Do you love to keep up with the latest fashion trends? Have you heard of fast fashion before?
Many years ago, fashion trends used to change each season (from spring to summer to autumn to winter). However, nowadays fashion trends are introduced 2 to 3 times per month! That’s 9 times as much production of new clothing trends! Fast fashion brands will try to lure you into purchasing their latest fashion trends in order to keep their profits rolling in.
Although fast fashion items are cheap and affordable, we should take into consideration the real cost of fast fashion… the irreversible damage to our planet. Fast fashion allows us to buy more clothes and the latest fashion, yet they’re worn less often and are thrown away at an unprecedented rate.
80 billion items are manufactured every year and most of this ends up in landfills. Yet it’s estimated that by 2050, global clothing sales could triple.
The 5 Rs to building an ethical closet
Refuse: Learn to say no to impulsive purchasing and saying no to buying clothes just because they’re cheap or it’s the latest fashion trend.
Reduce: Cut down on the volume of clothes you buy – only buy what you need. When choosing clothes, think to yourself do you really need them? Or are you just buying them because you like them?
Reuse: Try not to buy clothes which you will only wear once. Get as many uses out of your clothes as you possibly can. It has been suggested that you would need to wear your items of clothing at least 30 times, in order to make up for the environmental cost that it took to produce that item of clothing.
Repair: If you have items of clothing that don’t fit you properly or that are ripped, you can repair them easily by following some YouTube videos. Click here to see how you could upcycle your clothing!
Recycle: Recycling should be the LAST resort. You should try to find a home for your clothes before you try to recycle them. You could host a clothes swapping party, try to give them to charity/friends and family, or sell them on Depop or Vinted! You could also turn them into cleaning rags or tote shopping bags (check out the upcycling video above).
Buying second-hand clothing is the most ethical option as you are not contributing towards the production of new clothes.
Other environmentally friendly options
You could rent clothing from a website called Rent the Runway. They have fashionable clothes and the fact that you are renting the clothes means that they won’t end up in landfills and will get used multiple times! They have the largest dry cleaning facility in the world due to having to clean clothes for their 10 million members. Although this must require a lot of washing, I think it is better to wash and reuse them rather than throw them away and have them end up in landfill sites!
Finally, if you struggle to find an ethical store to buy from for things that cannot be bought second-hand (such as underwear), do not stress. As long as you are being more conscious about what you buy, how often you buy, and how much you buy, you are still making the world a little better!
Thanks for reading!