Shopping for the latest fashion trends can be exciting and fun, but it can also be harmful to the environment and the people who make our clothes. Fast fashion is a term used to describe clothing that is produced quickly and cheaply, often using unethical labor practices and unsustainable materials. This guide will provide you with the information you need to avoid buying into fast fashion, and to make more sustainable choices when it comes to your wardrobe. You will learn about the impacts of fast fashion, what to look for when shopping for clothes, and tips for reducing your consumption. It may seem daunting, but with the right information and strategies, avoiding fast fashion is easier than you think.
Strategies on how to avoid fast fashion
The first step to avoiding harmful fast fashion is to become aware of the different types of fashion and how they are produced. This will allow you to make more informed choices about the types of fashion you choose to buy.
- Know Your Labels – When shopping for clothes, you may notice different types of labels. These labels provide information about the materials and production practices used to make that garment, which can help you make more sustainable decisions.
- Organic and Ethical Labels – Look for organic, fair trade, and other ethically produced labels. These garments have been produced in a way that is environmentally and ethically responsible, avoiding many of the issues associated with fast fashion. Organic fabrics are produced without the use of harmful pesticides, and are more sustainable since they are biodegradable. Fair trade garments have been produced in safe and ethical working conditions, paying the workers a fair wage.
- Natural Fibers – Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk can be a great choice if you are going for an organic or ethical garment. These natural fibers are better for the environment, and will last longer than synthetic fabrics. Organic and Fair Trade synthetic fabrics are also available, but for the best environmental impact, natural fibers are the way to go!
- Slow Fashion or Zero Waste – Slow fashion is an approach to shopping that aims to reduce the speed at which clothing is produced. This can be done by choosing to buy fewer garments or by buying garments that are high quality and will last longer. Zero waste fashion refers to the goal of completely eliminating waste in the fashion industry. This can be done by choosing garments that you can repurpose, repair, or recycle.
What to look for when shopping for clothes
The best way to avoid fast fashion is to buy quality garments that will last longer. When shopping for clothes, look for well-made garments that are durable, high quality, and ethically produced. These garments will be more expensive upfront, but they will last longer and be better for the environment.
- Fabric – When shopping for fabrics, look for natural fibers. These are better for the environment, and will last longer than synthetic fabrics. You can also look for garments made from sustainable fabrics, which are made using eco-friendly dyes and other sustainable materials.
- Pattern – The pattern of the fabric is important to consider as well. A high contrast pattern may be cute, but it is also likely to show dirt and stains. Opting for a pattern that is less noticeable, or choosing a solid colored garment will make it easier to clean.
- Cut and Fit – The cut and fit of a garment are also important to consider. Pay attention to the way the garment fits on your body. Does it fit the way you like, or does it feel too tight or too loose? Is the garment the right length, or does it make you look shorter or taller than you are?
- Price – Last but not least, the price of the garment is something to consider. While you want to buy high quality garments, it is also important to consider your budget. You may want to wait to buy a garment until you have saved up enough money to buy it at a lower price.
Understanding your shopping habits
Before you start shopping for clothes, take some time to reflect on your current shopping habits. Are you buying things you don’t need? Are you buying clothes that will last, or are you buying cheap and fast fashion? Once you are aware of your shopping habits, you can begin to change them. Here are some strategies that may help you to make more sustainable shopping choices.
- Try Before You Buy – Retailers often have a “try before you buy” policy. This allows you to try on a garment before buying it. This is a great opportunity to try on different styles and fabrics, and to make sure the garment fits you well. When shopping online, you can try on garments using augmented reality apps such as Modal, and then return them if they don’t fit. This will help you to avoid buying an item that doesn’t fit well.
- Make a Spending Plan – If you find yourself wanting to buy something that is not necessary, try creating a spending plan to help curb your spending. You can do this by putting a specific amount of money in a saved spending account every month, and then using that money for things like shopping. This will help you to avoid buying things that are not necessary, and will reduce your consumption of fast fashion.
How to reduce your consumption of fast fashion
One of the best ways to avoid buying fast fashion is to examine your clothing needs. Instead of buying clothes when you don’t need them, save your money and buy what you need when you have saved up enough. This will help you to avoid buying things you don’t need, and will also help you to save money. This money can then be saved for buying ethically produced and high quality garments that will last longer.
- Examine Your Wardrobe – Before you buy anything new, take a look at the clothes you already own. Do you have enough clothes to wear? Do you have clothes in decent condition that you can wear? If so, you may not need to buy anything new. If you need new clothes, try to buy ethically produced garments.
- Clean Out Your Closet – When you buy new clothes, try to clean out your closet at the same time. You can either donate the clothes that are in good condition, or sell them second hand. This will help you to avoid buying new clothes, and will also help others who may want to buy second hand clothes.
- Avoid Impulses – Sometimes, it can be hard to avoid impulses when buying new clothes. If you find yourself wanting to buy something new, try to wait a few days before buying it. This will give you time to think about whether or not you really need it, and it will also allow you to save money for buying higher quality garments.
How to reduce your carbon footprint from purchasing clothing
Buying ethically and sustainably produced garments will reduce your carbon footprint from purchasing clothing. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you are buying ethically and sustainably.
- Know What Materials You Want – Before you start shopping, know what materials you want to look for in garments. Some materials to consider include organic fabrics, natural fibers, and sustainable dyes.
- Research Brands – Once you know what you are looking for, research the brands that sell these garments. They should be transparent about their supply chain and sourcing of materials, and ethical standards should be clearly displayed on the brand’s website.
- Shop Upcycled or Secondhand – If you need new garments, shop upcycled or secondhand. Repurposed or used clothing is an excellent option for sustainable shopping, and you can find a wide variety of brands and materials from online marketplaces like RE.STATEMENT.
Resources for sustainable fashion
There are many organizations that offer information and support for sustainable fashion choices. Here are some resources to help you make more sustainable shopping decisions.
- Ethical Fashion Initiative – The Ethical Fashion Initiative is a global initiative that brings together brands, retailers, investors, designers, and other stakeholders to make the fashion industry more sustainable. Their website has information about the latest news in the fashion industry, as well as information about their sustainable initiatives.
- Greenpeace – Greenpeace is a non-profit environmental organization that focuses on a wide variety of environmental issues. They have information about sustainable fashion, including information about the chemicals used in the garment industry, and how to shop sustainably.
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation – This is an organization that helps you to learn about the circular economy in the garment industry and how to avoid waste. Their website also offers advice about what to look for in ethically and sustainably produced garments.
Alternatives to fast fashion
There are a variety of ethical and sustainable alternatives to fast fashion. Ethical and sustainable brands can often be more expensive than fast fashion, but there are realistic, affordable options through upcycled fashion and thrift shopping.
Our biggest recommendation is, believe it or not, our online marketplace, RE.STATEMENT. The online marketplace of upcycled clothing brings out the best of sustainable fashion by valuing creativity, design, and art – all out of used or unwanted materials. It fits the needs of fast fashion shoppers who are looking for novelty and self-expression, all without the negative effects of fast fashion.