Please, for the love of the planet, just stop.
A trend on TikTok called “Keep or Return” is encouraging users to buy clothes en masse from fast fashion brands, try them on, and return any items their followers don’t like.
The amount of CO2, in metric tons, emitted by Amazon deliveries alone in 2021 — a nearly 40% increase from 2019.
At the end of the day, most returned items end up in landfills, according to BBC Earth, as it’s often easier and more cost-effective for retailers to trash those pieces (especially cheaply made clothes) than get them ready to re-sell.
Having spent 30 years in fashion, I’ve seen the damaging impact of the industry spiral out of control as shoppers moved online, happily making the most of perks such as free returns without truly understanding what happens to the items that they send back.
Although returning a bunch of clothes might seem good in theory, it’s extremely wasteful in practice. Quitting fast fashion is complicated for some people, but it’s important that everyone push back on excessive consumption and “hauls.”