The retail fashion world is abuzz with the latest strategic alliance between Shein and Forever 21, a partnership that allows Shein to sell Forever 21 products and potentially establish pop-up stores in select Forever 21 locations. This collaboration is seen as a significant move in the fast fashion industry, potentially marking a new chapter in retail evolution.

However, it also brings to the forefront the ongoing debate about the impact of fast fashion on the environment, especially concerning sustainability practices. The partnership is viewed by some experts as a consolidation that could accelerate fast fashion’s wasteful trends. Are the short-term benefits of this merger worth the potential long-term environmental impacts?

RayeCarol Cavendar, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of University of Kentucky. While Dr. Cavendar acknowledges the business logic behind the merger in the retail fashion, she voices significant concerns about the impact on the environment, highlighting the urgent need to address its detrimental effects.

“The partnership in general terrifies me. My research is in sustainable development. I’m trying to provide a business perspective, which the business metrics and possible synergies back office and the like, in-store and online, all of those do line up. It does make sense. But we have such a huge issue with overconsumption that the fast fashion industry is causing extreme environmental degradation globally,” Cavendar said.

Article written by Sonia Gossai

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