7 Ways To Fight Fast Fashion and Stay Stylish
Fast fashion is among the worst industries for waste and poor employee treatment. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can work to promote sustainable fashion options—you may be doing a few already! From buying secondhand clothes to paying attention to labels and quality, read on to learn seven ways to fight fast fashion and stay stylish.
What Is Fast Fashion?
Before we discuss how to fight fast fashion, it’s crucial to understand what you’re fighting against. Fast fashion is a catchy way to label all the quick and cheap processes that the fashion industry uses to pump out clothing while keeping costs down. These processes are harmful, both to the environment and workers’ livelihoods.
The very nature of the fashion industry encourages staying in the know about new trends, purchasing clothes quickly, and discarding things that are out of style. This leads to tons of clothing piling up in landfills. Even the materials used by the industry are contrary to sustainability. Polyester, for example, is made from plastic that can’t fully decompose. No matter how long polyester clothing sits in a landfill, it will never deteriorate and will continue to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Shop From Sustainable Fashion Brands
So, what can you do about fast fashion? First, put your money where your mouth is. Look up your favorite brands and see if they’re committed to sustainable and ethical business practices. If you look up Chanel and don’t see any information about a visible commitment to paying their workers fair wages, that’s probably not a good sign.
Brands want to publicize their sustainability, so a lack of information is a glaring red flag. Check out the mission statement and values of a brand before you buy so that you know you’re supporting the right people.
Donate or Sell Used Clothing
It’s all too easy to throw away a pair of jeans that haven’t fit for years, but this contributes to the mass of clothing that’s clogging up landfills worldwide. Instead, give your clothes a second life by donating them to a local thrift store or selling them online. Redistributing outfits is one of the most significant things you can do to combat fast fashion.
However, throwing away clothing isn’t always bad—sometimes, a well-loved top is beyond repair. Before you donate anything, make sure it’s washed and in reasonably good condition.
Buy Secondhand Clothes
The other side of donating clothing is buying donated clothing. Shopping at thrift stores is excellent for many reasons, from helping local businesses to refreshing your wardrobe to keeping outfits out of the dump. If you’re a cultivator of unique looks, a thrift store is the perfect place for you. There are so many vintage styles to find at secondhand shops, and they’re generally available at great prices!
Take your friends along and make a day of it—if you find a piece that you’re not sure about, consider buying it just to try! Remember, there’s no rule that says you can’t turn around and donate it again if it doesn’t work for you.
Buy Less Often
The fashion industry thrives on quick, frequent purchases—that’s why the “in” look is always changing. But true happiness doesn’t come from owning the newest thing. It comes from finding the perfect style for you and sticking to it.
Instead of living in a constant state of fashion turmoil, figure out what type of look works for you. Is it jeans and a blazer? A skirt and a nice blouse? A flowy dress? Once you know what you love, it’s easy to build a wardrobe with that vibe in mind.
Buy High Quality
Remember, we aren’t saying that you need to pick one outfit and wear it every day. But if you know you look good in jeans, think about ways to make several outfits with a pair of jeans as the base. You can, of course, still have dresses and skirts and leggings, but maybe you could have a few reliable, high-quality options for those pieces instead of tons of cheap ones.
Looking for high-quality clothing will also help you avoid purchasing clothing more often. Cheap clothes are made to break down quickly so that you buy more. When you’re shopping in-store, gently pull at the seams of a garment. If you can see them starting to tear after a light tug, run the other way. You want sturdy stitches and durable fabric.
There are plenty of brands known for producing high-quality work, and Lucky brand jeans are among them. Jeans are a tricky thing to get right, and many people are put off by the higher prices. However, once you get a great pair of jeans, you’ll never look back.
Patch Up or Repurpose Old Clothing
We’ve all worn our favorite shirt one too many times, causing it to become nearly unwearable. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, there’s no reason you can’t sew it up and make it wearable again!
However, even if you aren’t particularly gifted with a sewing needle, clothes aren’t always useless when they can’t be worn. You can turn old tee-shirts into cleaning cloths, and you can use scraps of fabric for any number of arts and crafts.
Log Your Purchases
Finally, consider keeping a list of all your clothing purchases (especially impulse buys). You can even list how you were feeling and why you made the purchase, as well as the item and price. Look at this list at the end of a month and note any patterns. Did you make impulse purchases at the same shops? Is there a certain mood that correlates to a lot of spending?
If you see a pattern that you can change for the better, do it! This can help keep your spending in check and help the planet.
Now that you know these seven ways to fight fast fashion and stay stylish, head to a thrift store. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can look good and feel great while doing it!