Fast Fashion: A Talking Points Lesson & Activity

Have you ever been a fast fashion junkie, needing to update your wardrobe on a regular basis? Many of us probably have at some point in our lives! Fast Fashion: A Talking Points Lesson & Activity has students exploring this concept and its impact, as well as learning about some things they can do to make a difference!


  • Ask students to explain the meaning of this quote: “Out with the old, in with the new”. Have students share their responses, but tell them that this quote will be revisted and discussed later, in more depth.
  • Individually, have students brainstorm the answer to this prompt: What is fast fashion? When finished, have them think, pair, share with their neighbor and then with the whole class. Depending on how fashion oriented your students are, you may have students that have never heard of this term.


  • iPads or Laptops
  • Projector & Screens


  • View the video “Is fast fashion destroying our environment?” and complete the following prompts while you watch…
    • What is fast fashion?
    • What is the impact of fast fashion…
      • On the environment?
      • On the consumer?
    • What’s a consumer to do?
    • Explain how the quote “out with the old and in with the new” applies to fast fashion.
  • Discuss answers to the above video and prompts. If time permits, also explore other impacts of fast fashion to the animals and workers. This article titled, What is Fast Fashion? may be helpful.
  • Additionally, discuss some of the serious stats mentioned in the video, associated with fast fashion. These are just a few, there are more.
  • Have students complete the infographic worksheet by guessing the stats. Here’s the KEY reflecting the actual numbers.
  • Students then reflect on the stats by completing the exit prompts. What 3 stats surprised you the most, why? What 2 stats concerned you the most, why? Which stat do you believe is most fixable, why?
  • This leads us to “What’s a consumer to do?” First, you might also show students the commercial from Levi’s titled, “Buy Better, Wear Longer” and ask what their thoughts are about this concept.
    • Is it a good idea? Why or why not?
    • Would they shop this way? Why or why not? If not, what would prevent them from doing so.
    • If cost doesn’t come up, you could ask students if they would pay more for clothing if it would last longer?
  • Second, the video mentioned that we can shop second hand.
    • What are your thoughts on this? For or against? Why?
    • How many of you already shop second hand? What are your reasons for doing so?
    • Where are places we can purchase/obtain second hand clothes? (thrift stores, yard sales, online thrift websites, swaps with friends/family, etc.)
  • Optional: View 7 Good Reasons to Shop Second Hand
  • For the assessment, assign “Buy This, Not That!” project. See guidesheet below. Basically, students find fast fashion outfits with accessories from popular stores/websites and then recreate the outfit as closely as possible, using second hand stores/websites. Students would them describe the cost savings which could be monetary, environmental and/or ethical.
  • If you wanted to do a more in-depth type of research project, this article titled, “What is Sustainable & Ethical Fashion?” provides a plethora of related topics for students to explore and write a research paper about the problems associated with fast fashion.


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Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

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