Why You Should Fight Fast Fashion With Passion
I've always been very eco-conscious. One time, as a pre-teen, I dedicated a whole week (incredible, I know) to "saving mother earth." I taped notes to all of the appliances in our house which read something like this: "EARTH IS DYING! Use cold water when washing clothes PLEASE!" So, needless to say, it's not surprising that I am extremely thoughtful with my purchases as an adult.
There are several different areas to of shopping to think about when the words "eco and "friendly" are involved, but I want to spend some time explaining the clothing aspect of it all. You may have heard of the term "fast fashion," which is "an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers," according to Merriam-Webster. For a little more insight and shock-value I recommend googling the term.
As I get older, I find myself looking for valuable and precious items of clothing that I can show off proudly and stand out in. I have also come to learn that the clothing industry affects our environment, the people who work for fast fashion companies and our mental health. So, why not choose the cooler, nicer, more unique way of shopping?
Reasons why fast fashion is NOT cool...
(all statistics are from Greenpeace)
Millions of garment workers are being mistreated. According to The True Cost website, "there are over 40 million garment workers in the world and they are also some of the lowest paid workers in the world." We have become so far removed that we don't even stop to think "who made my clothes for so cheap and how are they being treated?" When you really consider it, it is devastating and monstrous. Fast fashion violates basic human rights and exploits those who work behind the scenes.
Fast Fashion Companies steal ideas from small designers and artists. If you didn't know, it is completely legal to steal someone's idea that is not trademarked, BUT is it ethical? Many small artists/designers are having their ideas stolen by big fast fashion companies and personally, I don't want to support any part of that. Do you? (read the articles linked at the end of this post and tell me what you think)
It is extremely harmful for the environment. If you're thinking about the financial benefits of a booming fashion industry, stop right there. We need to be thinking about where these clothes ultimately end up... Majority of our clothing is made of some form of synthetic material that is usually plastic and washing them actively pollutes our water. I KNOW. Think about all of the microscopic pieces of plastic in the water you drink, the fish you eat and ultimately, the water the entire ecosystem depends on.
It is SO wasteful. Clothing production has doubled from 2000 to 2014 which means we are buying and selling more clothing items than we ever have before. For what reason? To be trendy. Seems like a pretty unimportant reason to me... "Today's trends are tomorrow's trash," says Greenpeace and tomorrow's trash is polluting our water.
Constant consumerism is killing us. The entire fashion industry is based upon consumerism and now that we have the technology to be making larger amounts of new clothes faster, it is so easy for companies to feast upon our need for new things. This turns us into greedy monsters, always wanting more and never being satisfied. It drains our minds, wallets and inspiration.
Reasons why thrifting is the C O O L E S T:
You SAVE money! Wow, who knew? But really, why spend over $50 on one piece of clothing that you can literally find at your local Goodwill for $5... Yes, I'm talking to you, Urban Outfitters *eye roll*. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I still find myself browsing the trendy stores, but in the end shopping at a local vintage store or a Goodwill is way more satisfying. Not to mention, Forever 21, H&M and Zara and the absolute wreck they are for our planet and everyone involved...
Its more valuable. When I'm thrifting I have to work a tiny bit harder to find good pieces, but it forces me to really think about what I am purchasing. That pattern extends to everything else I buy and it has become a habit for me to think "is this something I can really use?" every time I make a purchase.
It changes your mindset. Since I've started avoiding fast fashion, I've noticed that I'm not constantly worrying about what the newest trend is. I'm actually content with my own unique style on the daily and don't have that unsatisfiable craving for new clothing.
You can express your truest self and feel good about it. We are all unique individuals and of course there are ways to express that through whatever types of clothing you buy, but being able to do it through ethical, efficient and environmentally conscious shopping makes ALL the difference.
Best places to shop to make sure you aren't supporting the fast fashion industry:
Local vintage/antique shops:
Online vintage/antique shops:
Eco-friendly small businesses:
Second-hand shopping websites/stores, for more trendy options:
+ SO many more!
Some close-ups of my favorite thrifted/vintage pieces:
Learn more about fast fashion PLEASE: