Fast-fashion, the online mall

Senior Briana Lopez was on the search for a white tennis skirt. She took a mirror selfie after finally finding one on the website SHEIN.

photo by Brianna Lopez

Senior Briana Lopez was on the search for a white tennis skirt. She took a mirror selfie after finally finding one on the website SHEIN.

When the trendy cardigan you saw in PacSun for $50 you were able to find online for only a few bucks, it may sound sketchy, but fast-fashion has risen to its peak due to recent events regarding COVID-19. With the uneasy access to storefronts and dressing rooms, online shopping is the next best thing. However, because of the high prices that can come with traditional online retailers, fast-fashion e-commerce shops like SHEIN, ROMWE, and Wish have become more popular.
“The clothes were super cute and cheap and had many good reviews,” junior Hannah Connell said. “Also, the reviews were super clear and understandable with dimensions, so I got a feel for what would fit me.”
A lot of storefronts have restricted the use of fitting rooms, which means in-person shopping has lost the only edge it had on online shopping.
When junior Hallie Yonker wanted to go clothes shopping, she asked a friend with a good style where she got her clothes, and she said SHEIN.
SHEIN is a fast-fashion e-commerce platform that is available in over 220 countries worldwide. The popularity of these cheap-clothing retailers has been able to grow through word of mouth, as well as through social media.
Sophomore Avery Descheneaux has ordered clothes through ROMWE, the e-commerce store that falls under the same parent company as SHEIN, Shenzhen Globalegrow E-Commerce Co. Ltd. Both SHEIN and ROMWE have the same quality and style of clothes but offer slightly different stock at slightly different prices.
“ROMWE had clothing styles that I wanted to ‘achieve’ and sold what was considered to be trendy at the time,” Descheneaux said. “The idea of nice, quality-looking clothes that came at an inexpensive price was amazing.”
One of the reasons students choose to order from mass-produced clothing companies is their ability to follow current styles.
“They constantly update their sites with new items and since their main form of advertising is through social media, they are very trendy,” senior Mackenzie Stewart said.
The main attraction to these fast-fashion shops are the low prices. Because the clothes are mass-produced overseas, they are able to be offered for lower prices than popular retailers such as H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Lululemon.
While the shipping times for sites like SHEIN, ROMWE, and Wish are longer than the likes of Amazon or local stores, many students have found that the fast-fashion site shipping times are bearable.
“I ordered from SHEIN and immediately it gave me an estimated arrival date, but other stores have said they were going to take 2 weeks and took over a month,” Yonker said.
Others work around the shipping time so that they are not at a loss if the shipping takes longer than expected.
“I ordered over summer with COVID in full swing, so I knew I had to be patient with shipping,” Connell said. “I didn’t need my products by a certain deadline so no [the extended shipping time did not bother me].”
These shops aim for the quantity, not quality when producing their items, making flukes a more likely occurrence.
“I ordered two shirts in the same size, just different colors, and they were completely different qualities,” Yonker said. “They fit differently and almost seemed to be made out of different materials.”
By mass-producing their clothes, sites like SHIEN, Wish and ROMWE are able to create thousands of different styles to meet whatever needs the consumer might have.
“As for the website at times it can be very overwhelming because there are so many items in a variety of styles to choose from,” senior Briana Lopez said. “So, if you don’t have an idea of what you’re looking for it can be tough to make up your mind.”
Fast-fashion e-commerce platforms offer a large selection of cheap clothing but still have their downside. However, students willing to risk quality and wait an extended period of time may find fast-fashion to be their new best friend.
“There are so many items to choose from so you’re bound to find something that fits the specific trend you’re trying to find,” Lopez said.

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