Haul yourself…preferably out the window


Morgan Brown, News Editor

Thumbnail after thumbnail of gigantic bags hung next to excited faces litter the YouTube homepage as the craze of excessive hauls takes over the blogosphere. Caught in the endless cycle of fast fashion and consumption, influencers need to haul those videos in the trash—or their wallet, the environment, and their closet will suffer.

“I think that social media is a really powerful tool, but I think it can be used in positive and negative ways. I think it has really influenced our throw-away culture. You end up wanting to invest in a fad and then a month from now, you don’t want it anymore. It’s also like how Instagram and its algorithm pushes out sponsored content because it makes everyone money. It doesn’t push slow fashion or movements that would actually disseminate useful importation to people so they can understand their impact more,” NC Magnet senior Cierra Walsh said.

Brand names of fast fashion companies emblazoned across the video cover, exclaiming the hundreds of dollars spent at unethical spots, suck in viewers. Influencers push the need for seasonal closet changes and a constant eye for trends, encouraging their audience to purchase and repurchase items of esteem.

The consumer-driven media tells the average trendy teen to keep buying to keep up with current fashion fads. Companies like Forever 21 and Zara replace their stock in a matter of days and introduce new items that transform the store in a short time. At the current pace, the industries’ momentum will overtake competing specialty shops like Urban Outfitters, which boast high price tags but previously coveted style. The cheapness and the overwhelming stock turnover rate makes the fast fashion industry easy to transform into entertainment for everyday watch and wear.

“I feel like it’s really easy to get excited about a trend. With the whole idea of clothes coming out every season, I think you see trends you have never seen before and ones that you didn’t find attractive at one point. Now that it’s popular— you do find it attractive. You get kind of swept up and excited because it’s new and you buy it, but by the next month there’s something else new and you don’t like it anymore,” Walsh said.

As a response to the fast fashion haul videos, YouTubers, such as Alexissunshine83, have started to post thrift store hauls instead. Showing the unique stores and inventory within every thrift or consignment store makes people feel inspired to buy second hand.

Seeing the spike in participation, vintage stops and retail stores thrive on a local scale, like Kennesaw’s own Ecologie or Uptown Cheapskate. Small scale shops, focused on preserving the environment, reap the benefits of the counter-movement away from the fast fashion hauls. Hopefully, with the expansion of anti-hauls and second-hand hauls, these cute shops will flourish. So next time, instead of hauling the fast fashion junk, haul the good stuff and help save our planet.