The Independent Fashion Industry Is Consumed By Fast-Fashion Brands.
It is estimated that almost 500 billion pounds of waste each year comes from garment waste. Fast-fashion brands have consumed the fashion industry by providing cheaply made products at a low price using stolen designs.
Fast fashion brands sell and copy the designs of smaller independent brands. Reputable fashion brands dedicate time and work to creating unique styles and designs. Fast-fashion brands steal and sell their hard work.
Shein, an unethical fast-fashion brand, steals designs from small independent fashion brands. Marianna Diallo, the founder of Sincerely Ria , a black-owned business, spoke out about Shein ripping off her company’s designs in a tweet that read:
“I’m SO over these major brands stealing from black designers. @SHEIN_official STOLE my @sincerelyriaxo designs to a T. They couldn’t even change ONE thing and it’s now one of their highest-selling items. They even stole the brands aesthetic. Like, Come on”.
Diallo expresses her frustration with fast-fashion brands ripping off her designs. Shein as a larger company managed to make one of Diallo’s designs their top designs.
Fast-Fashion Knock offs!
Business owners rely on social media to bring attention to the issue. Another example of this comes from Luci Wilden–the owner of Knots and Vibes, who discovered that the famous fast-fashion brand Fashion Nova knocked off her designs. Wilden made an Instagram post comparing her designs to Fashion Nova’s knock-offs and stated: “Not only are they stealing my design, but they’re using it to exploit people and profit from it, which is the opposite of what @knots.and.vibes stands for!”
Moreover, Wilden expressed concern for her brand’s reputation as she does not support what Fashion Nova stands for. Independent brands can’t compete with fast-fashion brands’ low prices and production rates. Additionally, fast-fashion brands have disproportionate influence in the fashion industry and constantly reach out to influencers to promote their products. As fast-fashion companies retain more significant followings, their power over customers is far greater than independent brands.
Lastly, aside from design stealing, fast-fashion brands operate unethically by imposing cheap labor practices and using cheap materials. The constant attempts to copy and steal designs from independent brands impose a threat to small businesses and the fashion industry as a whole.
It’s time to stand up and support independent fashion brands!