Why Fast Fashion Is So Hard To Quit
There is only one item of clothing in my wardrobe that is from a sustainable brand and considering how much I care about the state of the planet that horrifies me. The rest of my albeit small wardrobe is all from fast fashion brands and we all now know thanks to Stacey Dooley how terrible that is for the world and I know that so many of us are trying to contribute less to that industry. I was absolutely clueless to the effects that fast fashion was having on the world and the facts are hard to ignore. That doesn’t mean it’s that easy though so I thought I’d share my thoughts on why shopping sustainably isn't as easy as we might like to think.
You can’t even go into a supermarket now without seeing rails of clothes in front of you, long gone are the days where you had to make a special trip somewhere to buy something. Not only is it all around us when we’re out but online shopping is a thriving industry and it’s predicted by 2021 we’ll spend $4.8 trillion dollars online. As a female something that I’ve been taught from a young age is that shopping and spending money is something you do to celebrate and it’s a form of self-care. And it wasn’t until I noticed that I had a seriously unhealthy relationship with the entire thing did I examine my own behaviour when it came to purchasing material things. Taking myself out of the shopping culture was hard, it’s seriously addictive and it’s not until you take a step back do you realise how much we’re constantly advertised to and told to spend our money.
it’s trend led
Although I wholeheartedly want to support more sustainable brands something I find myself struggling with is that they're not always to my style or remotely on trend. Which isn’t a bad thing at all as that’s what usually makes those brands and clothing pieces timeless but for so many people style is a huge part of their lives and they look for those trend pieces. I stopped seriously following trends along the same time as I removed myself from shopping culture and doing that not only helped my bank balance but it helped me discover my own personal style. Ask myself what I wanted to wear opposed to being told what I should be wearing. Of course, there is no denying that some of my purchases are influenced by others (mostly bloggers) but I no longer feel like if I don’t buy something then I won’t look good enough in the clothes I already own which is something I felt a lot before.
it’s affordable & often the only option
Possibly one of the biggest things that pushes people towards fast fashion is that it’s affordable and so many of us can only shop from those brands. I know I certainly got afford to buy every single clothing piece I own from sustainable brands and it’s a huge privilege to be able to. Shopping second hand (charity shops, eBay and Depop) can also be a really affordable way of purchasing new things but it doesn’t mean you’re always going to be able to find something specific that you might need. Even now, I only purchase something new every few months and I can’t afford not to shop from fast fashion brands as much as I might like but I think it's what we do with the items we do buy are what can help make a huge difference. Also, whenever I do a big clear out of what I own and examine my wardrobe and wearing habits I try and make sure I can sell on anything that I can on eBay so something I might not love anymore gets a second chance rather than discarding it.
it’s not the worst thing in the world if you’re going to get a good amount of use out of an item
I know that fast fashion is realistically never going to be something that I’m going to be able to cut out of my life entirely but something I can do is shop a lot less and make sure I get a serious amount of use out of the pieces I do own as by buying less still helps the environment a huge amount. I truly believe that buying clothes mindlessly isn’t good for anyone and it’s destroying our world so if we can make the demand less than that is what is important. It’s not fair to shame anybody for purchasing from fast fashion stores but we can probably all be a little smarter with our purchases and how long we get out of something rather than only wearing something once and that’s it, never to be seen again. It baffles me that there is now such a trend to wear something again when that’s the point of clothes, they’re not a single use commodity for us to throw to the side once it's been seen on Instagram whether it’s from a fast fashion brand or not.
how I’m trying to do my part
Making sure the new item fits in well with the rest of my clothes.
Not purchasing anything too similar to anything else I own.
Trying to purchase timeless items over super trendy ones.
Writing a list of the things that I want to purchase and stick to that list, avoiding rushed and impulse purchases as that usually ends in regret.
Searching on eBay for Depop before purchasing something new.
Checking the washing instructions of something if possible.