In the last few years fashion brands have mastered the art of managing the supply chain which ensures keeping costs low, in turn, making a larger profit. Production is accelerated to bring new trends to the market as quickly as possible. It allows stores to go from design studio to shop floor in 2 weeks.
This comes at a cost. The cheap prices and quick churning over of seasons comes at an expense to the environment, the people making the clothes and the sustainability of the garments. If you want to learn more about behind the scenes of the fast fashion industry, I'd highly recommend watching 'The True Cost' documentary on Netflix. After watching it you will want to change your consumer habits and this is where I come in.
For about a year I've been investigating into how I can change my shopping habits. I made it my mission to find about high quality and ethical brands. Initially I was disheartened, it was harder than I thought it would be to find items that are sustainable are ethically sourced. For a beginner, I'd start simply. For the most part, ethical brands aren’t readily available in the high street. It takes time and a lot of research to begin the journey into quitting fast fashion. Let me give you some tips on how you can start becoming a more conscious fashionista.
1. Buy from charity shops.
If you love shopping it’s going to be hard to change your habits straight away. I don’t want you to give up cold Turkey. Why not try getting your shopping fix from local charity shops instead of the high street for a while? It's better to use available resources as well as contributing to a charity. Sometimes you will discover the most beautiful, unique pieces when shopping second hand. Your outfit and style will become one of a kind as you won't be wearing the same thing as anyone else. One good thing to do is read the tag on the inside of the garment to see the materials used. I've bought some of the highest quality items I own from charity shops as it's easy and cheaper to buy used clothes if you're on a budget. Sometimes, you'll even get your hands on a piece that still have their original tags and are practically new.
2. Limit temptation.
It can be so easy to revert back to buying all the things! Which can make you feel really guilty when you've begun your ethical fashion story. A simple tip to avoid falling back into the trap is to unfollow fashion brands on social media. I'd recommend unsubscribing from their mailing list too, as seeing a sale can be very tempting and you can feel like you've undone all of your amazing work by giving in. By stopping the temptation, you won't even know when there's a sale on which allows you can carry on with your day with money still in your bank account.
3. Start building a capsule wardrobe.
By having a capsule wardrobe you can fill your closet with lovely, good quality items and key pieces that suit your body shape and feel amazing on your skin. When you start doing this, you will notice cheap items starting to feel uncomfortable and unpleasant compared to your high quality clothes. Invest in solid staples by doing homework on what you're missing from your wardrobe. Maybe, you're missing a pencil skirt that would be very useful to wear for work. By doing your research, you can then go onto buy an skirt that you know will last and feel amazing on you with every wear. You'll be wearing clothes that you love as opposed to clothes a store wants you to wear. You will look and feel amazing as well.
4. Buy less.
By buying less you are helping reduce your carbon footprint. When you reduce your shopping trips to fast fashion brands you will stop purchasing throw away items that don't last more than one season and than have to replace. Instead you can use the money you save by buying from a local designer or an ethically sourced brand.
These 4 things are the best way to ease yourself into quitting fast fashion. You don't have to spend a lot of money. In fact you'll start buying less items, you'll have a wardrobe that you love and you'll feel better about your contribution to society.