It’s all well and good talking and thinking about how bad fast fashion is but nothing is gonna change unless you change your shopping habits.
I have preached a lot about the negative parts of the fashion industry so it made sense to share some tips on how to help the planet with your purchases!
As much as us, as consumers, play a huge role in making better choices in what we buy, it also massively up the brands and companies to make changes. There are simple changes they could make in order to be more environmentally friendly such as switching to energy saving lightbulbs in their warehouses, stores and offices which would mean they could save some energy.
On the other end of the scale are much larger changes but they could have a positive impact and reduce the carbon footprint. They could change their raw materials and switch organic cotton. I am well aware that there are still some negative affects but all in all it’s still a better choice than regular cotton. Additionally they could switch out to recycled materials which would definitely reduce the carbon footprint as they wouldn’t be producing new materials and it helps to reduce wastage. I know a lot of companies have started doing this.
You may have heard about brands who have incinerated unsold stock. I can’t actually believe that there are places that do this because it’s ridiculous. There are so many places that this clothing could go like to charities or they could just keep in the store longer so that it does get sold. Brands rotate their stock so much in order to stay relevant but then things like this happen and burning clothing releases loads of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which is the last thing we want right now.
Brands play a huge role in educating consumers about repairing and recycling clothing in order to make them last longer but I don’t see this happen enough.
Seeing as a lot of brands are making no effort, it seems, to become more sustainable there are still many things that you can do at home including the way you wash your clothing. As I mentioned in past posts, microfibres can be dangerous as they end up shedding off our clothes and ending up in the ocean affecting aquatic life. There’s already too much plastic in the sea, we don’t want to keep adding to it.
Here are some easy things you can do when washing your clothing to help reduce the amount of microfibres are shed:
- Wash at low temperatures and lower spin speed because this is then less likely to shake out the fibres
- Fill your washing machine as much as you can, don’t just put on one wash for one item, this will reduce the friction between items.
- Air dry your clothes, don’t tumble dry them
- You can buy special bags that collect the microfibres in the machine. So you wash your clothes while they are in this bag in the machine.
- Fleeces are one of the worst because of how much polyester they contain so maybe try getting a woolen fleece instead if you seriously feel the need to buy one.
- Wash your clothing less, easy peasy. Only wash things when they really need washing instead of after one wear, unless absolutely essential. Underwear and socks I would say is the only exception.
- Keep your clothes for longer, new clothing shed more plastic in the first few washes. Another reason you should buy secondhand clothing
What can you, as the consumer, do to help:
Easy. Stop buying fast fashion. Start buying secondhand or buying from sustainable slow fashion companies. Yes they tend to be more expensive but think of the environment!!!
If the majority of people stopped buying from fast fashion brands then they would see that their sales have dropped and have to come up with something to get their customers back. If high street brands adopted circular fashion principles, used sustainable materials, were transparent about where their clothes were made and paid their workers properly then I would happily walk back into their shops. But until that day I shall continue to just walk past.The negative affects of fast fashion are definitely starting to be talked about more with organisations like the Fashion Revolution leading the way and many smaller sustainable brands rising through the ranks, which is amazing. But we definitely have a long way to go.
There are many brands who claim to be sustainable but are not, and I’ve read that a lot of brands say this to cover up what goes on behind the scenes. This is also known as greenwashing. If a website does not clearly state it’s suppliers and environmental practise on their websites then they’re simply not sustainable. So if you’re in doubt then just check their website.
We talk about sustainability a lot in todays society but fashion never ever gets talked about because I don’t think people actually understand or know what is going on. The only reason I found out about all this was when I had to do an essay for a college project 18 months ago. It really opened my eyes and my other classmates to the truth.
I have never really shopped in fast fashion places because growing up I never had the opportunity. I lived in a tiny town where the only clothes shops were charity shops and I used to love finding unique pieces that other people did. Okay at times I definitely felt left out and did indulge in many pieces when I was allowed to go to the bigger towns but it never really appealed to me that much. Clothing can be expensive and when I got my first job and it didn’t pay that well, I didn’t want to waste like 6 hours wages on 2 pieces of clothing. It’s a weird way of thinking but it helps me make better purchases.
The easiest way to boycott against fast fashion is simply to stop buying it. The second easiest way is to tell the world about it! I only follow people on Instagram who share the same ethics as me, I unfollowed all high street brands and it’s seeing my feed filled with ethical fashion! The slow fashion community on instagram is such an amazing group.
I really hope that these last few posts all about fast fashion have maybe helped you guys in some way to see a more positive future of fashion. I’m here to persuade people to make better choices to help impact our future positively! I hope I’m succeeding in doing that?!?!
I’d love to know if you have any favourite slow fashion brands? Or what your view is on fast fashion? Anything and everything!
PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS FAST FASHION SERIES
Next up on this minimalism journey/series is digital minimalism which I honestly didn’t know was a thing up until about a month ago. When you think of… Read more “an introduction to digital minimalism | becoming a minimalist?”
When you buy any clothing, you always read the labels they put in the back of the item right? So I have a little storytime about this… Read more “always read the labels before buying! (storytime)”