoo and Zara selling knockoffs; the biggest names in couture are also to blame.

The concept of the two major runway seasons, Winter and Spring, have fallen out of favor. Nowadays, every house has specialty shows for each designer's new line. In 2008, The New York Times reported that there are at least 152 fashion weeks a year worldwide. This number has only skyrocketed in recent years, thanks to social media. It seems like these fast fashion brands are dropping new lines almost every week, and that’s because they are in order to keep up with heightened expectations.

To combat this, traditional fashion houses have ramped up production, and even high-end brands like Oscar de la Renta and Balmain must now #PayUp. Nothing is sacred when the apple is rotting straight from its couture core.

RU Revolutionary?

As college students, we can use our privilege to educate ourselves and others about the truth behind this practice, these brands, and these retailers. The best way to support this campaign is to sign the petitions on the Remake’s website and share them with friends. It only takes about 30 seconds to do, so making an impact can be accessible to everyone.

Some more easy ways to stay in the know are following the social media campaigns of Fashion Revolution and Remake. By doing so, you can look at Remake’s website to see what brands are at fault and redirect their followers’ attention, ultimately getting brands to #PayUp.

It’s obvious these violators are starting to feel the pressure on their guilty consciences. Let’s end this—use your voice and demand that fast-fashion brands #PayUp!

Source: Twitter (@collinsapera)

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