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The Lingering Cost of Instant Fashion

Instant fashion has exploded in recent years, led by Shein whose sales have multiplied by more than 20 times since it entered the U.S. less than six years ago. As Shein explores an IPO, the author reviews the social phenomena that have contributed to instant fashion, the factors that allow it to succeed, and the dangers of the industry’s model. While there’s clearly demand for these products, consumers and policy makers also need to be aware that the business model comes with side effects — particularly the privatization of profit and the socialization of costs, including social and environmental harm.

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