In my past article on why I no longer support or buy fast fashion, I discovered the stark reality on how a few dollars saved from a fast fashion purchase can have devastating effects, such as pollution, increase my carbon footprint, and encourage below-minimum wages. The negative results on our environment and the unfair labor practices in the fast fashion manufacturing industry galvanized my decision to shift my allegiance and find alternative solutions to satisfy my wardrobe needs.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t purchased anything from well-known fast fashion stores for the past two years. I have turned to the more higher end brands, preloved market and sustainable fashion stores.
However, reality kicks in. And when you have a teen… it kicks hard. Don’t get me wrong. My daughter supports and shares my ideals but she’s trendy and loves fashion. Plus, she is mindful of her spending habits. After all, she manages her allowance.
The obstacle in our desire to completely avoid fast fashion is the lack of sustainable fashion stores that cater to teens and fashionable ladies. Attractive sustainable fashion options that are reasonably priced in Indonesia for example are limited, while importing these clothes will be exorbitant due to the taxes.
I was having difficulty in addressing this issue. The lack of transparency in manufacturing these clothes led me to several twists and turns. Even with the amount of research I have done, I often wonder if there are truly 100% ethical stores for us out there.
With this in mind, I realized that we need to find a common ground for people who can only afford fast fashion and love runway fashion at affordable prices. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the dependency on fast fashion.
5 Ways to Minimize the Fast Fashion Dependency
- Shop every three to six months
The fast fashion stores offer a new collection every two weeks. With this rapid pace, people are incentivized to grab the items before they disappear. These stores falsely create the “you must buy now or lose your chance” illusion. By having a three month or six month schedule when you purchase your clothes, you become mindful of your choices and budget.
Don’t go overboard when you have a shopping day. Create a budget and make a list on what you need. Also, make sure the items you purchase have simple and clean designs. This will allow you to mix and match your clothes. Thus, optimizing your wardrobe.
This is an amazing opportunity to support local shops. Imagine having quality clothes created just for you. I managed to get a few orders created when I needed the basics. Unfortunately, it is not easily available where I live. So, if you are lucky to find a local tailor that caters to your unique and desired style, don’t ever let that tailor go.
This movement has been gaining ground. People are encouraged to keep 33 items in their wardrobe. This concept forces you to be mindful and limit your purchases to high-quality items. If you think about it, buying a high-quality white shirt for a few more dollars will come out cheaper compared to buying a fast fashion white shirt that needs to be replaced immediately due to wear and tear.
Nowadays, fast fashion brands are trying to be more environmentally friendly and more transparent. If you love fast fashion, spend a few minutes to visit your favorite fast fashion brand’s website. Check out their mission statement and vision. Find out if their values match yours. Are they finding ways to minimize their plastic usage or improving the working conditions in their factories? If actions are being implemented, then it is only right to support this brand over other brands. Your support will help motivate fast fashion brands make positive changes.
Baby steps. If each individual takes small steps to change their buying habits, a cumulative and global result will be felt. Hopefully, these small changes will positively affect our environment and encourage the fashion industry to improve labor practices.
What do you think? Do you have suggestions on how to avoid fast fashion dependency?
I would love to hear from you.
Until next time,