Upgrade your wardrobe sustainably: There’s nothing fashionable about fast fashion

‘Wear the outfit more than once, don’t be pathetic.’

Second Hand September might be over but hopefully your plight against fast fashion is far from done. I’ve been avoiding buying new clothes for over a year now, I used to habitually order from PrettyLittleThing, ASOS, Missguided and other fast-fashion outlets every month and while my wardrobe isn’t 100% second-hand, I’m trying my best, which is all any of us can do.

I think we all know the facts around fast fashion and its impact on climate change but just a reminder that three out of five fast fashion items end up in a landfill (Clean Clothes Campaign, 2019) – and it’s estimated that almost 100 billion items of clothing are produced each year. You do the math… it’s a lot.

So, here are my tips for avoiding harmful fashion:

  1. Thrift thrift thrift –
    Make a day of it with a pal – visit some car boots, charity shops, vintage shops and markets. Look how much fun Poppy has in the charity shop in Wild Child! You can save money and find unique pieces no one else has.
  2. Learn to sew –
    Not only is it therapeutic but think how much money you could save by fixing clothes when they are damaged or alter them where you want a change.
  3. Wear the outfit more than once –
    Don’t be pathetic.
  4. Hire your outfit –
    If you do have the habit of only wearing clothes once, why not rent it? Hirestreet and ByRotation are just two companies trying to break the fast-fashion cycle. I’m yet to try these but I’ve heard good reviews.
  5. Use sites like Depop and eBay –
    Aside from discovering loads of independent businesses, you can get outfits from high street stores that sellers have only worn once or not worn at all. Depop is my personal fave. You can search by brand and scroll through like its your Insta feed. I know some people have had bad experiences but if you pay through Paypal and take advantage of buyer protection, you should be fine.
  6. Borrow –
    I am renown for borrowing clothes from my friends, and they know they are always welcome to snoop through my wardrobe too. Why go out and buy a new top when your friend has one pretty much identical? (Btw Holly, I will return your dresses soon).
  7. Take a pledge with a friend –
    ‘Second-hand September’ is great for this but having a friend take on the challenge of avoiding fast-fashion with you could be fun and save you a lot of money.

There you have it. Going against consumerism is not an easy task and don’t feel bad when it’s not always possible. Trust me, when my jeans ripped while I was in central London, I didn’t have the luxury of time (or dignity) to search through charity shops. But just cutting down on buying new garments can have a huge effect on the environment – and your wallet too!

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