Fast Fashion may have its benefits, but the negatives outweigh the positives. Here we look at how you can avoid buying cheap clothes that do harm on the world.
Can you imagine doing something that is good for you and your finances, good for the others as well as good for the environment?
Well, you can start doing this by fighting fast fashion and its worrisome consequences. After discussing some of the best ethical companies from around the world, in this piece Youth Time will share a few simple, yet important tricks on how not to fall into the trap of fast fashion.
To begin with, let’s bear in mind that the United Nations Climate Change News states the fact that the fashion industry contributes 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions due to its long supply chains and energy intensive production.
Also, between 2000-2014, clothing production doubled with the average consumer buying 60% more pieces of garment compared to 15 years ago. Yet, each clothing item is now kept half as long.
Moreover, the Word Economic Forum reminds us that the true cost of each new item of clothing we buy goes beyond its price tag. More specifically, through the energy, water, land and chemicals used to make it, every t-shirt we pull on has a hidden environmental cost too.
Read on to grasp a few rules we should follow to cut these damages.
The 30-Wears Rule
The reason this rule tops my list is simple: We will have to think well and more to buy less. Thinking about the impacts of our actions before purchasing is a key element on this concept.
The 30-wears rule raises a very good and necessary question: “Will I wear this 30 times?”.
Of course, this challenge does not require you to stop buying altogether, you can still buy the items you love, however before purchasing, pause and ask yourself if you are going to wear it at least 30 times.
If the answer is “no”, then so is the answer to buying it.
In this way you will make the most out of your clothes, you will appreciate the clothes you already have and will definitely love more the new clothes you buy.
As a start, search in social media for the hashtag #30Wears and you will be introduced to numerous people already following it.
Buy Second Hand
During the recent years, the concept of second hand shops, known also as thrift shops, has changed to some extent. Mainly, they have become more expensive.
However, they are still far more budget friendly than buying new clothes or items.
Another reason you might want to start looking for your local second hand right now, is that you will reuse a textile that otherwise would have joined with the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles which is landfilled or burned, every second.
Speaking from my own experience, the cherry on the top with buying second hand clothes is that you will easily find unique or one-of-a-kind pieces.
Whereas, to get familiar with clothes sharing visit apps like MyWardrobeHQ, which allows you to enjoy wearing your rental from as little as four days to as long as 14 days.
Avoid Single-Use Clothes
Unfortunately, buying cheaper products makes it easier to just throw them away.
If you are not that kind of person who easily throws things away, then events like proms, weddings, and special dinners will just add more clothes covered in dust to your closet.
Presuming, we could all agree that in today’s culture we are somehow conditioned to be chasing latest trends which keep changing very fast.
On the other hand, once you understand the true impact of single-use clothes, you will start borrowing them from your friends. Another option is searching online for several opportunities to reuse your clothes.
Wash Less Frequently
I used to wash clothes almost after single use. However, I stopped doing so and you should too. That’s because washing our clothes less frequently is sustainable.
Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study from Plymouth University in the United Kingdom.
The team of this study found out that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.
Also, if you wash your clothes at a lower temperature you will spend less energy.
Who made my clothes?
We all are busy and sometimes even overwhelmed by our everyday responsibilities. So, you are not alone if you do not ‘contemplate’ before purchasing.
In spite of this, you can start and take one step at a time and begin to ask yourself: Who made my clothes?
“Who made my clothes” movement started with the mission to unite everyone in the fashion industry, from the designers, makers, distributors and wearers, to work together towards changing the way clothing is sourced, produced and consumed.
The movement has a ten-point fashion revolution manifesto, demanding for; fair, dignified and equal work, for fashion to conserve and restore the environment, etc.
Tricking fast fashion and becoming a conscious consumer it’s not something you will achieve in the blink of an eye. No one can.
So, have patience and remind yourself that even if you make one of these changes in a week or a month, you will still be making an important change.
This article was part of a series looking into fast fashion – want to read the first part? Here it is:
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