A combination of factors make the U.S. a hotbed for fast fashion consumption above consumers in other wealthy countries. While Americans of all income levels contribute to the fast fashion crisis, Charlotte Tate – the Labor Justice Campaigns director for Green America, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that promotes ethical consumption – points to America's model of capitalism and wage stagnation as some of the factors driving American overconsumption.
"I think one thing that's unique to American capitalism is how much we prioritize working to make more money and then you have more money to spend," she said. "And another factor to consider is fast fashion is much cheaper than higher quality goods. When you look at wages over the past few decades, they've really stagnated. And as Americans have become more productive, the wealth of productivity hasn't been distributed evenly. In that case, you know, it would be really challenging if you're not making enough money to make ends meet to then also buy higher quality clothes."