Over the past few years, fast fashion has gained popularity and the sub-industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. The hyperfast news cycle combined with the rise of social media has caused trends to become much shorter. Now, a fashion trend that would’ve lasted years, may only last a month or so. With so many of these new styles coming and going in such a short amount of time, many companies have started to embrace this pattern in order to maximize profits, and thrive off of this heavily unsteady, and harmful market.
Regrettably, the fashion industry is the second highest polluting industry in the world and these overnight trends are only amplifying the negative impacts caused by the industry. By moving into fast fashion, these high-profiting fashion distributors have left the responsibility of maintaining the environment completely in the hands of the consumers.
Lately, more people have started participating in the sustainability movement, with the notion that your wardrobe can make a huge difference in saving our planet. Although large online retailers play a role on the environment, you can take a stand and start shopping consciously to build a better tomorrow for the environment.
Explore Second-Hand Options
In recent years, thrifting has become extremely popular within the fashion community. Thrifting different pieces for your wardrobe is one of the best ways to reduce waste in the fashion industry altogether. Since the pieces already exist, there is no need for them to go through the clothing production process. It is a great feeling knowing that you can give a completely new life to an old item of clothing that may have ended up in the landfill. Thrifting is also wonderful because you can find excellent prices on timeless items. Another great way to embrace second-hand options is by trading pieces you no longer wear with friends or family. This is also a great way to organize and review your style. The popular saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is one to embrace when rifling through second-hand bins at the thrift store.
Minimalism is the exact opposite of what fast fashion represents. Fast fashion encourages maximum consumption and spending so that consumers will feel the instant gratification of remaining in style. This level of consumption is irresponsible and dangerous on many levels. Instead, investing in your clothes and purchasing high-quality items is much more sustainable than having multiple pairs of something that you will likely only wear once, or never at all.
Opting for classic outfit staples instead of the more trendy items will set up a great foundation within your closet. Not only will your closet be organized without all of the excess clothing, but you will find that putting together outfits will seem easy and effortless. This also gives you the opportunity to clear out the clothes that no longer fit your style, and donate them to your local thrift store!
If you do have to buy a brand-new item of clothing, it is important to remember to shop consciously. There are many places to shop that use entirely recycled, reused, or vegan materials across their entire production process. Although you may be paying a bit more than you would at a fast-fashion retailer, it is important to remember where your dollar is going, and the impact it will have. Buying sustainably is crucial because it reduces the negative environmental impact on animals and our planet.
Finding brands that champion this idea will help you maximize your impact. For example, the popular eco-friendly women’s brand The Reformation emails each customer a breakdown of their savings towards the environment during their quarterly and yearly reviews.
Another great way to positively affect the environment around you is by shopping locally. Since garment transportation plays a huge factor in producing carbon emissions, buying local eliminates that process entirely. This is an outstanding way to benefit your local community and ecosystem.
Extend It Further
You don’t have to miss out on just incorporating sustainable practices in your wardrobe, there are many other ways to extend it throughout your daily routine! Items that you regularly dispose of, or single-use items, have been targets of the recent sustainability movement as well. Some common daily use items to consider shopping consciously for are:
- Contacts - Contacts are one of the most wasteful products as the contact itself is made of plastic, as is the packaging they come in. Moving forward, pay close attention to the details such as packaging and where the manufacturer is located. You might be surprised by how some brands consciously include almost 80% less packaging than others.
- Menstruation Products - Often times pads and tampons can create an abundance of waste during periods. If you feel comfortable, look at alternative reusables that are easy to clean such as a menstrual cup. These products also can save you a lot of money over time.
- Makeup Wipes - Removing all makeup and washing your face are two crucial steps to follow before going to bed for the night. Finding a natural and biodegradable option can be a tremendous help for the landfill and even your skin.
Although sustainability is becoming more of a trend as time goes on, the negative impacts of fast fashion on the planet are also higher than ever. By doing research and refraining from impulsive buying, consumers can make a contribution to bettering our planet, one purchase at a time. Even though it seems minor, just one conscious decision can make a world of a difference.
You may also like