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1) Fashion Nova relies on factories with underpaid its workers, the only way it can produce more products faster and outspend competitors on Instagram advertising.

WHAT HAPPENED: The federal Labor Department found that Fashion Nova’s clothing is made in Los Angeles by workers who are paid illegally low wages. The brand uses dozens of factories that owe $3.8 million in back wages to hundreds of workers. Fashion Nova responded to the Labor Department’s allegations saying it is not responsible for how its vendors handle their payrolls.

WHY IT MATTERS

    Fashion Nova’s rapid success proves that Instagram is the ultimate advertising space to reach GenZ consumers. Starting as a mall store in Los Angeles, Fashion Nova took-off once it directed most of its advertising attention to Instagram. Only after the brand partnered with celebrities and influencers did it grow to become one of the most searched brands on Google in 2018, more so than Gucci. Based on limited options in stores and GenZ’s daily use of Instagram, Fashion Nova’s fast-fashion business model can be seen as a foil to Forever 21’s demise. Proving that the hunger for fast-fashion still exists, but its audience prefers to buy via Instagram instead of the mall.

    Fashion Nova’s audience is more concerned with novelty and fast shipping than worker’s wages and environmental sustainability. For GenZ consumers who spend much of their time on social media, they are more interested in curated versions of their lives than sustainable and responsible brands, according to teenagers who spoke to The New York Times. This means novelty, price and timing are what contribute to their purchase decisions and factory conditions and worker’s wages are less relevant, which will not help the apparel industry move to a more sustainable model.

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