I know that it’s hard to keep wearing your clothes for a longer period with the same love you did when you wore it for the first time. I also know how tempted you are when you see all these new stylish garments in the showcases. New trends inspired by the catwalks are coming out every week! Moreover, fashion bloggers and influencers are churning out their new outfits so intensely, that you feel “out of trend” if you haven’t shopped for two weeks. The goal of fast fashion is for consumers to buy as many garments as possible, as quickly as possible. This doesn’t seem to me like a sustainable lifestyle, so some time ago, I changed my mindset about shopping clothes. I also stopped being completely blind to the ugly truths of the fast fashion industry.
Things that fast fashion industry doesn’t want you to think about
So how are the popular clothing brands able to mass produce their products so swiftly? They use sweatshop labor in Bangladesh, Vietnam and other developing countries. In these factories, mostly women and children work hard long working hours for less than $3 per day in horrific and dangerous conditions. I’m sure you’re already aware of that, but in case you’d like to find out more details, you can spend hours here. Another truth is that fast fashion is a disaster for our planet. Negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste makes fashion one of the dirtiest industries in the world. Clever campaigns of some popular brands make us think that they are OK and even doing good in the world. But as long as they’re still selling clothes as cheaply and as quickly as they are, these “green” initiatives aren’t going to make a difference. But it’s all about the profit, my friends, that’s the deal breaker.
The change starts with you
Well, we can’t expect these fast fashion giants to change their business model. What we can do however, is to start with ourselves and change our shopping model! It’s tough to make big changes overnight, but we can be more mindful and minimize our excessive consumption patterns. So, how to start? First of all clean your wardrobe and I’m sure you will realize you have a lot more things to wear than you thought. When you go shopping, prefer quality over quantity. What I’ve learned during the last years I’ve been sewing is to be really picky about the fabric quality and its composition. Check how the garment is sewn, you can see that some clothing is just garbage designed to fall apart after one wash. Stop with the impulsive shopping. Buy only clothes you are 100% sure about and you know you’re gonna wear it for a long time. Also, it’s always a good thing to support local brands and designers who manufacture or handcraft their products with care and love.
Finding an ethical way to shop fast fashion brands is tough, but when we buy clothes more responsibly, we send market signals to change the system for good. The more demand for sustainable clothing we generate as consumers, the more supply there will be. So let’s start treating our wardrobe consciously! Will you join me?