Fast fashion is responsible for the huge growth of the textile and apparel industry over the last 20 years. Fast fashion brands and retailers such as H&M, Zara, C&A, Primark, Forever 21 have been growing massively into large corporations.

We created this definitive list of 89 fast fashion brands to avoid because of their disastrous social and environmental impact.

Fast fashion isn't sustainable or ethical. The overproduction and overconsumption of cheap disposable clothing lead to an enormous quantity of textile waste, water, air and soil pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The success of fast fashion is due to the ever-increasing demand of consumers for new trendy clothes at affordable prices.

It's difficult to resist buying fast fashion, especially with the constant presence of the latest trends in social media, magazines, and online articles.

Fortunately, an alternative to fast fashion is gaining popularity: slow fashion or sustainable fashion.

Read up our article on the alternative slow fashion vs fast fashion.

Let's have a look at what's bad about fast fashion before listing all the 89 fast fashion brands you should avoid at all costs.

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What is wrong with fast fashion

Cheap new trendy clothing inspired from runway shows pushed to high street stores on a weekly basis is fast fashion.

This encourages consumers to buy more. It also makes clothes disposable as they are being replaced with new trends rapidly.

There are no more 2 to 4 traditional seasons for new collections. In the fast-fashion world, there are 52 seasons instead.

Consumers demand new clothing at an affordable price being influenced by social media personalities. That's why fast fashion has such a huge success.

However, the fashion industry lead by fast fashion is one of the largest polluters in the world. It is responsible for huge textile waste, clean water pollution, toxic chemicals, 10% of worldwide carbon emission, according to the recent report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Fast fashion brands employ farmers and workers in the poorest countries under unsafe working conditions without paying them a living wage violating human labor rights.

By buying cheap clothes from unethical fast fashion brands, you are supporting child labor, modern slavery, and the death of thousands of people.

If you want to drive change in the fashion industry, there are a few easy things you can do. As a consumer, you have humongous power.

Read up our article on how to quit fast fashion for a complete guide to transition to sustainable fashion.

Fast Fashion street style pin

List of 89 fast fashion brands to avoid

Unfortunately, there are too many fast fashion brands to list all of them. Avoid buying from these fast fashion brands because of their disastrous social and environmental impact:

  • They use toxic chemicals
  • They don't care about animal rights
  • They impose child and forced labor
  • They authorize unsafe factories
  • They don't protect the environment

Several labor rights violations are very common among many fast fashion brands. Clothing production occurs mostly in Asia in countries such as China, Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Poor working conditions and unfair wages have to stop. These brands prioritize profits over the well-being of people. Farmers, workers, and local communities are too often treated unfairly.

Out of desperation, many farmers commit suicide each year. Others will sew S.O.S. messages in garments. Forced labor and cases of modern slavery are still shockingly being reported. Not to mention child labor, forced abortion, and sexual harassment.

Fast fashion brands are often associated with sweatshops where staff members work under unsafe conditions, aren't paid a decent living wage and have no healthcare.

Some people work over 100 hours per week in fast fashion brands' garments factories, without being paid for over six months.

Many fast fashion brands still use animal products and by-products to make their clothes. Leather, fur, down, wool support exploitation and animal cruelty.

Fast fashion brands are also responsible for the 2013 building collapse in Dhaka Bangladesh. The Rana Plaza garment factory killed 1,134 people and injured more than 2,500 people due to a structural failure.

Synthetic low-quality fabrics are overused, damaging human health and ecosystems, encouraging throwaway culture.

Very few sustainable materials are used. Almost no natural, organic, or recycled materials are used to make clothing.

They don't care that much about their impact on the planet, animals, and humans.

Here is our definitive list of 89 fast fashion brands to avoid:

  1. & Other Stories
  2. Abercrombie & Fitch
  3. Adidas
  4. Ally Fashion
  5. Anthropologie
  6. ASOS
  7. Autograph
  8. Beneton
  9. Ben Sherman
  10. Bershka
  11. Bestseller
  12. Betts
  13. Bloch
  14. Boohoo
  15. C&A
  16. Camilla and Marc
  17. Charlotte Russe
  18. Cheap Monday
  19. Cooper St
  20. COS
  21. Cotton On
  22. Darn Tough
  23. Decjuba
  24. Diana Ferrari
  25. Esprit
  26. Fashion Nova
  27. FIVE FOXes
  28. Forever 21
  29. Free People
  30. Fruit of the Loom
  31. Gap
  32. Giordano
  33. Guess
  34. H&M
  35. Heine
  36. Hot Topic
  37. Inditex
  38. J. Crew
  39. Jasmine & Will
  40. Little Trelise
  41. Lowes
  42. Madewell
  43. Mango
  44. Massimo Dutti
  45. Metersbonwe
  46. Merric
  47. Mirrou
  48. Missguided
  49. Miss Selfridge
  50. Mollini
  51. Monki
  52. Nasty Gal
  53. New Look
  54. NewYorker
  55. Next
  56. Nike
  57. Noni B
  58. Oasis
  59. Oysho
  60. Old Navy
  61. Peacocks
  62. PE Nation
  63. Pretty Little Thing
  64. Primark
  65. Pull & Bear
  66. Rainbow Shops
  67. Renner
  68. Riachuelo
  69. Rip Curl
  70. River Island
  71. Rockmans
  72. Romwe
  73. s. Oliver
  74. Shasa
  75. Shein
  76. Showpo
  77. Stradivarius
  78. TopShop
  79. Trelise Cooper
  80. United Colors of Benetton
  81. Uniqlo
  82. Uterqüe
  83. Urban Outfitters
  84. Valleygirl
  85. Victoria's Secret
  86. W.Lane
  87. Wish
  88. Zaful
  89. Zara

Many other brands aren't on this list. Some fast fashion brands are of course better than others and trying to improve making real efforts to better their social and environmental impact.

Feel free to gather more information about a brand you used to buy from. You can do a quick search on the internet, examine their website and social media profiles, or ask them to answer your questions directly.

Please show them that you care about the environment, how your clothes are made and the people who made them.

Who you can do instead of buying from fast fashion brands is:

  • buying less,
  • buying higher-quality clothing,
  • buying from ethical and sustainable brands,
  • shopping secondhand clothing from thrift stores and resale shops,
  • renting your clothes,
  • swapping with friends and family,
  • reusing, repurposing, and up-cycling.

Do you know any other fast fashion brand that we should add to the list?

Was this article helpful to you? Please tell us what you liked or didn't like in the comments below.

About the Author: Alex Assoune

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