Reduce FastFashion

By Jo Phillips

Ways you can help reduce fast fashion and make sustainable fashion choices

A relatively new phenomenon in the fashion industry, fast fashion has quickly become synonymous with the rise in high-street retailers and is responsible for causing damage to the environment, harming animals, and exploiting workers in developing countries. For all the harmful effects of fast fashion, trying to reverse its results can sometimes seem overwhelming for the average high-street shopper. That’s why we’ve come up with 4 easy ways you can help reduce fast fashion and make sustainable fashion choices. 

What is fast fashion?

In a nutshell, fast fashion can be defined as clothing that samples ideas from celebrity and catwalk culture, which has been turned into cheaper garments for high street retailers to sell to regular shoppers. It’s all about getting the latest (and more expensive) catwalk trends to high-street stores at breakneck speed – and for a section of the price.

How is fast fashion affecting the environment?

Fast fashion significantly affects the environment in many ways. Not only is the industry the third-largest global manufacturer, but the carbon emissions made from production processes to transportation play their part in the current climate crisis. These non-sustainable production processes lead to illegal wastewater dumping and microplastic pollution. At the same time, the industry uses nearly 79 billion cubic meters of water annually which contributes to the water scarcity concern of many environmentalists.

Ways you can help reduce fast fashion

Doing your bit for the environment and shopping more sustainably doesn’t have to be a slog with these 4 expert tips

1. Buy more second-hand clothing

Reusing existing products instead of buying new garments that have been made to meet consumer demand is an easy way to reduce fast fashion. Whether you head to your local charity shop or spend an hour searching through second-hand fashion apps like Vinted and Depop, going out with the new and in with the old can have positive repercussions on the world around us

2. Donate your old clothes to recycling banks

Donating any garments you no longer wear to recycling banks can also help reduce your fast fashion carbon footprint. Women’s top retailer Damart surveyed 2,000 UK shoppers about their sustainable fashion choices and found that eight out of ten (79%) UK consumers say they use their local recycling banks, and more than a third (38%) go to their recycling banks at least every six months. Recycling your old clothing helps reduce landfill, conserve energy, and also benefits people in both the UK and developing countries.3. Buy good quality clothing (that won’t go out of style)

Switching from fast fashion retailers to fashion companies that prioritise using sustainable materials is another easy way to bring positive change to the environment. Materials like recycled cotton, organic hemp, and organic linen, are all common materials to look for when you want to shop more sustainably. At the same time, other sustainable fashion materialsinclude tencel/lyocell, econyl, and recycled polyester (rPET).4. Only buy what you really need

The fewer clothes you buy, the less you’re contributing to the industry’s need of supply and demand. Damart found that more than two-thirds (72%) of consumers admitted to holding onto items of clothing they no longer wear, while an average of nine pieces of unworn clothing take up space in our wardrobes. Instead of buying new clothes every season, make sure to really sift through what you already own, and decide if you really need another pair of trousers or if you can make do with what you’ve already got.

Reducing fast fashion and making sustainable fashion choices doesn’t have to be difficult. With our four expert tips above, you can easily do your bit for the environment and quickly reduce your carbon footprint in no time.

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