Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Why I'm Giving up Fast Fashion

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Fast Fashion. It seems to have become such a buzz word at the moment, with documentaries focusing wholly on the concept, but what exactly does it mean? 

Fast fashion is simply a term used by society to describe their clothes which have been inspired by recent trends seen on celebrities and on the runway for an affordable price which the average consumer can afford. It is because of this rapid rate of supply and demand that results in costs being cut which subsequently increase their carbon footprint.

The true reality and gravity of this problem can be put into perspective when you consider that in 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production globally totaled 1.2 billion tonnes of COequivalent, according to a report by the industry-led Circular Fibres Initiative. This is more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. When you start to think of it in these terms, it really is shocking that so much pollution is caused by something which we all use without a moments thought into the impact of production. 

I, like most people my age, absolutely love fashion. I love the freedom that it can give you to express yourself, confirm your identity, conform or rebel. Fashion gives you this opportunity and I absolutely love this about it, but what I don't love is the true cost of that £5 top, made of polyester, which will most likely end up in a landfill because it's no longer 'cool'. I don't love this throw away culture which has manifested itself, with the likes of £1 bikinis existing for people to proudly proclaim they are buying them for the sake of it with no intention of ever actually wearing. 

So, the obvious answer would be to use a sustainable brand, which is known for its ethical values. Easy enough, but when a plain white t-shirt costs around £80, it is difficult, because right now at this stage in my life, I really can't afford or justify that kind of price for a basic t-shirt. I would love to be able to support these companies who are trying to make a difference and have genuine transparency within their brand, but I simply can't. 

So what do you do? Because right now, it feels as though the reality of becoming completely sustainable in all aspects of your life is impossible.But that doesn't mean that there is no hope and that you shouldn't try at all, because there are still many things that you can do. 

Shop Second Hand

This doesn't necessarily mean going to charity shops and trawling through hundreds of items for that one perfect piece, because I know that isn't really for everyone. In 2019 we have so many amazing options when it comes to shopping second hand, there is Depop which is a great way both to make money and save money on what is often current pieces. There is my personal favourite, Vestiaire Collective, which is fantastic for getting second hand designer pieces, some of them never even used! Then there are websites which are simply dedicated to finding high quality vintage pieces, which are one of a kind, for this I recommend Beyond Retro. The prices are fantastic and the sizes and measurements are always so well explained, which is key to shopping vintage! Obviously there are loads more out there but these are just the ones I am aware of and would recommend.

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Buy More Consciously

Now what I mean by this is buying with longevity, quality, and materials in mind. So, if something is made of 100% polyester, in a print that is probably going to be 'uncool' after a month, then you most likely aren't going to wear it more than twice and after that it will either end up at the back of your wardrobe or in a landfill. So maybe before you buy something like this, just check what it is made off, is it a natural fabric, or at least something a bit more sustainable such as Tencel?
Can you think of at least three ways that you can wear this with things that you already own? Because if no, you probably aren't going to actually wear it.

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Buy Less

It is as simple as it sounds. Simply buy less clothes. Before you buy it, just take a moment to think, do you actually need this, will you wear this, and do you even need this? I know that I'm guilty of buying things impulsively without a moments thought whenever I am feeling a bit down, or want to cheer myself up. It doesn't matter whether I genuinely think that I am ever going to wear it, it is often, I see something pretty and want it, then totally forget about it. This is something that I have made a conscious effort to stop doing in the past year, and I genuinely feel better for it. I have managed to make myself wait a moment before impulsively buying and really think through and consider a purchase. I even have a wish list that I relegate an item to for at least a month before I even consider buying it, and you would be shocked at how many of those items you end up not wanting once you have given yourself a chance to think it through.

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Obviously there are so many other ways for you to make a difference when it comes to your consumption of fashion, and some things will work better for you than others and be suitable to your lifestyle. So have a think about yourself and your own consumption of fashion and clothes, and what you can do to make a difference!

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