Fast fashion and sustainable fashion are somewhat opposites within the fashion industry. However, a lot of people feel they cannot afford to buy sustainable fashion or that the style of these brands doesn’t fit them. So how can you shop sustainable when you shop at fast fashion high street brands?
If you love a fast fashion store and you feel you cannot live without it, you don’t have to have to give it up completely. There are ways to minimize your impact that do not include changing your entire closet or only buying ethical brands.
How to have a conscious closet
The first thing to do is to refuse and reduce. That means buying less in general and try to avoid things that are just trendy items that will be used once. The goal should be to build a long-lasting closet that represents your personal style. If possible, try to see if you can find the item second hand first. There are so many people who wear something for a week and then sell it online or hand it into a consignment store. So that should always be the first option.
Use what you have
I believe the best way of avoiding unnecessary consumption is to shop your own closet. Most people have a full closet, while still feeling like they have nothing to wear. Take some time to look around to see what you really own, you might find some forgotten favorites that could need some new love. A great way of rediscovering one’s closet is to do a challenge, maybe a 10×10 or a capsule closet where you are forced to be more creative with what you already own?
Take care of what you own
By taking care of what you own it will last longer. Make an effort to follow the washing instructions, to not wash or dry more than necessary and to mend things that break instead of discarding. When you take care of what you own, the need for constantly buying new is not as noticeable since you have a full closet of nice-looking clothes.
Sell or give away the things you no longer want or use
If you really feel that an item is not for you, then get rid of it. We should not have things that make us feel bad or doesn’t serve a real purpose. When you actually decide to get rid of something, sell it or give away to someone you know would like it. There are issues with donating and recycling clothing so I would try to avoid that if I do not know exactly where the clothes will end up. There are several great ways you can sell clothes online today, everything from eBay to depop, Facebook or the old regular flea market.
Repurpose that which is no longer wearable
If you have a dress of which you no longer like the top, maybe you can turn it into a skirt? A pair of jeans can be cropped off for a new trendy fringed crop length or simply turned into a pair of shorts or a skirt. If all else fails, make something completely new out of it. An old bedsheet can be turned into several small handkerchiefs (perfect for cold season!) and an old towel can be turned into reusable face pads. There are several ways of using old fabric for new things.
Have you made the move to shop sustainably? Or do you still have a love affair with H&M?