Let's Talk; Fast Fashion & Why We Need To Make A Change

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Much like most bloggers and online humans I recently watched Stacey Dooley’s documentary on the world of fast fashion and just like everyone else, I was horrified. Although I’ve worked really hard on changing my shopping habits over the past few years and been vocal about that online. I never realised just how much of an effect the world of fast fashion was having on the planet. And although there has been an abundance of posts on the subject lately, it’s something we need to talk about so here is my take on the world of fast fashion and an open conversation on the subject.

EDUCATION IS KEY

If you’ve not watched the Stacey Dooley documentary (BBC Iplayer), please, please give it a watch as it’s one of the best things that I’ve ever seen. Another couple of documentaries that are along the same lines is The True Cost and the Minimalism documentary which are both on Netflix. I think so often when we watch things online or on TV that is shocking then it’s easy to get so scared you feel helpless but the Stacey Dooley documentary really helps bring it back to reality I think. I had no idea about half of the things that were going on. We are all probably privy to the conditions of the factories that our clothes are made in but what about the materials that are clothes are produced from? Maybe it was just ignorant of me but it's hard to believe just how much of an effect they're having.

cheap clothes are the only option for some

Although I was absolutely mortified about how fast fashion and cheap clothes are made. It’s completely ignorant to act like that isn’t the only option for some out there and it’s not fair to demonise them for buying them. For me, what I took away from the documentary is that it’s the sheer amount of clothes we are purchasing and what is being wasted and that is so problematic. Shopping is sold to us as an act of self-care, especially as a woman shopping it's something that is marketed to me and it is something that I take great joy from. Purchasing something with your hard earned cash that makes you feel incredible I don’t believe is an awful thing but we need to be aware of what we're buying. I know that I cannot afford to always shop sustainably, it’s simply not in my budget but I know that I can make the steps to make sure that I never buy something that I know I won’t get at least a years worth of wear. And when something is going unworn in my wardrobe it can be sold on to someone else, that way someone else is giving an item a new home and the item wasn’t a wasteful purchase.

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WHERE ONLINE INFLUENCERS PLAY A PART

The phrase influencer makes me recoil and I completely reject the idea that we’re all shopping obsessed and the only talent we have is showing off something new. Because we’re not, but it’s ignorant not to admit that for a lot of online humans one of their main incomes is affiliate links and therefore shopping to find out what’s new and sharing that with their audience. And it’s not fair to judge anyone for doing that but I think there is a responsibility to be held with what constant shopping and buying from fast fashion stores multiple times a month, sometimes even a week is doing to our world. I’ve spoken so many times how odd I find it to be shown a stream of declutters and hauls and let’s not forget ever showing the same thing twice. So now I don't tend to follow people who do that as it's not something I find I can relate to in any way. Although no-one asked for the responsibility of an audience it’s not something that can be ignored, and there are so many things we can to raise awareness of how we can be a little bit kinder to our planet through our shopping habits. Some of the things I’d love to see more of online are;

  • Showing the same item more than once and not making a big deal out of it.

  • Sharing the items that have been worth the investment and have lasted.

  • How to shop well on a budget.

  • How to get the most out of your clothes and styling videos surrounding one item.

ENCOURAGING OTHERS

There is a lot of chatter online about living more sustainably and taking into consideration what we’re doing to the planet, and rightly so because we simply cannot bury our heads in the sand any longer But to make people aware of what their actions are doing to the planet doing so in a kind and understanding matter goes much further than shouting at people and I think that’s what we all need right now. We all need to feel encouraged to change lifelong habits and how to make new habits stick. As well as being kind we also need to be aware of the amount of privilege that comes with a low waste and impact lifestyle as it’s simply not something that everyone can have right now. It’s not a one size fits all approach sadly and if everyone just does what they can that still has serious repercussions and that needs to be encouraged more.

HOW I’M TRYING TO continue to CHANGE MY SHOPPING HABITS

It was when I watched the Minimalism documentary a couple of years ago that I really took a look at my shopping habits and my relationship with material items. I’ve spoken before about my horrible relationship with money and how I used to be an emotional shopper and having such a bad relationship with items has certainly shown me that constantly shopping does not equal happiness. Having a bunch of things hanging around that I’m not using only caused me more stress. Over the past couple of years I’ve made small changes gradually and now my attitude couldn’t be more different from what it once was. I don’t rely on the items to make me happy and I don’t crave shopping to fill a void in my life and when I do purchase things they’re really well considered and things that I know will be long-term residents in my wardrobe. Which means saving up and holding off from those items that I see across a shop that hit me with a pang of desire but deep down I know I won't get loads of use from. Here is everything that now goes through my head when it comes to a purchase;

  • Can I actually afford this?

  • What else can I wear this item with, if I can’t think of at least 3 other items then it won’t be purchased.

  • Will it last, a tough question but an important one.

  • Is it practical?

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have you changed your shopping habits lately?

Rebecca WarrinerLifestyle