Fast Fashion and College Students

Fast Fashion and College Students
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Previously we discussed fast food and college students, now we want explore the world of fast fashion as it relates to college students. Though fast fashion has become a great topic of controversy over the past few years, it continues to rise and dominate the textile industry because of its affordable, trendy options. More specifically, fast fashion has grown very popular amongst younger consumers. Despite the Gen Z generation being more driven to buy sustainable products, fast fashion demand has yet to dissipate. According to, for college students, in particular, fast fashion’s advantages are too difficult to resist. This post will analyze why fast fashion continues to persist with college students. It will also examine what marketing methods have influenced its rise amongst the younger generation.

Social Media’s Impact

Thanks to the visually-driven nature of apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, it has never been easier for the average individual to publicly document their life through outfits.

According to, the rise of influencer culture and marketing has caused fast fashion brands to flourish, specifically online retailers. Influencers have the power to determine what is trendy and what is not. With fast fashion brands working with them to promote their latest clothing, the market potential is endless. These influencers impact how individuals think about their clothing. More importantly, they perpetuate the idea of never having to wear the same outfit twice. After all, it’s easy to evade re-wearing an outfit when a shirt only costs $10.

In turn, these influencers are behind the prospering fast fashion economy, specifically the younger consumer market. According to a 2017 survey administered by Hubbub, 41% of 18- to- 25-year-olds feel pressured to wear a different outfit every time they go out. They have made cheap, accessible clothing fashionable and trendy, quite literally the best of both worlds for college students.

Design to Retail 

Another reason why fast fashion continues to thrive amongst college students is the design-to-retail style that fast fashion brands, such as Zara, employ. The cost of an article of clothing today is insanely cheap paving the way for brands like Zara to design and produce styles of clothing over a mere five weeks. This allows Zara to come out with over twenty different collections a year. They successfully entice consumers to go out and shop more than they may need to. The low prices justify the consumer’s shopping. In turn, they finish the day grateful for more outfit choices in their wardrobe.

The presence of online retailers has only bolstered this desire for consumers to buy more. It is easier to keep up with new releases online, specifically because of email and mobile marketing. Fast fashion brands will alert consumers when there are new releases through these methods. With this design-to-retail approach, collections are dropping at a rapid rate. Consumers who have subscribed to these brands are hearing from them with new releases weekly, sometimes daily. This consequently feeds their desire to shop more.

In conclusion, influencer marketing and the design-to-retail style that many fast fashion brands continue to utilize are the two main factors behind fast fashion’s surge and persistence amongst consumers. It will be interesting to see whether college students and others in the Gen Z generation will continue to give in to fast fashion’s many appeals. Alternatively, will it slowly lose popularity over its terrible social and environmental impact.

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