Over the past few years, fast fashion has taken over the clothing industry. Instead of concentrating on well-made, long-lasting investment pieces, many popular retailers instead sell poorly constructed garments made from inferior synthetic materials for an extremely low cost. The design of these clothes is often trend-led, meaning that they quickly become dated after only a few seasons and are subsequently discarded. However, the toll that fast fashion is taking on the environment is quickly becoming evident, as well as the poor working conditions and wages of the people employed in making fast fashion clothing. If you would like to help in the fight against fast fashion, read on for three top tips for building a sustainable wardrobe.
Photo Credit: @brandy Instagram
- Buy second hand
Instead of buying into fast fashion, you could instead buy your clothing second hand. Do not let the fact that these clothes are pre-owned put you off – you don’t necessarily have to spend hours going through a smelly $1 sales rack at Goodwill (although you can find some gems here if you are willing to put in the work). If you know exactly what it is you are after, try searching for it on an online sales platform such as eBay. You can find some real bargains here, with a lot of clothes being either brand new or only worn a handful of times. Alternatively, you could look at specialist vintage clothing dealers, who will be able to provide you with a unique and sustainable piece of fashion history.
- Shop from ethical retailers
If you do decide to buy an item of clothing brand new, make sure you buy from an ethical retailer, such as yuniont.com. An ethical retailer will use fabric obtained through sustainable sources, such as recycled fabric, and have the items sewn in an ethical environment that pays workers fairly for their labor. They may also seek to reduce the air miles involved in producing the garment and avoid using materials that could potentially involve putting an animal through pain, such as angora. This information is often readily available on a sustainable retailer’s website so that customers have complete transparency about business practices and manufacturing methods.
- Create a classic capsule wardrobe
As much as fast fashion is trend-led, you could avoid this pitfall by creating a wardrobe based on classic pieces that will always look chic, rather than constantly chasing after the lastest trends. Garments such as a white t shirt, well-cut pair of jeans, and little black dress can be used to create many different looks suitable for any occasion; however, what garments you choose to include in your capsule wardrobe will depend on your own personal style – you might consider a leather jacket indispensable, whereas someone else might prefer a beige mac, for instance. Buy items that are well made and the best that you can afford on your budget. This way, you are unlikely to need to replace them after only a few wears.