Fashion has a notorious environmental footprint, accounting for up to 10% of worldwide CO2 emissions. This is compounded by a fast fashion business strategy that encourages the frequent buying of low-cost, disposable things. Around 30% of online purchases are returned, with much of it ending up in garbage. In the United States alone, an estimated 2.6 million tonnes of returns were disposed of in this manner in 2020. The issue has become so well-known that online store Boohoo recently joined a number of high-street retailers in charging for returns in effort to prevent them.
The epidemic significantly altered our shopping habits, with the temporary shutdown of traditional businesses benefiting internet retailers. However, the growing market share of internet retail can be traced back to long-standing fast fashion marketing methods. Customers are encouraged to purchase many alternatives with the understanding that they can return products easily (known as “bracketing”) due to the focus placed on newness, low prices, and both free delivery and returns. Online consumption has been hastened by buy-now-pay-later programmes such as Klarna, which allow users to order without making an advance payment. According to research, shops who offer such “payment alternatives” often see a 68 percent boost in average order value. According to industry research, the adoption of payment solutions reduces cart abandonment rates by roughly 40%. Discount sales like “Black Friday”.