Fast fashion is everywhere. In your local shopping mall, all over your social media, and in your closet. But even with all the research showing how harmful fast fashion is, it can be hard to quit.
How do you quit something that has been the norm for you your whole life?
It can seem like a monster of a task to purge your whole closet and replace it with only sustainable and ethically made clothing. Not to mention the cost that would be associated with this task.
You don’t have to make the change all at once. Do it gradually. Over time, you’ll see your closet turn from a fast fashion nightmare to an ethical dream.
Here are a few tips to help you get started and why you should start today.
Why is Fast Fashion So Bad?
You might be wondering what’s so bad about fast fashion. The list is very long. But one of the main reasons is because of how harmful it is for the planet.
Fast fashion is responsible for 35% of microplastic that flows into the ocean. They are the second-biggest consumer of water and are responsible for 10% of all global emissions. They don’t care about the process that they use to make clothes. All they care about is making profits. And they continue to do it at the cost of the environment.
Not only is their system for making clothes wrong, but they have conditioned society to think that we always need the newest clothes. We always need to be in fashion and that we can’t wear anything from last season. This mindset is causing consumers to continue to shop in fast fashion.
The research found that in 2018, 3 out of 5 garments ended up in landfills. That means that consumers only wear their pieces a few times before they toss them in the trash.
Clothes don’t biodegrade. That means that they stay in the landfill for hundreds of years.
On top of all of this, major fast fashion companies like H&M, Zara, and Lululemon say that their products are eco-friendly when they aren’t. These companies are greenwashing, a.k.a lying.
When companies pretend to care about the environment, it makes consumers think they are helping the environment by shopping there. Instead, they are causing more damage than good.
How You Can Stop Shopping Fast Fashion
Stopping your fast fashion shopping can seem challenging at the beginning. But all you have to do is get the ball rolling. Once you’ve made a few steps towards shopping sustainable fashion, you’ll create momentum, and you won’t ever want to go back to fast fashion.
Here are five tips that will help you no longer spend your hard-earned cash on fast fashion.
And unsubscribe from them in your inbox too.
When you are constantly bombarded by all the new fashion clothes and deals on all platforms, it’s very tempting to click ‘add to cart. And before you know it, you’ve bought a new sweater from a company that doesn’t pay ethical wages and uses harmful materials in their clothing.
Instead, follow sustainable brands and subscribe to their mailing list. This way, when you are tempted to go on a shopping spree, your Instagram feed and inbox will be filled with companies that you trust.
Start with the basics
.Let’s face it, shopping from sustainable companies isn’t as cheap as fast fashion is. That makes it especially tough to want to invest in something that you might not wear often.
Instead, start by investing in basics that you will wear often. Things like a basic t-shirt, undergarments, and jeans are things you’ll probably wear regularly. This way, you will see that the money you spent on these items was worth it.
Care for your clothes so they last longer
Fast fashion clothes aren’t meant to last—that why it’s so easy for them to shrink in the wash or easily tear. The industry has trained us to throw away clothes once they no longer look like they initially did.
That’s how they make their money.
Instead, care for your clothes so that they last longer. This will prevent the clothes from going into the landfill and save you money from buying new clothes every few months.
Caring for clothes can look like sewing up any tears, folding them properly, and only washing when needed. Doing this will keep your clothes looking brand new.
Shop second hand
No longer shopping fast fashion doesn’t mean that you can only invest in sustainable companies. That can get expensive really fast.
Instead, go thrifting and shop second-hand to save some money. This way, you can still get some fashionable clothing without breaking the bank.
You can go to your local thrift store for a shopping spree. Or you can do this online with reselling apps. Apps like Thread Up, Poshmark, and Depop are top-rated. You can find some excellent brand-name clothing for cheap on these apps if you search.
By shopping second-hand, you are giving clothes a new life. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
You can also use these apps to sell your clothes. This way, you’ll be giving your old clothes a new life while making a bit of extra cash. It’s a win-win.
Swap with friends and family
Instead of buying new clothes for every event, you can swap with friends and family. You both have clothes that you no longer want, which I’m sure your friends would love to have.
Instead of tossing your clothes out, have a clothing swap with friends and family. Everyone brings their old clothes that they no longer want and you all swap clothes. This is a great way to connect with friends while also giving your clothes a new life.
Ending Fast Fashion Doesn’t Have to be Hard
There are so many ways to help end fast fashion. It all starts with the decision to spend your money on companies that you respect.
Although you won’t go from a closet filled with fast fashion to an ethical wardrobe overnight, you’ll see new pieces come in and be proud of where you got them from. Whether you saved money by thrifting, invested in good quality basics, or swapped clothes with your loved ones, your new closet will be much better for you and the environment.
About the Guest Author:
Youmna Rab is the author and blogger at Sustainably-Yours.com. She has a passion for helping the environment and living sustainably. She loves teaching her friends, family, and readers how they can help the environment too. When she’s not blogging, you can find her curled up on a couch reading.