Why is fast fashion bAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
Fast Fashion is the outcome of an industry trying to meet ever-changing demand at affordable prices. To do this they often cut corners. These corners tend to lead to poor conditions for workers, hugely wasteful production and a big ol’ carbon footprint. [*cough*primark*cough*]
Fast fashion has a huge impact on the environment. In production a lot of water, toxins and fossil fuels are used and that’s just one side of the coin. These garments aren’t made to last, they go out of fashion as quickly as they came in, so physically they are not made to last. Unsurprisingly, thousands of clothes end up in landfill and because they’re mostly made of cheap plastic
What is slow fashion then?
The opposite of fast fashion, slow fashion, is sustainable and at it’s core there are three key elements: ethical, eco and lasting.
How do you build a sustainable wardrobe?
Now you know why it’s important to avoid fast fashion, but what practical steps can you take to slow down your wardrobe? Based on my personal experience there are three main steps: change your shopping habits, make the most out of your current wardrobe and get rid of your old clothes properly.
Today we’re going to look at sustainable shopping. Nothing lasts forever, as much as we would love it to, sometimes our trusty pair of jeans are beyond repair. Fear not, there are ways to replenish your wardrobe without hurting the planet!
Buy clothes made of sustainable materials
As we said earlier, sustainable materials are ethical, eco-friendly and durable so always check the label inside clothes before you buy. For reference, Curiously Conscious has put together this great list of sustainable fabrics and what materials to avoid when shopping sustainably:
- Organic Cotton
- Peace silk
- Wool & cashmere
- Recycled plastics
Materials to Avoid
- Elastane (aka
- Spandex or Lycra)
Pigments by Liv Tees and Baby Tops are both made of 100% organic cotton, so no nasty pesticides and a lot less water is used manufacturing. Meaning a low environmental impact, durability as well as style. Meanwhile the sweatshirts are a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester, making them equally sustainable
See clothes as a long-term investment
I am awful at this; I am so stingy but I am trying to learn. Sustainable clothes often have a higher price tag because they’re made of higher-quality materials. My friend’s advice was to process the price as cost per wear. That way the price much more justifiable.
High-quality materials last longer, so in the long-term you be saving money on your purchases. I went through three pairs of Black River Island Skinny Jeans, costing £40 each, before I sucked it up and bought a more expensive pair of Levi’s. The Levi’s are still going strong!
Grab a second-hand bagain!
I always see tonnes of Americans going “thrifting” on YouTube, so I guess our equivalent is hunting through Charity Shops. I really don’t see what’s so wrong with charity shops. The clothes are inexpensive, no new materials are made, and your money goes towards a good cause.
Sometimes it is a real hunt, but that’s the thrill of the chase. I love a loud shirt, so for me Charity Shops are like a treasure chest!
Stick to your colour scheme
Have you ever ended up in the paradox where you brought a new item of clothing, then end up buying even more items because nothing you currently own goes with your original purchase? I have been there; I fell head over heels for a stripy rainbow pair of culottes but had nothing to wear them with.
Naughty, I know.
One way to avoid this, is to shop within your wardrobe’s colour palette. By doing so, new items will always match with your current clothes. Don’t know what your colour palette is? Take a few moments to organise your wardrobe by colour e.g. white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, black. You’ll quickly see which colours you naturally drift towards to.
For example, I have no yellow or orange clothes in my wardrobe – at a push the closest I get is a gold pattern or beige colour, so I’ll stay well clear of yellows in the shops. However, I do have a lot of greens, so I’ll always gravitate towards a khaki!
Be wary of passing fads
Fashion is literally about trends. Until I settled into my own style at university, I only kept pace with these trends because I didn’t know what I really liked. Be wary of these trends because they’ll come and go very quickly and leave your wardrobe redundant.
My last tip on how to build a sustainable wardrobe is to be weary of these trends. One way to buy on-trend clothes that won’t go out of fashion is buy clothes with small “on-trend” details, this way they’ll still look stylish when the trend ends.
Currently, neon is a making a comeback from the 90s. Rather than buying fluorescent yellow cycling shorts, I found a pair of plain black cycling shorts with small neon stitching on Depop. I’ll be wearing these long after neon fades away – it’s all in the details!
‘Til next time!
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