Fast fashion has been a bit of a buzz word of 2019, but what exactly does it mean? How badly do our shopping habits impact the environment?
In this blog, we are going to share a little insight into fast fashion, what it means and how we can play our part in putting a stop to it.
What is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is the term used to describe cheap, trendy clothes that very quickly go out of fashion. It is the result of a large number of consumers demanding high fashion, at a low cost.
Rather than replenishing stock when it runs out, retailers are instead creating new designs and items. As a result, this puts the clothes in our wardrobes out of fashion much faster. It’s a little trick to get us to keep buying, as we want to keep up with trends.
Some fast fashion retailers employ cheap labor, to keep keep the costs of their clothes down.
In Bangladesh, some workers are on just $30 a month, working 14-16 hours a day. The work environments are often hazardous and women aren’t always given rights to maternity.
What does Fast Fashion do to the environment?
Fast fashion comes at a huge environmental cost. 5% of the landfill is made up of textiles and it is said that the textile industry emits more greenhouse gasses than international shipping and aviation, combined!
Clothes production in unregulated factories may use toxic chemicals for colours and designs. These chemicals may then be dumped into streams and rivers. Not only that, workers may be affected.
Another issue is the fact that to maintain their image, brands incinerate old stock, rather than donate it. Useful clothes are literally going up in flames to save the image of a brand.
However, there are some things we can do to shop sustainably and avoid fast fashion.
What can I do to avoid fast fashion and shop sustainably?
It is possible to shop sustainably, whatever your budget. Here are a few tips.
- Say no to buying things just because it’s cheap or in style
- Reduce the number of clothes that you buy and ask yourself if you really need all the items
- Repair old clothes, upcycle and make use of repair shops if you aren’t sure how
- Wear the clothes you have over and over, until they are not useable. Try not to buy something you will only wear once, aim to wear it at least 30 times
- Give old clothes to friends, donate them, sell or swap at a swap shop
- Cut up very damaged clothes into cleaning rags
- Recycle them as a final resort
- Buy second-hand clothes online, at vintage stores, charity shops or boot sales
What is a swap shop?
A swap shop is an event where people are invited to bring a bag of clothes and swap them for other clothes people have brought with them. Therefore reducing their environmental impact, while getting new clothing!
Shopping at a swap shop is a great way to get new clothing and give it a new lease of life. Our charity swap shop, on the 9th of November, is also raising money for period poverty charity “Bloody Good Period” and all clothes left over from the swap will be donated to a women’s refuge.
If you would like to come along to the swap shop then you can buy your ticket here. It is £10 which is donated to Bloody Good Period. You’ll be able to have a good clear out of your stuff and pick up some new bits with your tokens.
Find out more about how the swap shop works on our blog below.