In a previous post I wrote why we should avoid fast fashion but that isn’t always a realistic aim especially as more sustainable, slow fashion brands can have an expensive price tag. What if you want to create a more conscious wardrobe, but can’t afford to avoid fast fashion?
Can’t afford to avoid fast fashion?
Re-wear fast fashion
While I’m trying to avoid buying fast fashion for a year I think I would find it incredibly hard long term. If buying fast fashion is unavoidable we can instead try to get the maximum amount of wear from what we do purchase. Apparently “extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months could reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20–30% each.” I feel like this is something that is very achievable for me as I tend to get a huge amount of wear from pretty much everything I buy.
Take the outfit in the below photo as an example. The dress is from Missguided and the shoes New Look. I borrowed the dress from my sister for an event. She has owned it for several years and it has been worn countless times. I bought the shoes at least three years ago and because I’ve looked after them they still look new. Even though these items are both from fast fashion brands we have got so much wear out of them and they have really lasted.
Another way to avoid fast fashion is to buy things that are looking for a new home. That doesn’t just mean your local charity shop, but it can also be places like eBay and Depop. There is a store in my town called D’Oro that sells pre-owned clothing and accessories. This doesn’t just mean it is full of designer, they also sell high quality high street pieces.
Build a conscious wardrobe
It is hard to avoid fast fashion particularly when brands almost create mini seasons like ‘festival season’. It is like they want people to feel like they need a very specific wardrobe when really your spring/ summer wardrobe would be enough. Creating these mini seasons is completely unnecessary when the normal fashion season spring/ summer and autumn/ winter are enough.
If you can afford to then try to invest in a classic, quality item. Rather than buy multiple items of fast fashion I try and save my money and just purchase the one, better quality piece.
Regardless of what I’m buying I always think of the five outfit rule. Whether I am buying fast fashion or something sustainable I always consider the five outfit rule to try and guarantee that I get the wear out of that I’m buying.
I feel like I have curated a bit of a capsule wardrobe which also helps you to wear everything you own as every item is a classic piece that doesn’t go out of fashion. It now means that I love nothing more than shopping my wardrobe!
I, like many, have gradually become more and more aware of the impact our decisions have on the environment. I think that any positive change we make is a bonus. Considering purchases before handing over any money is something that I have always done, but in my quest to avoid fast fashion for a year I’m finding that it has stepped up a gear. No one is perfect and on one can do absolutely everything but at least we can make a start.