Womens fashion has never been so affordable – and it’s costing us big time. Fast fashion has led to the availability of drastically cheaper clothing. But this is having a catastrophic effect on workers, our planet and even our sense of identity.
The churn and burn cycle of fast fashion is something we can fight against. Here are a few ways you can do your part.
Buy Fewer Clothes
Yes, really. You don’t need another viscose party dress in order to show your face in public anyway, so put it back on the rack or close that browser tab. One of the best things about scaling back your purchases is that you wind up with a new awareness of your true style and a wardrobe curated to your taste.
If experimenting with new clothing is your passion, buy second-hand designer goods or get familiar with your local thrift shops and bag a unique bargain. Shopping pre-loved clothing and saving your bigger spends for sustainably made hero pieces will pay off in the long run. Quality, not quantity.
Choose Natural Fibres
As you wean yourself off your fast fashion addiction, you’ll start paying attention to the kind of materials used in the clothing you’re lusting after and the pieces you own already. When it comes to buying brand new womens fashion, aim for natural fibres. Certain fibres such as hemp, cashmere, jute and organic cotton and wool can biodegrade easier than other fabrics or are easier to recycle.
Less sustainable textiles to look out for include non-organic cotton, polyurethane and unrecycled polyester. ‘Vegan’ anything tends to carry connotations of environmental friendliness – but in the case of clothing, ‘vegan leather’ products are amongst the least sustainable.
Look for Sustainable Womens Fashion Labels
Time to accept that buying an outfit straight off the mannequin at your local fast fashion giant is plain old laziness.
Thankfully, options in the way of sustainable womens fashion labels are numerous – and on the rise. This will do wonders for your overall style, as you’ll be actively seeking beautiful, versatile pieces that are truly worth the investment.
With awareness spreading about issues of sustainability, many more emerging designers are considering the source of their materials and their production process with a conscious mind. If we champion the brands who aim for sustainability and originality, we’ll be contributing to a more ethical and creative fashion landscape.
Ethical Clothing Australia offers a fantastic list of ethical labels as a starting point for your research.
Recycle What You Discard
Next time you’re on a Marie Kondo style cleaning rampage, be sure to consider how you’re discarding your clothes and accessories. Selling your items online or sending them to a trusted online reseller is a fantastic way to give your clothing a new home and happy owner.
Donating your unwanted clothing to charity seems like an easy to action, obvious solution – and yet only an estimated 15% of discarded womens fashion is recycled in this way.
If donating isn’t an option for you, consider getting crafty with your unwanted garms. Cut up squares of cotton or jersey t-shirts and say goodbye to store-bought cleaning cloths. Sew together some patchwork shopping bags.
For items of clothing that are well and truly beyond saving, do some research and find a textile recycling drop off point, like those offered by King Cotton.
Embrace ‘Virtual Reality’
Beyond the obvious ramifications to the environment and well-being of workers, fast fashion and the culture of novelty it encourages is also having an impact on our sense of identity. The online world champions the new and the novel, and so shopping habits are continually changing to meet the demands of the online ideal.
Grammers gotta gram, so some influencers are leaning into emerging technology that will allow them to wear ‘digital clothing’ in their social media posts. Virtual womens fashion can be purchased and digitally fitted onto your frame in photographs, minimising damage through supply and production enormously.
While still in its infancy, this idea is bound to become more mainstream as technology continues to blend into daily life more and more.
So, are you ready to do your part against fast fashion?