With the increase in fashion trends such as “What are you wearing today” and “Create an outfit with me” on global social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, students at Cal Poly Pomona have embraced shown a spike in individualism and self-expression in their own ways.
Recent inflation has shown to beis a concern with many clothing brands beginning to raise their prices. For the everyday student, spending upwards of $200 and up on clothing items does not sound ideal. Fast fashion is called into question when considering the mindfulness of purchasing clothing and saving money. Counter to that would be sustainable clothing which comes for a heftier price but may last longer than the average Shein or H&M piece.
Apparel merchandising and management student Alyssa Barajas shed some light on the importance of sustainability and resorting to creativity to diversify a few of the pieces in her own closet.
“With fast fashion of course it’s more convenient to purchase clothes online,” said Barajas. “Now brands are dropping their normal prices to compete with each other such as ZARA dropping prices to the $100 range, making clothes cheaper for the general audience.”
When being mindful about purchasing clothing, factors such as quality, price point and readiness often are determining factors.
Alongside the recent boom within fast fashion, thrifting has seen a recent increase in popularity, not only providing standard clothes but often hidden gems that can last a lifetime sometimes at half the cost.
Neighboring cities to Pomona such as Claremont offer a variety of thrift stores such as DeeLux and Replay Vintage. These thrift stores allow consumers to buy, sell, and trade clothes which often extend the life of clothes previously traded in by previous owners.
“People often buy what it is that is advertised toward them, so if you happen to get multiple fast fashion ads it’s more likely you’ll be influenced to purchase fast fashion,” said history student Lisa Frank.
Outside of fast fashion’s marketability, Frank also shared when considering sustainable fashion often these brands are sustainable on paper. Sustainable fashion markets itself as eco-friendly when in actuality it is constantly needing to be replaced due to the clothes’ poor quality.
“Recently Sandy Liang put out a collab in which a large amount of stock was put up but didn’t seem to do that well in terms of sales, “ said Frank. “This means the excess stock is tossed out as excess, adding to overproduction pollution.”
Apparel Merchandising assistant professor Cindy Cordoba Arroyo believes that students on a budget are able to contribute to sustainable consumerism.
“My tips to students who may happen to be on a bit of a tighter budget but looking to grow and diversify your closet is as simple as trading with friends,” said Arroyo. “I do my best to inform students that purchasing fast fashion is a double-edged sword. The shirt may last on average two to three weeks and must be replaced yet again, causing a cycle.”
Arroyo was able to sypathize with students as due to recent inflation price increase has began to bleed into many different markets and shares a few alternatives creating a work around for the higher prices.
“Students should never feel guilty that they are cornered into buying fast fashion,” said Arroyo.
Arroyo also delivers a few loopholes when buying fast fashion.
“Both millennials and Gen Z are active on the internet, so sites such as Poshmark offer an alternative to buying directly from fast fashion distributors,” said Arroyo. “In turn, this will also save money for students working with a bit of a tighter budget. There are many ways to be mindful when considering being sustainable and purchasing affordable clothing. Although fast fashion has a negative connotation, there are ways to engage without adding to the problem long term.
Neighboring cities to Pomona such as Claremont offer a good variety of thrift stores such as DeeLux and Replay Vintage. These thrift stores allow customers to buy, sell, and trade clothes which extend the life of clothes for a few more years.
Neighboring cities to Pomona such as Claremont offer a variety of thrift stores such as DeeLux and Replay Vintage. These thrift stores allow customers to buy, sell, and trade clothes which extend the life of clothes for a few more years. Partaking in sustainable fashion is as simple as sharing with friends or visiting accesible thrift locations such as boutiques or bins at staple locations such as Goodwill and Salvation Army.