Fast fashion is a hot topic at the moment especially after the release of Stacey Dooley Investigates Fashion’s Dirty Secrets. I’ve briefly touched on my thoughts surrounding fast fashion previously but I will be honest here and say I had absolutely no idea about the impact fast fashion had on the environment and the damage it was causing until I watched the show. It really opened my eyes and made me take a step back and assess my own shopping habits. In fact, it has struck so close to home that I felt compelled to share my thoughts with you.
Just like 85% of the rest of the population, I am one of those people with a wardrobe bursting at the seams yet I always complain about having nothing to wear. A lot of pieces in my wardrobe are fast fashion pieces and usually after about a week or two there is a new trend everyone is jumping on and my current garms just won’t cut the mustard. Coupled with the fact that nowadays we see so many celebrities and ‘influencers’ flaunting reels and reels of fresh, new outfits but you will rarely see the same piece worn more than once. Why is that? Do you remember a time when shopping was fun? Back when I was a teenager my mum used to take me shopping I remember dragging her into New Look every month for a full on fashion show in the changing rooms. I would fall in love with every item and then spend the entire afternoon trying to convince the bank of mum to kit me out with a new wardrobe. Much to my dismay I was usually unsuccessful but I would usually walk away with one item which I would be obsessed with. Trust me when I say I used to get every pennies worth of wear out of it.
I’ve always been a serial outfit repeater mainly because I have lacked the confidence to experiment with my personal style and so I’ve just stuck to what I know and what works for me. After all clothes are meant to be worn and they are meant to be enjoyed so I would much rather be getting my money`s worth out of every item I buy. With living costs on the rise most people have less than £100 disposable income at the end of every month so it seems absolutely ludicrous we would spend £40 on a dress we were only planning on wearing once. But what baffles me even more than that is how we can live in a world where one person can work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and be paid less than a £100 a month to live on and feed their entire family. But somehow Joe Blogs the micro ‘influencer’ can take a snap which takes him an hour to create in his new tee he was sent to promote whilst raving about how much he loves it.. only to flog it on Depop the next day.
I’ve spent years being consumed by the fashion world, jumping on the biggest trends, racking up the credit card bills on clothes I’ve never worn – all in a bid to be seen as cool and fashionable. In reality it’s not cool putting yourself in debt for the sake of a new outfit you’ll wear once. It’s not cool when your bedroom turns into a giant wardrobe but you have a meltdown every time you have to go absolutely anywhere because you’re surrounded by clothes you do not have confidence enough to wear. And its certainly not cool spending so much time worrying what others think when in reality nobody actually cares if you wore that dress two days in the same week. Hell, they probably didn’t even notice.
With this in mind I’ve been thinking about what I can do to change my habits now while I swot up on the issue and learn more about sustainable shopping and ethical brands. Fashion is such a big part of my life and to say I will never buy fast fashion again is completely unrealistic but I do want to make more informed decisions about where I shop and what I buy. I’ve sorted my current wardrobe into workwear and causal wear to make it easier to put outfits together and to see if there are any key pieces missing. I’ve made a list of the items I plan to invest in but I am limiting myself to 3 new items of clothing for the rest of Autumn / Winter season. Instead I plan to shop second hand and my first stop will be raiding the local charity shops and searching on E-bay for some pre-loved bargains. I want to learn about customising and upcycling what I already have without spending much money to make some old loved pieces more wearable. I’m going to start shopping my wardrobe and focusing on styling one piece several different ways to maximise what I already have. If I am making a purchase then is it ethically sourced and sustainable? Will it last through the seasons or will I wear it twice and commit it to the vacuum storage bag under the bed? Are there are any key basics which I can invest in which will last me all year round?
It’s not something we can change overnight but as consumers we have the power to change the industry from the bottom up. I’ve seen some incredible bloggers chatting about this topic and Vix and Anna have both pulled together reams of excellent resources further discussing the topic as well as many, many others. Together we can all work together to be part of the change the fashion industry so desperately needs.