How to combat fast fashion

Fashion image via GirlieGirl Army
I love fashion. It took me many years to embrace my quirky style and now I accept that I'm a little bit modern and a little bit vintage, and sometimes, a lot of bling all rolled into one. There is a quote by Coco Chanel that says, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off". I do the exact opposite and add one more thing. 
While I adore fashion, I do not appreciate what is rolled up into fast fashion. That $5 tshirt costs a whole heck of a lot more in violations to basic human rights and the impact it has on the environment. I wrote recently about the Fashion Revolution and I recognize that it can be difficult to combat fast fashion, but here are a couple of ways. 
  • Buy Local. There are some amazing local shops selling handmade designs. Many are limited edition runs and so you will be wearing highly coveted items.
  • Shop at thrift stores. If you find something you like but it needs a slight alteration then learn how to do it yourself at Wardrobe Revamp or take it to your tailor. 
  • Ask yourself if you really need it. Sometimes all it takes is cleaning out your closet and you will find you have everything you need. If you feel like you 'need' something, examine that feeling and see if you are looking to satisfy another need, or if you are attempting to make yourself feel better. 
  • Buy higher quality so you buy less. Those really cheap tshirts are just that- really cheap tshirts and you will be lucky if they last a season. I hear so many complaints about holes and pilling that it just is not worth buying a shirt like that. Plus, you can't mend them because they just disintegrate. A tshirt that costs $40-$50 may seem a higher price, but those shirts will last longer. 
  • Look for brands that provide their workers a healthy and safe working environment and are environmentally friendly. Good Guide has a great list with ratings of companies that practice socially responsible manufacturing. 
  • Have a clothing swap. Invite a bunch of friends over and grab a couple of bottles of wine and raid their closets.
Take little steps toward changing your shopping habits. Sometimes having to make ethically and environmentally sound purchases can be overwhelming because there is so much information and you do not know where to turn. Start by examining the choices you are making and see if there are changes that you can make. 
Now go do some environmentally friendly and ethically sound shopping!

Originally published 4/21/14 

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