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Shein Partners With Forever 21 to Build a Fast Fashion Empire

Shein announced it has cut a deal with Forever 21 in order to expand their audiences. Learn how this new fast fashion empire could take a toll on the environment.

Written by
Riley Baker
has already taken over the internet, with a platform that spans 150 countries and a loyal fanbase of 30 million followers on Instagram alone. Now, the
fast fashion brand
may be coming to a mall near you, because it has just announced a partnership with 
Forever 21
that will bring its offerings off your phone and into the real world.
According to a
press release
, Shein will acquire one-third interest in Sparc Group, Forever 21's parent company, with the goal of expanding the reach of both brands. What would this partnership look like? For starters, Shein's merchandise will soon be sold out of Forever 21's brick-and-mortar locations, and Forever 21's clothing and accessories will be sold on Shein's website. This brings Shein's clothes into stores for the first time and expands Forever 21's online reach to a massive new audience.
"We are excited for the partnership with Shein as it reflects our shared vision of providing customers with unparalleled access to fashion at affordable prices," said Marc Miller, CEO of Sparc Group. "By working together, we will provide even more innovative and trendsetting products to fashion enthusiasts around the world."

What Does Shein and Forever 21's Deal Mean for the Environment?

Providing even more "trendspotting products to fashion enthusiasts around the world" isn't exactly something the planet needs right now. Both Shein and Forever 21 are already known for their rapid production cycles, low prices, and often disposable fashion items, which have contributed to a culture of overconsumption and massive waste generation. Expanding their reach can only do more harm than good.
While those low prices and trendy clothing are enticing to many, the
hidden costs associated
with them are substantial and concerning. Imagine a garbage truck filled to the brim with clothes being dumped into a landfill every second. That's the shocking reality of the fast fashion industry, according to an
eye-opening study
on its environmental impacts. This industry alone generates a staggering 92 million tons of waste and guzzles around 79 trillion liters of water annually.
But that's not all. The fashion industry as a whole is the culprit behind one-third of all
swirling in our oceans and is responsible for 20% of global water waste. It's also associated with unethical labor practices that put workers at risk.

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Right now, during a time when the planet needs our help more than ever before, a rising number of consumers are hoping brands start shifting away from the damaging fast fashion model. But with this deal between two fast fashion giants, it seems as though the fast fashion machine is only getting more powerful.

What Can You Do to Make a Difference?

Instead of supporting
fast fashion brands
, shop for clothing secondhand at local or
online thrift stores
, extend the lifespan of what you already own by
practicing proper care
mending when needed
, and when buying new, support
sustainable clothing brands
that prioritize the planet.
By making informed purchasing decisions and focusing on long-term value rather than fleeting trends, we can play a crucial role in reducing the detrimental impact of fast fashion on the planet.