PacSun is a Calfornian brand that was founded in 1980. Over 40 years later they remain a well-established clothing company. Their long lifespan is down to many circumstances including the company’s business model and external factors such as the continued growth of the fashion industry.
The fashion industry is constantly in a state of change as it is always adapting and developing in order to meet consumer needs. Interestingly, it was only a few years ago that people would bond with their favourite clothing and would wash and wear it for years on end, however, sadly this is now a rarity.
Sadly, today a large amount of the fashion industry is a product of fast fashion. Fast fashion is a business model which focuses on replicating trends from catwalks and fashion shows at a low cost. This business model encourages consumers to buy replicas of current trends and to keep their clothing constantly up to date.
Fast fashion is a problem as people only keep clothing for a limited amount of time before getting rid of it and buying new items to replace it.
One of the biggest issues with this is the ginormous impact which it has on the environment due to growing amounts of production and excess waste.
How to Tell if a Company is an Example of Fast Fashion?
Trying to work out whether or not a business’s success is based upon fast fashion can be a really hard task. However, luckily there are a few telltale signs that this is the case, these can include (but are not limited to): constantly changing what they sell to keep up with trends, selling low quality items, their social media channels suggesting new trends and whether or not they are constantly advertising new products.
However, it is only fair to acknowledge that the majority of fashion related businesses use some of these tactics in order to experience economic growth but when it comes to fast fashion you are looking for a quick paced, constantly adapting and changing company.
PacSun’s Social Media Presence
Social media usage can be a good sign as to whether or not a company is an example of fast fashion. PacSun has a decent social media following. Here we looked at some of its most used platforms individually:
- Facebook– On Facebook Pacsun has more than 2.4 million followers and posts several times a day. This means that Facebook is a really effective advertising platform for them as it allows them to reach up to millions of people a day.
They do not really use the platform to post about fashion icons or celebrities which means that they put less pressure to keep up with trends on followers than other household brands do. However, unfortunately they still post a lot about seasonal items thus implying that it is a good idea to buy new seasonally.
- Instagram– Similarly, on Instagram they have over 2.5 million followers, this once again giving them the ability to be seen by millions at once. They also post several times a day here, but their content differs from that of Facebook, they post a mixture of their products, memes, and competitions.
However, unfortunately they also post and even tag models in their posts thus being indicative of a fast fashion business model.
- TikTok– Interestingly their TikTok has 1.5 million followers and shows more fast fashion characteristics being used than on any of their other social media accounts. For instance they talk about certain seasonal items and which products are selling out, this creates a sense of urgency and suggests to people that they need to buy new products fast.
What is most concerning about this is that TikTok has the youngest and most impressionable audience and therefore they are the clients that are most likely to buy into fast fashion.
- Twitter– On Twitter PacSun has over 380 thousand followers. They have been a member of the site since 2007. They use twitter mostly to recreate posts from Facebook and Instagram in order to reach more people. In general their Twitter posts aren’t too bad however they are still seasonal.
Overall, PacSun’s social media presence is suggestive of a fast fashion business model as it repeatedly focuses on current trends and styles and puts pressure on consumers to buy more in order to stay relevant.
Price is a big factor to consider when weighing up whether or not a business is based around fast fashion. In terms of PacSun, their prices are relatively cheap, they sit somewhere on the border between being so cheap that they are another indicator of fast fashion and simply being affordable.
Therefore, it is important to look at price in context with other factors, which lets face it, arent looking very good.
PacSun uses relatively cheap materials in the vast majority of their products in order to save money in the manufacturing stages of their money.
This use of cheap quality materials is indicative of a fast fashion business model as the clothes are not designed to last but rather to be replaceable.
On their website PacSun predominantly use images of the products themselves and they do not use celebrities or models to advertise current trends or fashion show replicas but rather they focus on guiding people to find what they are looking for.
However, they do show pictures that people have posted on instagram wearing current trends brought from them thus promoting fast fashion.
PacSun is a specialist Californian brand and has its own exclusive identity. In many respects initially, they do not appear to be a fast fashion brand as they do not use models or celebrities to pressure customers into staying up to date with current fashion trends.
However, they do promote the idea that clothes should be replaced each season, they do this by using social media to post about specific clothes which are advised to be for a certain season and by using low quality materials and cheap prices to further pressure people to replace their clothes regularly.
So, although in many ways they manage to cover up the fact that their successful business is based around a fast fashion business model it is unfortunately true.