By Amber Bogumil
Klarna is a company that provides online financial services to people worldwide through a range of different businesses, in order to give people an easier way to pay for items. Their slogan is ‘shop now, pay later’ – by splitting the payments over a period of time.
However, payment services such as Klarna and Clearpay have sparked a debate about whether they promote fast fashion (‘a term used by fashion retailers to describe inexpensive designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends,’ to quote Investopedia) and actually cause more harm than good.
Fast fashion relies upon a staggering amount of mass-produced clothes. Therefore, brands are under more pressure than ever to produce enough clothes for their consumers. It’s the cheap prices that reel in customers, but people are buying clothes they don’t even want as a result.
Not only is fast fashion generating widespread clothes waste, but brands are also cutting corners using cheap, toxic textile dyes; the second-largest polluter of clean water, according to the Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS).
Payment services like Klarna are only encouraging this issue. Most of the prices are already ridiculously cheap, but these services are making clothes even more ‘affordable’. They give people the chance to worry about finances later while still being able to purchase whatever they want, whenever they want. Clothes are more accessible to customers than ever and as a result, companies are having to mass-produce much more, much more quickly.
Such services have also been accused of encouraging students to get into even more debt when shopping online. Websites like Boohoo and Misguided use the service to enable their customers (who are mostly between the ages of 18-24) to think they can afford the clothes they’re buying. With students being on a tight budget, this service only encourages them to contribute to fast fashion, which in effect is damaging the environment.
Every year, global emissions from textile production are equivalent to 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2, a figure that outweighs the carbon footprint of international flights and shipping combined.Jasmine Chinasamy, Unearthed
In essence, services like Klarna and Clearpay cause more far trouble then they’re worth. While they may be a good idea for those in need who don’t enough cash at the time, you need to be clever with your purchases. Services like this are legitimising something considered as a serious environmental concern.
In order to fight fast fashion, we should make sure we really want or even need the items that we’re ordering. Patience is key. Fast fashion is as expected to get grow, so it’s up to us as consumers to combat this. Let’s invest our money into more sustainable fashion and do our bit to help save the planet.