Fast fashion is taking the role that locally owned businesses to play


Hailey Durm, social media manager, staff writer

The upcoming generation is all about receiving everything now, now, now- leaving little to no time for care and no thought process as to who or what it’s harming in the process. Fast fashion- a recent trend of mass producing- is one of those things that sounds great but truthfully, it’s just not. We’ve grown up being taught to not judge a book by its cover because there’s so much more to offer on the inside, but in this case, we can agree that the opposite is true. Fast fashion just isn’t anything but what the name implies: a never ending cycle of clothes being poorly produced at a high speed, usually by the hands of underpaid employees. It’s easy for us to see how negatively this horrendous process affects our economy and environment through the eyes of senior Rylee Marmion and local boutique owner, Shauna Metzger.

Metzger owns her own local brick-and-mortar store located downtown Noblesville: Lil Bloomers. As a boutique owner, she recognizes the trouble and frustration of the issue, as fast fashion takes her audience out of her store and online completely. 

“Fast fashion hurts local designers and makers. It takes away from their income. We carry kids’ clothes so it doesn’t affect as much as you would think,” Metzger said. “However, it is hard as a small business to compete with online shops because our market has to be a little higher to cover the cost of a brick and mortar storefront.”

Fast fashion is focused on producing a vast amount of clothing at a rapid pace, while local businesses instead work to handle every item directly. Especially in the aftermath from the pandemic, Metzger says the local touch is important to their success. 

“Lil Bloomers supports people right here in Noblesville by buying products from those in the community who design their own items,” Metzger said. 

The very thing that makes fast fashion so addicting and such a problem is that because of the lack of quality, items are priced cheaper, making them more appealing to consumers than a sustainable article of clothing that costs more. Though it may be tempting, it’s just as easy to shop small in your very own town, creating a safer environment and still finding the same piece of clothing for better quality. Despite all of the pros fast fashion may seem to provide, this type of business is actually terrible for the environment because it’s only focused on the speed of production rather than the materials used and quality of the pieces. 

If you’re not sure how to start shopping sustainably in your area, Marmion has a few tips for how to ease into the process. 

“Just give it a shot and really dive deep when you go to thrift stores because you never know what you can find. Shopping sustainably doesn’t always have to be super expensive. It can honestly be as easy as going to your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army. Walking in, you might not expect to find much but you could walk out with a bag full of good finds at a cheaper price,” Marmion said.

Fashion is a form of art, and it’s supposed to be expressive. Making a fashion “fast” limits the creativity people have in their own style because this emphasis on speed thrives on trends and takes away from individuality. Sure, you can find some great pieces off of Shein or AliExpress, but wouldn’t you rather find those same pieces locally, knowing you served your environment and community in a positive way?