As much of the world practices social distancing to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the workforce is being split into non-essential workers, those that should stay home to flatten the curve, and essential workers, those on whom we rely for our basic needs. While it seems obvious that major clothing outlets fit into the “non-essential” category, many fast fashion brands (including H&M and Zara) were still open for the majority of March, as the pandemic spread across the globe. Retail workers were on the front lines of a global crisis in the middle of growing confirmed numbers of cases. Now, they’re facing mass layoffs.

While brands like Zara, which announced worldwide store closures on March 18th, has said that they’re joining in the fight against coronavirus, donating masks for health workers, Aja Barber, a writer and consultant focusing on fashion’s…

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