Zara vs H&M vs Uniqlo: How Are These Fast Fashion Giants Different?

Fast fashion: inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. -oxford dictionary

Though these brands are opposed by people for their massive environmental impact and naive actions for social justice, a few upsides are hard to resist for the general customers.

  1. Their clothes are so cheap.

  2. You can discover the latest fashion trends. New products are updated very frequently and they reflect the trends showcased in the season runways.

  3. If you have a certain design in mind(for example, if you want to buy a “white poplin blouse with ruffles on shoulder'') and you are looking for an item like that, you are likely to find a similar one or even the exact same one.

What are the key differences?

Uniqlo "I want to get an essential item that would stay long in my wardrobe"

  • Most insensitive to trends. In other words, the products you bought this year could be brought to next year’s wardrobe.

  • Uniqlo is most distinguishable from the other two brands -- yes Uniqlo origins from Japan. The brand focuses on modest, perpetual designs like button-up shirts, solid color t-shirts, dresses you can wear without exposing your skin too much.

  • It also has a popular thermal underwear line (Airism, Heattech).

  • The range of design is very limited compared to the two other brands. Instead, their essential products come in many different colors.

ZARA "I want to skim through the latest fashion trends"

  • Best represents fast fashion. Zara sells countless designs and their products last for the shortest period of time on the rack.

  • Their clothes are trendy.

  • You can often see experimental fashion you might see in high fashion. Their designs are heavily inspired by the latest features showcased on the seasonal runway. Exaggeration and emphasis are common.

  • One design usually comes in a single color, but their products come out in the most diverse color range.

  • Focuses more on the variation of design than the essential items line.

H&M "We've got everything you want. Come spend your money, it is cheap"

  • Countless products come of low quality and cheapest price.

  • Have a plus size line, maternity clothes, premium line.

  • Have a younger target compared with the other two brands, seen from “To all the boys” collaboration, collaboration with teen icons like Kendall Jenner, Ariana Grande, etc. You can see more graphic tees and cute designs targeting teen customers.

The Comparison

So where should I shop?

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