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𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐲 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐈’𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬! 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭, 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐈’𝐯𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐚𝐲-𝐭𝐨-𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 , 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 #𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐫 #𝐒𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐅𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐨𝐧! 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞!
A few months ago an old friend reached out to me and shared an interesting topic with me:
It’s something I have always been aware of, but have never spoken about on my platforms – and that’s now changing! She told me about the protests that have happened in Manchester recently and even recommended that I watch “Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion’s Dirty Secrets”. I’ve watched a few short videos that are available on YouTube because it’s not currently available on BBC iPlayer, but I’m still on the look out for the full documentary! The short videos on YouTube revealed more than enough secrets about fast fashion and how detrimental it is to the environment that had me shocked to my core!
Becoming vsustainable has become a huge part of everyday life and rightly so! Fast fashion is something that largely impacts the environment and people need to start making a conscious effort to be more Eco-friendly. There have been times in the past where I would buy clothing, throw it in my wardrobe to never been seen again. The past couple of months I’ve been working really hard to becoming more sustainable, in more ways than one, however, one thing I highly focus on is my wardrobe. From being in the blogging industry, there can be a lot of pressure to wear up to date clothing and wearing on trend pieces. However, I’m here to give you some tips on how to make more sustainable wardrobe choices!
The fashion industry has one of the biggest impacts on climate change and the environment. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s only second behind the oil industry in terms of impacting the environment! Here are some numbers for you:
- The UK has the highest consumption of new fast fashion clothing per year: 26,7kg per person.
- 235 million items of clothing sent to landfill last year alone.
- 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions produced by global fashion industry per year.
- The main fabric (65%) used in clothing today is polyester, which is a synthetically manufactured fabric (made out of oil).
These are huge numbers and are rather scary. However, they can be brought down quickly IF we learn to shop and see fashion differently!
SO WHAT IS FAST FASHION?
Here’s a quick introduction for anyone who doesn’t understand what it is: according to Google, the term ‘FAST FASHION’ refers to:
“inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends”,
Basically fast fashion is the industry where new, trendy clothes are made cheaply and quickly, involving child labour, a lot of clothes waste and a lot of pollution. And I think “influencers” are a big part of that demand. How often is it that when you’re scrolling through Instagram or even watching stories, that you see a ‘try-on’ video or a haul? I would say I see it more often than ever before!! The majority of these posts and stories on Instagram are also from “influencers” who usually have a discount code to share! And of course who are they working with.. fast fashions brands such as BooHoo, Nasty Gal, Pretty Little Thing!
Obviously, there’s so much more to fast fashion, and today I’m going to be talking about ways YOU can make fashion sustainable! (For the basis of the topic, sustainable fashion means: a reusable product designed to continue past its use-by date! It also means less buying and hence, less spending.)
EXAMPLES OF FAST FASHION COMPANIES
- Nasty Gal
- Pretty Little Thing
- Victoria’s Secret
- New Look
- Urban Outfitters
You may think that you’re saving a lot buying super cheap clothes but I’m sure you’re aware of the saying: “What goes around, comes around”. You’ll pay the price for fast fashion eventually…In fact, we’re paying it right now! At the end of the day, what is the cost of a human life? Is it really £5? Surely none of us are that cold-hearted? But that’s what fast fashion is and for us to be able to get £5 T-shirts, someone somewhere has to suffer.
The fast fashion industry is fuelled by the underpaid work of POC, and according to Fairtrade, 1 in 6 people on the planet work in the clothing industry with a wage of $2 a day. 80% of them are women. So, there’s an even more serious question here: can you be a feminist if you support this exploiting industry by buying fast fashion? But that’s a discussion for another time.
I haven’t even stressed on the amount of harm the fashion industry has been providing on our environment, it is a massive producer of terrifying plastic and other trash. Raw and virgin material like cotton and wool are becoming scarce just like other natural resources. These materials are the one which can be recycled and decomposed. As the industry wakes up to the issue and proceeds to tackle it. This is not possible from one end only, we need to make changes in how we all shop and dispose of clothes. We need clever ways of recycling, returning and decomposing old one and creating a less fatal way of producing new ones!
How To Make More Sustainable Wardrobe Choices:
DON’T JUST JUMP INTO TRENDS
When it comes to fashion, slow fashion or fast fleeting styles, whether affordable or not, both are made in the same way. In fact, the same material and the same sets of hands are making them both, going through the same procedure! So, go for brands whose fabrics are eco-friendly, don’t just jump into trends, invest in pieces which you know you can utilise in the longer run! Buy fabrics which are recyclable and reusable. This will also save you from making a hole in your wallet every time you go to shop!
DONATE / SELL YOUR UNWANTED CLOTHES
It is understandable that not all of us can use a clothing item for a longer period, maybe it’s not suitable for work, doesn’t fit anymore, or simply, you just don’t like it, and that is totally fine! Everyone has their own personal likes, dislikes and way of thinking. Now, every single one of us hates to throw things away at ease, we usually hold onto things for really long unless we’re really not done with them! I used to be the exact same, I would keep my clothes that DON’T fit me to ‘motivate me’ to lose weight and fit into them and it was taking up a lot of room in my wardrobe!! I started to accept that I’m not made to fit clothes, clothes are made to fit me! With this mindset, I managed to sell most of my unworn clothing on Depop over the years – and I still continue to do so, that way someone else can benefit from it!
So if you find that you don’t wear your old clothing, you can simply donate or sell them, and don’t worry if you are not really familiar with how to buy and sell online, there are several websites and apps like Depop and Ebay which can help you that, they will do the business part for you and provide you with a platform, all you have to do is just put up a picture of your item and price as per your liking along with some details e.g. size and brand! This way it could be bought and used by someone who needs it!
BUY SECOND HAND / THRIFTING
Over the past few years or so, “thrifting” has become immensely popular! It basically refers to buying from charity or second-hand shops for fashion, room decor and more. It’s become really popular, which is so good for the environment as a lot more people are buying second hand than buying from fast fashion retailers! I personally love shopping for clothes second hand – some of my most worn and staple items are ones I’ve bought from thrift shops! I used to thrift a lot when I was at college/university, and I’ve found some great finds over the last few years! I love the feeling of excitement when I find a piece that I adore at a low price (£3 for example) and it is really exciting when I know it has come from a well-known brand, like ZARA. I know a lot of people who visit vintage fairs and hit the jackpot and find some gems for a fraction of the price brand new! It’s not just clothing you can get from charity shops, you can also get some vintage jewellery, shoes, books which could be brand new at a fraction of the price!
For some people, thrifting and buying second hand just isn’t for them, or they prefer shopping with more variety and choice, and buying from sustainable brands is the perfect choice for that! There are many sustainable brands out there, and also brands who have specific ethical ranges or campaigns! Some of these brands are Patagonia, Levi’s, and Reformation! H&M and Primark are also taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint with the production of their clothes and other products. I think this is a perfect alternative to shopping first hand without the negative environmental impact!
LESS IS MORE
In terms of a lot of things, less is more, this also goes towards clothing! I would much rather buy one dress I am in love with rather than purchase 5 dresses that I may forget about and never wear! I have tried to spend a bit more on clothing that I know I will get a lot of wear out of. This means that I have a very minimal wardrobe, however, I wear all the pieces all the time and they are all essentials in my wardrobe!
REPAIR, REDESIGN, AND REUSE
The clothes we used to love a lot, now remains unworn at the back of our wardrobe due to some minor damage or ill-fitting for a long time, and in today’s age, where the environment is polluted so badly with the fashion pollutants and wastes, looking after our clothes and making them last for a bit longer is a small yet satisfying change we all could make! Something I’ve been seeing a lot around Instagram and on online stores are DIY clothing, especially tie dye!
If you don’t like the fit of an old t-shirt, maybe you could try cropping it? I know I’ve done that quite a few times!
If you have some jeans that don’t fit right? They may fit better if you cut them into shorts!
If you have some spare tee’s, you could get some tie dye and dye your clothing to give them a new summer look!
One of the big reasons behind fast fashion’s popularity is this weird culture of not wearing the same item multiple times. But what if instead of tossing the product after an average of 7 wears, you just restyle it? With belts, scarves, shoes, jewellery or even something as simple as make-up or hairstyle, you can give a new lease of life to an outfit!
LIMIT YOUR SPENDING
If all that wasn’t enough for you, why not just limit the amount of clothes you buy? Instead of buying latest releases from clothes brands you like wearing clothes from, I would recommend instead only buying things that you can wear with several outfits! Before buying a top or any piece of clothing ask yourself:
Is this something I can see myself wearing on several different occasions?
Do I really NEED this or do I just WANT it?
Will I be able to dress it up for formal events, or even dress it down for informal events?
You can even try and limit yourself to only buying clothes that have a similar colour palette and centre the majority of your clothes around those colours. For example, white and black go with a lot of colours and items of clothing, whereas red or yellow don’t! Try and stop yourself from buying something that won’t go with the rest of your wardrobe!
Those are my tips for making more sustainable wardrobe choices, I hope this inspired you a little to start taking an interest in sustainable fashion and be a little bit more conscious of your impact on the environment regarding fashion! These steps might be very small in front of the existing condition, but if every one of us takes these very few steps, it will make a HUGE difference, and we all know it’s better to start late than never!
I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post, don’t forget to like and follow my blog! 💗
Are you going to join me in becoming more eco-friendly and help minimise Fast Fashion? Talk to me in the comments below! 🥰
This blog is NOT sponsored and all opinions are my own.
Thank you Ameerah for reaching out to me and making me aware of the detrimental impact of Fast Fashion – you’ve inspired me to create this little series!