by Dana Andersen.
Wed 29 Apr 2020 23:43
As awareness of what fast fashion is, and how it damages our planet, becomes more widespread, people are increasingly looking for ways to avoid partaking. The additional knowledge of how it affects those who make the clothes, and those who live near by through poor work conditions, and pollution, is enough to put anyone off buying cheap, quickly made clothing.
It can be difficult to know where to start though, with brands like H&M launching ‘sustainable’ ranges, online adds bombarding us with what we should purchase next, and more fast fashion brands seeming to pop up everyday.
The easiest place to start is the most obvious really, shopping second hand. Charity shops are always fun for a rifle, a good bargain, and not partaking in the fast fashion market. Often times its even possible to find the same trendy, fast fashion brands that you’d find on the high street, with a lower price tag, and without giving the company your money.
If charity shops aren’t your cup of tea, sites like Depop and Ebay provide the same experience without leaving the comfort of your home. Current fashion so often replicates what we’ve seen in prior decades, a vintage shirt from the 80’s or 90’s is almost more fashionable now than the cheap, polyester items being sold new.
Second hand still isn’t for everyone though, so what do you do while looking for something new? Ethical, sustainable brands are popping up much more frequently now, but its important to do your research. When thinking of buying from a brand that claims to be sustainable, you should be able to find out what materials they use, how they’re sourced and dyed, who makes the clothes, and where the clothes are made.
Many companies provide that information openly, but if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, maybe its time to turn to hand make items. Online sites like Etsy are filled with people who hand make unique, sustainable pieces. Going this route is great for supporting independent businesses or makers, at the same time as boycotting the big brands. Local tailors also sometimes offer clothing hand made to measure, a perfect way to help your local economy while also getting exactly what you want.
Sometimes though, its impossible to find a piece you’re looking for by going down those channels. Thats when the time comes to give in, but buy a higher quality piece. Jeans from Primark always sound like a good bargain, but how long are they really going to last? Buying jeans from a more expensive brand, likely to last for much longer, is a much more sustainable and ethical decision to make.
It’s not always possible to steer totally clear of fast fashion, especially if you’re interested in fashion and style, but if everyone was making small changes, and thinking more about how they shop, the changes could be huge. The pollution and human detriment created by fast fashion already exists, but we don’t need to help it get worse.