I quit fast fashion a few years ago as I learned more about where my clothes came from and who made them. It is a difficult journey to get past old habits, but if I did it you can too! Many more people before us have been quitting fast fashion for good.
Slow, fair, ethical, eco-friendly and cruelty-free fashion is the alternative. Join the movement! With a few tips you will find in this guide, you can have an environmentally friendly approach to buying clothes.
Buying clothing made from sustainable materials, shopping second hand, buying less and higher quality are a few things you can do to lower the fashion industry's impact on the environment.
What is fast fashion exactly?
Fast fashion is not sustainable. It focuses on producing lots of trendy clothing very rapidly and offering it to the consumer at a low price. It became very popular because it is practical and answer the need for new stylish outfits inspired by fashion shows at an affordable price.
Fast fashion is not ethical or fair. It doesn't take into consideration its impact on the planet, the farmers, the workers, and the animals. It is responsible for huge textile waste, toxic chemicals, high rate of resource extraction, overproduction, greenhouse gas emissions and pollution of land, water and air.
How to quit fast fashion
Our society is consuming more and more at an alarming rate faster than ever before. This is not sustainable. We have to act to make sure the fashion industry reduces its carbon footprint and its damage to soil and biodiversity.
Here are a few tips to help you quit fast fashion for good:
- Learn about fast fashion. Being well informed on the impact fashion has on the people and the planet increases your will to change. When you get a picture of what you are contributing to, you are most likely going to think twice about buying fast fashion again.
- Look for ethical clothing. There are plenty of great brands and retailers offering responsible fashion at an affordable price. You just have to change your old shopping habits. Begin by doing some research on the upcoming and established brands that are also eco-friendly. You will have a better idea of what is available and can make an informed purchase decision.
- Take good care of your closet. If you handle your wardrobe responsibly, the clothes you already have will last you longer. Make sure to check the care labels or ask the brands what is the best way to take care of your garments.
- Donate the clothes you don't wear anymore. Don't trash the clothes you can't wear or those that went out of style. Be sure to re-purpose, recycle, sell or donate them to friends or charity. Then they won't end up in landfills or incinerated.
- Buy second-hand fashion or rent. Going to thrift stores, vintage stores, or second-hand retailers is a good option. You can also rent your clothes! This is a perfect solution to be able to change your outfits quite often in exchange for a monthly fee.
- Look at your clothes as an investment. Pick high-quality classic pieces that you can wear for longer and combine easily. Trendy clothes go out of style quickly and the cheaper they are, the more disposable as well.
- Learn about materials and fabrics. If you know your fabrics well, you can then easily identify when a piece of clothing is sustainable or not. You are less likely to make a mistake when shopping for your next outfit.
- Buying less and higher quality. Garments with a longer lifespan are a good thing. Look for materials that are durable and versatile pieces that you can style easily. It is difficult to resist the urge of buying new clothes. When you are out shopping, keep the sustainability aspects in mind. Invest in pieces that are eco-friendly.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.