Avoid buying fast fashion

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Fast fashion is an industry based on producing low-quality, cheap clothes meant to be worn a handful of times and then discarded. By purchasing high-quality items instead, you can reduce waste and climate pollution, and save money in the long term.


Fast fashion is when cheap clothes get rapidly produced in high volumes. Short-term trends are jumped on and low-quality products are pumped out. It is a common way clothes are created, and unfortunately, it harms the environment, garment workers, and, ultimately, your money if you take part.

The fashion industry is estimated to make up around a tenth of greenhouse emissions globally. How is this possible? The materials, creation, and shipping require a lot of energy and water. Often when acquiring too many clothes, people throw out more than half of garments within just a year because they are not intended for long-term use. That means a fast cycle to create more cheap new stuff. It is also indicative of the low quality of the clothes being manufactured; they tear and wear out very easily, and buttons and hems come loose.

Try to invest in garments that you are inspired to wear more frequently and that will last. Over time, higher-quality clothes that are timeless in style pay off dramatically because of your recurrent wearing and not needing to constantly buy new stuff. With this approach, it is easy to end up with a fantastic wardrobe with many items that are 10+ years old.

Further, because fast fashion clothes are cheap to buy, they are incredibly cheap to make. That requires workers in sweatshops to produce these items for low pay. Many work in conditions you likely would not care to be a part of. Most of the workers that are employed by these fast fashion companies cannot live off of the wage they make. Plus, a large number of these sweatshops are either in violation of human rights policies or are run illegally.

An effective way for companies to hear that you care is through the way you spend your money. The fast fashion industry is estimated to generate almost three trillion dollars annually. Encourage these fast fashion, underpaying companies to make changes by keeping away and spending your money on quality items, secondhand items, or by taking care of the great pieces you already have.


Here are some ideas for some of the best ways to put this into action! Try different things and figure out what works for you!

• Wear the clothes that you have. You likely have a lot of great pieces already, including many that you have not worn lately.

• Try different combinations if you are looking to spice it up with something new.

• Looking to add some new items? Check out local thrift stores or online secondhand stores. It has never been easier to shop in this way.

• If you are buying new, support eco-friendly and ethically certified brands. Also, try to shop for clothes that are timeless rather than trendy. The latter you may regret in a year.

• Avoid cheaper plastic fabrics and rayon, and use more sustainable fibers instead, like cotton, when possible.

• Done with some of your clothes? Donate or sell old clothes that can still be reused. Keep the cycle going to avoid more new stuff being created at the expense of people, planet, and pocketbooks.

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