By Walt Hickey Returns The value of online shopping returns in the United States has doubled each of the past three years, rising from $41 billion in 2019 to $102 billion in 2020 to $218 billion as of 2021. This is an issue in clothing: Last year returns of fast fashion clothing jumped by 22 percent compared to the prior year. While other goods can be resold, or bumped down to wholesalers, fast fashion’s economics are already rough on the margins. While the tax exemptions in bulk shipping help clothes get into the U.S., those disappear when it comes to getting returns out of the country. Factor in the cost of some shipping routes shooting upward, and you’re looking at lots more clothes getting piled up in the supply chain or trashed than you’d prefer.