A good shopping spree is a sure way to get in that much-desired retail therapy, whether we need essential clothing items or simply crave the latest trend. But at what cost to the environment are we enjoying the spoils of so-called ‘fast fashion’?
The experts at fashion retailer Psyche explains how investing in wardrobe staples may be the antidote needed to tackle the current issue surrounding the retail industry and its consumers.
What is fast fashion?
Take a moment to consider how quickly fashion trends change from season to season. As each trend trickles down from the catwalks, the next is just around the corner. For dedicated followers of fashion, it results in the need for instant style updates; the latest sneaker style, most popular pattern or preferred jacket style. There are many brands online and in bricks and mortar stores which aim to fulfil these needs with low cost (and often, lower quality) items that can be made quickly and efficiently.
The main problem with the fast fashion discourse is how disposable it appears to make the chosen clothing, footwear and accessories. Many people will move onto the next trend, and have no use for its predecessor, and popping clothes which no longer serve them into the bin, thus sending perfectly fine items to landfill.
How to be more ethical when buying clothes
It is possible to be more ethical and mindful when it comes to buying clothes – and of course, you can still update your wardrobe with the below considerations:
Invest in higher quality garments
The benefit of investing in higher quality items for your wardrobe is that they should last longer and serve you well during multiple seasons, if not years! Higher quality items often come at a higher value, but the craftsmanship of a well-made tailored coat or perfectly fitting jeans means that cost per wear should be worth the extra investment. Those lower costing fast fashion pieces will not hold the same appeal or value to you compared to more premium staple pieces that you can rely on time and again to boost your outfit.
Reduce landfill waste
A major issue with fast fashion is the ‘throwaway’ nature of the cheaper made items – meaning, a pair of leggings with a small hole in may end up being put in the bin rather than have the effort of being fixed with a few stitches. You can limit the amount of clothing that goes into the waste system by taking good care of your clothes; always read the care instructions for washing items such as knitwear to avoid any shrinking mishaps, and store your clothes well to ensure they last for years to come.
Buy second hand, donate old clothes to charity or sell on unwanted items
If investing in higher-value pieces of clothing isn’t an option, simply adapt your purchase behaviour when it comes to shopping and changing your wardrobe from season to season. There are many ways to now buy and sell clothes online (eBay, Depop, Vinted) and you can donate pre-loved clothes and accessories to charity shops to keep them out of landfills.
Being more mindful of your consumption of fashion is key to tackling the fast fashion industry. Opt for higher value, staple items that look stylish this season and beyond, and pass on pieces that you no longer need to others to keep your fashion fresh and out of landfills.