Have you noticed there’s a new trend or season every time you go into a fast fashion store? We ‘need' to have the latest item to be happy or a new item for the next season. New stock appears at an alarming rate.
And then what happens? When the trend or season is over, we decide we don’t want the item any more and ‘get rid of it’. Charity shops are drowning in unwanted clothing. Sometimes I see signs saying they can’t take any more donations!
I’ve been guilty of this cycle of buying new things and donating ‘old’ things to charity, even since becoming a minimalist. I discovered the ‘one in one out’ rule to stop myself accumulating things. The problem with this is it’s still not sustainable.
Since I was a teenager, I’ve been shopping at fast fashion stores because that’s all I knew. Recently, I started to feel out of place in these stores because I realised I don’t want to support the fast fashion industry any more. I’m starting to discover sustainable brands, like People Tree, Thought and Lucy and Yak.
Social media is encouraging us to ask the question: “#whomademyclothes?” It's really important to demand fashion brands to be transparent about where their products are made, who made them, how much their workers are paid and the working conditions of their factories.
In the last few years, I’ve become a big fan of second-hand shopping to find bargains and unique pieces. And now I’m making the connection between charity shopping and sustainability. Why buy something new, when you can buy something used and give it another home?
Here’s a profile of my current wardrobe, including t-shirts, tops, shirts, jumpers, dresses, shorts, leggings, trousers and jackets:
As you can see, I have a long way to go until I have a sustainable wardrobe. I’m definitely not proud to say two thirds of my wardrobe is fast fashion. But I’m excited to challenge myself to reduce this percentage over time. I’m having to stop myself from decluttering my wardrobe because the most sustainable thing to do is keep what I have until it wears out. I’ll need to take a leaf out of my husband’s book!
It’s time to quit fast fashion. Who’s with me?