Fashion is fleeting by definition. Styles come and go and consumers try to keep up. Cheap clothing has allowed trends to move faster than ever, but with an enormous humanitarian and environmental cost in its wake. This is a little recognized problem with companies like H&M and Forever 21 ever-growing.
Buying second-hand helps, but thrifting can be a daunting task. Sifting through tons of ugly clothes under harsh fluorescents. And boujee vintage stores often mark up clothing beyond what nice new clothes cost.
Only 20% of donated clothes find new owners. Some of what's left can be recycled, but much is shipped overseas, where they disrupt local economies. The rest goes to a landfill, where they release methane, dyes, and bleach.
In the US, 97% of clothing is made abroad, predominantly in impoverished countries by underpaid workers in dangerous working conditions. The True Cost is a great documentary that chronicles this epidemic.
Fashion brands purposely manufacture clothes with poor stitching and bad materials. The sooner it falls apart, the sooner you're back buying another shirt. Americans now throw away 14 million tons of clothing a year.