is dolls kill fast fashion

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion, Sustainable and Ethical?

by jacky chou
Updated on

Dolls Kill is an online fashion brand that specializes in clothing and accessories. It was founded in 2011 by Shoddy Lynn and her husband, Bobby Farahi. On its website, it describes itself as an online boutique for misfits and "miss legits." The brand's outfits are bold and have edgy fashion written all over them, but is Dolls Kill fast fashion?

To put it simply, yes, Dolls Kill can be categorized as a fast fashion brand. The brand boasts an ever-changing array of clothing, shoes, and accessories that align with the latest trends and cater to various styles. The prices are wallet-friendly, and the brand's marketing thrives on urgency. With all these elements in place, we can conclude that Dolls Kill indeed falls under the fast fashion umbrella.

As we dive deeper into Dolls Kill's fast fashion status, we'll go into the characteristics of fast fashion, Dolls Kill's business model, and the criticisms of Dolls Kill's fast fashion model.

What is Fast Fashion?

Generation Z doesn't know a world without instant gratification; they want things now and quickly. As a result, the industry has adjusted to meet these demands. The economy has shifted to an on-demand model that fulfills demand almost instantaneously. This is what gave rise to fast fashion brands such as Dolls Kill, Billabong, Abercrombie, and Brandy Melville.

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Imagine this: Shein offers customers up to 1000 new styles daily. But this isn't an isolated case; ASOS provides its customer base with nearly 5,000 new styles weekly. Generation Z is definitely reveling in this abundance. This trend fuels the fast fashion movement.

Features of Fast Fashion

The aim of mass-producing different styles is to stimulate demand. Fast fashion heavily relies on this demand, along with other features:

  • The fast fashion industry replicates and imitates recent trends in fashion.
  • Fast fashion clothing is typically less expensive than slow fashion, largely due to the use of cheaper materials and simplified designs.
  • Fast fashion retailers produce clothing in small batches to encourage quick sell-outs.

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Think of fast fashion as inexpensive, quick, and trendy. It leverages economies of scale, producing cheaper clothes at a faster pace to attract more buyers. With this in mind, let us now consider why Dolls Kill is a fast fashion brand.

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion?

In a straightforward answer, yes, Dolls Kill can be classified as fast fashion. To substantiate this claim, we shall consider the following factors:

1. Price

Dolls Kill clothes are affordable and notably cheaper than other brands. For instance, an oversized sweater from Dolls Kill costs $68, while a Balenciaga sweater goes for $1,490. Despite differences in quality and craftsmanship, the price range categorizes Dolls Kill as fast fashion.

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2. Mass Production

Mass production is a key characteristic of fast fashion. This category aims to satisfy trends quickly. A fast fashion brand is expected to have frequent collections, producing numerous styles and designs weekly.

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Browsing Dolls Kill's website offers an abundance of choices, including clothing, costumes, and accessories. Shopping can be based on color, trend, or brand.

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The store is divided into these sections:

  • What's New
  • For the Desert Collection
  • Halloween Collection

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  • Clothing. Dolls Kill clothing include jumpsuits, dresses, crop tops, among others.
  • Plus: All plus size outfits, lingerie, and sleepwear
  • Shoes such as boots, platforms, and flats
  • Home: Décor, bedding, and kitchen

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  • Accessories, such as hair accessories, scarves, sunglasses, belts, and harnesses.
  • Collabs: Here is where collaborative pieces are displayed, such as collaborations with SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats, Bratz, Scooby Doo, and Rick and Morty.
  • Brands, such as Tripp NYC, Widow, Club Exx, and Generation Kiss.
  • Sale: Here is where you can find the sales section, such as dresses under $15, shoes under $50, and final sale items.

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3. Trend Imitation

Trend imitation involves copying popular styles and current trends without proper credit. Dolls Kill's "What's New" section showcases the latest clothing trends. It has categories for various outfits and accessories.

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For instance, its Halloween collection portrays different dolls styles, such as pleated skirts, Cowgirl costumes, Cake Queen costume set, and Like Whatever costume set.

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Criticisms of Dolls Kill

1. Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation is the practice of using themes and elements from a certain culture for fashion purposes without understanding the significance. This happens when a brand turns a whole race to a commodity, and uses it for business purposes, or attempts to dominate and exploit a culture that is not its own.

For instance, when Dolls Kill commercialized the native American headdress and sold it on its ecommerce site. They issued an official apology that did not sit well with most, as it used expletives in a bid to apologize, reminding critics that the brand is "not for the easily offended norm culture" and that they should "take a chill pill."

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Dolls Kill also drew criticism for attempting to profit from trending topics and cultural movements. During the Black Lives Matter movement, the brand expressed support for police force during peaceful protests.

The brand faced further backlash for selling t-shirts with the slogan "Goth is white," a racially insensitive move. Such actions led to boycotts due to unethical practices and poor ratings, though there remains a market segment drawn to the brand.

2. Art Theft

Unfortunately, Dolls Kill's troubles do not end there. It is known for stealing designs from artists and social media users. For example, a user by the name of beibadgirl shared an Instagram post with a pink bedazzled bank ATM card. Soon enough, this design was incorporated into a new sweatshirt design. In this blatant art theft, the brand did not credit the owner, or show in any attempt that the idea was borrowed.

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3. Environmental Degradation

Like many fast fashion brands, Dolls Kill's environmental impact is concerning. Low-quality materials contribute to resource wastage and pollution. The brand's approach to conservation and use of sustainable materials is unclear.

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Dolls Kill makes no attempt to give a report on how their brand helps to conserve the environment in terms of animal welfare and if they use recycled materials rather than unsustainable materials such as polyester blends. Polyester has been rated as one of the worst fabrics in the market. Even virgin polyester is not recyclable. Fast fashion brands use deadstock materials that are produced in a textile mill due to overproduction or quality issues.

4. Poor Customer Service

Fast fashion brands often lack friendly customer service. Returns can be challenging, and customers are often left with limited options.

5. Supporting Unethical Practices

Dolls Kill is widely connected with rape culture and other degrading practices such as theft and using racist slogans. For instance, the brand once quoted, "Dead girls can't say no" on a graphic t-shirt. This is a direct, low, and disgusting attempt to trivialize sexual abuse. Most people started boycotting Dolls Kill because of such slogans.

Consider this other one: "Social anxiety smells like a list of pre-planned excuses."

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Perhaps the worst promotional line used by any brand (although this is highly subject to opinion), Dolls Kill used this quote to promote its candle line. The whole quote reads something like this, "Soap for social anxiety smells like a list of pre-planned excuses. Are you kidding me? I really did break my glass eye and set the waterbed on fire."

The vexation here is that Dolls Kill attempted to make mental illness something desirable, whereas it is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. The result was immediate backlash and repeated attempts to boycott Dolls Kill in its entirety due to such unethical practices, lack of fair wages, and very poor ratings, but there is a market segment that is appealed to by the brand.

6. Lack of Inclusivity

Most fast fashion brands will be primarily curated for a particular segment of the market, leaving out others, especially when it comes to body image issues. Critics claim that Dolls Kill promotes body shaming practices and lacks inclusivity, particularly regarding body image, and that their outfits run small.


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Despite various criticisms, Dolls Kill boasts a loyal customer base. Its affordability, social media campaigns, and trendy styles appeal to fans. The brand has positioned itself as a major player in the fast fashion industry, although it is not without ethical concerns. But one thing's for sure, Dolls Kill's outfits cannot be confused with sweet, cute outfits for girls.

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jacky chou


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