5 Ways to Combat Fast Fashion

 It is undeniable that a brand-new outfit can make you feel more confident, fashionable and successful. With technology rapidly evolving and revolutionising online shopping, it only takes a tap of the finger to have a new outfit from anywhere in the world delivered to your doorstep (sometimes on the same day). The biggest catch? It’s usually all for less than $50. 

The increasing pressure to keep up with fashion trends through social media is leading to a faster consumption rate than ever before. Nowadays, whilst there are four seasons a year, new clothing arrivals are released daily (H&M, we’re looking at you). On top of this, studies show that as many as 3 in 10 Aussies throw away clothing after only wearing it once! 

So what are the consequences of this excessive shopping? 

The primary consequence is fast fashion - a term used to describe the selling and purchasing of inexpensive clothing produced by mass retail markets. Despite this system making clothes more affordable for customers, it comes at a cost. Namely, cheap labour, emitting huge quantities of greenhouse gases, depleting non-renewable products and polluting the environment. Woah. 

But wait. It isn’t all doom and gloom… 

Here are five ways to shop more consciously: 

     1. Buy Less

    Avoiding excessive consumerism will not only decrease the amount of clothes purchased but further help with budget! Next time you go to purchase an item, wait 24 hours to consider whether you really need the item and if you will even use it in 6 weeks time.  

         2. Purchase from sustainable brands 

    By knowing which brands are making sustainable choices you can vote with your wallet and encourage brands to be more ethical. The Baptist World Aid Australia organisation has done all the research for you in their Ethical Fashion Guide that ranks brands according to their ethical contributions.

         3. Buy better quality clothes

    You may be wondering, “How would I know what’s good quality or not?” or “That must cost a fortune”. Well, it’s pretty simple and doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds. Simply test an item by looking for strong stitches, thickness, zipper quality, buttons and condition of the fabric. By selecting better quality items, they’ll also last longer. 

         4. Shop secondhand

    By shopping at op-shops and thrift stores, you can find great secondhand clothing at discounted prices. Another added bonus - you’ll have a unique wardrobe! 

         5. Donate your clothes 

    If your clothes are in good condition and not damaged, drop off to the local Salvos or Vinnies to give them a second chance with a new owner! By doing this you’re helping the environment with less clothes produced and reducing resources. 

    Looking for more ways to practice more sustainable living? Check out Plastic Free July - by reducing plastic waste you can join the global movement to clean up our streets, oceans and beautiful communities.