Recently, it had come to my attention that many of the clothes I wear are unethical in the way they’re produced. Brands I frequently shop(mostly for the cheap prices) like Forever21, Urban Outfitters, and Zara are all considered fast fashion. Fast fashion is defined as the phenomenon within the fashion industry where production is quick in order to get trends into the market fastly. This is why Forever21, H&M, and American Eagle tend to be on the cheaper side. Fast fashion depends on its production time and the people who help produce those clothes. Women and children, mostly in Bangladesh and Cambodia, are the creators of the clothes supplied to the previously mentioned retailers. These workers are underpaid( around $73 a month) and often work in unsafe environments. Toxic chemicals, frequent employee hospitalizations, and buildings collapsing are all apart of their job. Another issue with fast fashion brands is that they continue to copy designer’s work; the work that a designer poured hours into. Once I came across this information I was upset. How could I be so blind to something that has been going on for as long as I started shopping for myself. After learning about the sickening details of fast fashion, I made a pledge to myself to create a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe. If you’re interested in making the change, I rounded up a few tips and places you can start at.
“Buy well, choose well, make it last.” -Vivienne Westwood
- Buy vintage or second-hand clothing
- My favorite places for second-hand clothing are Goodwill and 2nd Time Around
- For vintage I tend to look online or if I find myself in NYC or Boston, I search for their most popular vintages shops
- Buy from ethical brands
- Popular brands like ASOS, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People showcase collections with either a social or environmentally positive message. However, most of their clothing is not ethically made so be careful!
- My favorite ethical or sustainable places to shop for clothes are Fat Face, Reformation and Patagonia
- Buy clothes that are high quality
- Of course high quality goes hand in hand with being more expensive but if you think of the pay off, you’re investing in a piece of clothing that will be a classic and last for years.
Important: As a college student I’m guilty of buying clothes that are on the cheaper side. In many of my blog posts or instagram photos you will see that the clothes I wear are American Eagle, H&M, Zara, ASOS, etc. All of which are fast fashion brands. As of now, I’m making the steps to becoming a more responsible shopper. The beauty of getting dressed is lost on me if the well beings of others were sacrificed in the making of my clothes. Feel free to follow my journey as I become a more ethical shopper.
“Everyone can do simple things to make a difference, and every little bit does count.” Stella McCartney