When was the last time you paid attention to how and where your clothing is made? In recent times, there has been a lot of discussion and debate on the negative social and environmental impacts of fast fashion.
From unsafe workplace conditions and criminally low wages to the depletion of non-renewable sources and wastewater pollution, there are numerous downsides to the ultra-quick and cheap processes employed by the fashion industry.
Today, we share 5 expert tips on how every fashionista can stay chic without supporting fast fashion. If you’re looking to minimize your social and environmental impact while maximizing on personal style, simply read on to find out more!
1. Purchase Second Hand
Someone once told us that secondhand shopping is a lot like treasure hunting. You never know what you might come across while browsing at your local thrift store, garage sale, charity shop, or even websites such as eBay Australia.
If you are someone who enjoys shopping often to refresh your wardrobe but isn’t looking to support unethical fast fashion brands, now may be the perfect time to embrace used clothing.
Not only does second-hand shopping divert a significant amount of waste that would otherwise end up in landfill, but you’ll also be able to find affordable high-quality garments that are certain to give fast fashion brands a run for their money.
Moreover, thrift stores all around the world offer unique and vintage styles that you won’t be able to find elsewhere, allowing you to curate a wardrobe that is both eco-conscious and individualistic at the same time.
2. Shop Sustainable Brands
Everyone needs to buy new clothes on occasion, so when you do, focus on purchasing from sustainable brands. Shopping sustainable + ethical brands is a great way to make purchases without contributing to environmental waste or unfair treatment of workers.
Sustainable brands pay attention to every step of the supply chain when producing and selling their garments, from sourcing recycled materials to ensuring that workers are paid fair wages and provided with adequate working conditions.
It may take some time and research to figure out which brands are in line with your personal values, but rest assured that there are many outstanding companies looking to do right by the environment and their employees. If you are unsure about your favorite brand’s values, we highly recommend reaching out to inquire more.
Alternatively, you can look towards resources such as Good On You that offer sustainable and ethical fashion brand ratings at your convenience.
3. Prioritise Quality Over Quantity
We can’t deny that affordable prices are one of the biggest reasons fast fashion has gained such a huge following over the last few years. Unfortunately, low-price tags aren’t always a good thing.
Fast fashion is so cheap because brands and retailers use cheap production methods that don’t protect the environment or their workers. This results in low-quality garments for the consumer that only last a couple of wears due to fast production and cheap materials.
This doesn’t even take into consideration the water pollution and use of toxic chemicals/dyes that have the highest impacts on resource depletion, due to the energy-intensive processes based on fossil fuel energy.
So, what can one do to stay chic without supporting fast fashion? The simple solution is to always prioritize quality over quantity when shopping for clothing and/or accessories.
Instead of purchasing numerous cheaper items, conscious shoppers are always encouraged to invest in high-quality pieces that last a lifetime. And while this may come with higher upfront costs, you are guaranteed to save a ton of money in the long run.
3. Host A Clothing Swap
Sometimes, sharing is the best form of caring. If you are someone who is looking to expand your wardrobe without contributing to fast fashion margins, nothing beats hosting a fun and exciting clothing swap.
Before you order a new outfit for a one-time event, be sure to ask your friends and family members if you can borrow their clothing or if they are interested in swapping a couple of pieces from your wardrobe.
You could even make an event out of it — gather your closest friends and host a dinner, followed by a clothes-swapping slumber party where you can let loose, all whilst adding some fun new pieces to your wardrobe.
This is a great way to inject a few new (to you) additions to your closet, connect with friends and family, and most importantly, keep clothes out of waste streams.
Top Tip: If you can’t think of anyone to exchange clothes with, be sure to look into one of the many online Facebook groups in your area to see if anyone is up for a swap!
4. Go The DIY Route
When was the last time you made something from scratch? If you are someone who loves all things crafty, making your own clothes can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Sewing your own clothes allows you to pick from a wide variety of fabrics, shapes, designs, and textures that are perfectly suited to your individual personality and style.
You’ll be able to design clothing that fits you perfectly, on top of growing new skills and gaining confidence as you sew. What’s more, you’ll be able to cherry-pick sustainable or recycled fabrics that aim to reduce harm through the production process, fiber properties, and/or overall environmental impact.
As an added bonus, when you make your own clothing, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t see anyone else wearing the same thing as you. What’s not to love?
And there you have it — 5 simple and practical ways you can remain stylish without ever having to resort to fast fashion. Is fast fashion a necessity for us to look good and be stylish? The answer to this question is a resounding no!
What are some of your favorite ways to stay chic without supporting the fast fashion industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so don’t forget to share them in the comments section below!
Keep being AllDayChic!