As we enter the new year one topic I have been seeing/hearing a lot about is fast fashion. Specifically, how fast fashion is bad for the environment. When you think about it, it’s a pretty simple concept.
My personal take on this topic and why it is bad for the environment is this: The phrase ‘fast fashion’ can be taken literally. Fast fashion clothing items and accessories are items that are popular for a short period of time. Usually you can get these items cheap from an array of retailers. A few come to mind but I won’t name names. In order to produce these items, water and other resources are being used. For example, it takes 2,000 gallons (7,600 liters) of water to make one pair of jeans. In case you didn’t know, thats a sh*t ton of water!! After we wear these items for a month, a week or even a day, we most likely throw them away. Because the majority of these items are made with cheap materials (polyester for example) they do not break down easily therefore creating waste. Use of materials and creation of waste = environmental issues. That is my take and short summary on fast fashion. (p.s. I by no means am an expert, my thoughts are based off of research I did).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a culprit of the fast fashion craze. You see someone wearing a cool new style of shoes or a top while you’re out or on Instagram. You have to have it to because it is “in” but you don’t want to break the bank. So, you go online and you find it for cheap, perfect you’ll only wear the item a few times anyways. A few months later no one is wearing those kind of shoes or that style of top anymore so you toss it. You go online again and search for the latest fast fashion trend. Repeating the cycle.
We’ve all been there before. We have all fallen victim to this trap that not only wastes our money, but has a pretty real and damaging effect on our planet! So my question is, how can we help to prevent this? I have come up with 3 WAYS we can all try and avoid fast fashion in 2020 and hopefully make a teeny tiny difference for our planet.
1. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it
This is a pretty simple way to help our planet and save money! When you are shopping or ordering something online ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Do I love it?” For me, the answer is usually NO. If you have to question whether or not you need something or you love it, you probably don’t! This is something I am trying to become better at. Make sure you are buying items you are going to wear/use multiple times. How many times have you walked into a store and bought something specifically for a one-wear-use? I have probably done this a hundred times if not more. Try and only buy pieces that you absolutely love and you know you will get good use out of! This is a great way to save some $$$ too!!
2. Donate your clothes and thrift!
Always, always, always donate your clothing!!! Unless you have worn your jeans down to the last thread and they are no longer wearable (is wearable a word?) please donate them! There are so many amazing donation centers and stores where you can donate your old/unused clothing. If you aren’t sure where you can donate locally, do a quick Google search to find out. There are so many people who can’t afford to buy new clothing that will greatly benefit from your donation.
You can also sell your used or new clothing on sites like Poshmark. Along with selling your clothing, you can thrift for yourself too! Check out this adorable thrift shop, Dainty Girl. Run by Veronica Lee, she thrifts the cutest 90’s inspired clothing that are in great condition. I have a few pieces from her store and love them. There are millions of second-hand and thrift shops that have cute and quality clothing. Don’t knock it until you try it!!
3. Fall in love with pieces that will last
When you shop, assess whether or not you think an item will last more than just a few months. Is it made with quality materials? Polyester is cheap and will most likely pill after a few washes, and as I mentioned above doesn’t break down easily. Instead, look for materials like cotton or linen. These fabrics are sustainable and will last longer than materials like polyester.
Now, let’s talk about the cost of clothing items. I am not going to sit here and tell you that you should be spending hundreds of dollars on one piece of clothing. What I am going to tell you is my personal experience with buying pricier items and whether or not I think it can be worth it in the long run. The simple answer is yes, I do think spending a little more money on certain items can be worth it.
Not to say that all items that are priced high are quality and/or worth your money! Check the materials, read reviews, do your research on higher priced items!!!
I totally get that it can be painful to spend $80 – $100+ on one pair of jeans. The reality of it is, they will most likely out last those $20 jeans you bought and you will have them for years to come. Again, make sure you do your research on a brand/item before you drop money on something expensive!
That being said you can definitely find more expensive and quality items on sale. I am the queen of sales, I normally never buy expensive items at full price. Nordstrom, for example, always has sales on brands like Levi’s, Free People and Madewell, all personal faves. Look around and compare prices. If the item you are looking to get is going to be staple item in your closet, I say go for the splurge. If you are unsure while ordering online, read reviews and order multiple sizes (just check the return policy).
To sum this up, fall in love with pieces that will last. Spending a little extra money on a pair of jeans, or shoes, or a shirt could end up saving you money in the long run because you won’t need to replace it anytime soon. You will be helping the environment by buying items that will last years instead of days or weeks.
I hope that this post, if anything, has opened your eyes to the fast fashion problem! Again, I am not an expert on this, my thoughts and suggestions are based off of the research I did on the topic. Definitely do your own research, there is a lot out there. I will be working this year to be more cautious of what I am buying and how it is effecting our planet. Here’s to avoiding fast fashion in 2020, cheers!
What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment and let me know! As always, feel free to send questions, comments or concerns to my Instagram, @mollysfavorites