A simple guide to achieving sustainable style & minimising your fast fashion consumption
Do you want to stop buying fast-fashion but aren’t sure how? It can seem like a big, scary task but it doesn’t have to be. Below are ten simple tips to help change habits, look at the industry differently and find a more sustainable way to consume fashion that works for you.
The most important thing to remember is that nobody is perfect and even the smallest change can have a huge impact. Switching to a more sustainable wardrobe is super fun and rewarding, so let’s get to it!
1. Get to know your local charity shops
Charity shops are first on the list because changing your purchasing habits is obviously one of the most impactful things you can do. I’ve become obsessed with them over the last few years – the excitement of not knowing what you’ll find, the delight of uncovering the perfect top in your size, the guilt-free joy of spending money that will not only support a good cause but also break the cycle of fast fashion, lessening the negative impact on the environment and garment workers.
Next time you’re in town, make a conscious effort to visit the charity shops first before diving into H&M. You might just find everything you were looking for at a fraction of the price!
2. Clear out your wardrobe
There’s nothing better than a good wardrobe clear out to help clear the mind (and bedroom). We’ve all been there – drawers bulging with clothes that we never wear but are keeping ‘just incase’. Enough is enough, it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself. Are you REALLY going to wear that neon pink tank top you bought in Ibiza again?
Once you start clearing out clothes you no longer want/need, I guarantee you’ll uncover some hidden gems you forgot you owned, which will now feel like a new purchase. You’ll realise you actually do have plenty of outfit choices, so there’s no need to starting panic buying on ASOS. Plus, all those clothes you’ve now sorted out can be taken to your new favourite charity shop!
3. Coat hanger challenge
This is one of my favourite ways to ensure I keep my wardrobe full of clothes I actually wear. I begin facing all my clothes hangers the same way. Once I’ve worn something, I put it back in with the hanger facing the opposite way. After about six months it’s then easy to see which clothes I’ve worn and which remain untouched. I then look through these and decide whether it’s time for another trip to the charity shop. This trick is also a great reminder that I really don’t need to buy more clothes unnecessarily.
4. Delete fast fashion apps
Whilst fashion apps like ASOS and boohoo are one click away on your phone, they are going to be hard to resist. If they’re gone, so is the temptation to browse. In the past I am guilty of opening ASOS out of pure boredom and then becoming sucked in, adding things to my basket that I didn’t even know existed 10 minutes before. I never once stopped to consider that maybe these purchases weren’t necessary if they weren’t even on my radar before I opened the app. I’m convinced they make the buying process so simple & fast for that exact reason. Don’t think! Just buy!
5. Unsubscribe to fast fashion emails
Similarly to the above point, if it’s out of sight then it should be out of mind and easier to resist. Fashion brands LOVE to send a barrage of emails with discounts, offers and big sparkly banners that try to convince you that you need a new outfit immediately. Spoiler alert: you don’t. Take back control, unsub from those emails!
6. Download second-hand apps
Now you’ve removed your fashion fashion apps, you can replace them with the likes of depop, vented & eBay. These places are great for finding specific items you’re looking for and usually at reasonable prices too.
7. Shop with sustainable brands
There will obviously be times when you need to buy something new, charity shops don’t always come up with the goods. I find it especially hard to find second-hand trousers or shoes that fit properly. Luckily there are loads of amazing sustainable fashion brands around now. Some of my favourites include Lucy & Yak, Organic Basics, TALA, Monkee Genes and People Tree. If it still seems like fast fashion in the only option, make sure you’re buying good quality, long lasting items.
8. Borrow don’t buy
Another great option is to avoid buying anything at all. Hire Street is a brilliant website where you can hire outfits. Simply choose one you like & how long you need it for, they send it to you and you send it back to them by the agreed date. It’s perfect for finding that special outfit for a one-off event such as a wedding or party. Plus, there’s less chance you’ll turn up in the same thing as someone else! Swapping clothes with your mates is also a great (and fun) way of finding a new outfit without spending a penny. They might even let you keep it if you’re lucky.
9. Watch The True Cost documentary
The True Cost is a documentary which explores the impact fashion has on people as well as the planet. It’s incredibly eye-opening (and super tough and upsetting at times) so I recommend it to everyone. It’s easy to ignore numbers and figures that get thrown around about the impact of fast fashion, but shocking to actually see exactly how it is damaging our world and negatively affecting millions of people. It really hammers home why the fashion industry needs drastic change & we all need to do our bit to consume less of it.
10. Follow sustainable instagrammers
Fill your feed with some amazing sustainable bloggers to inspire you & keep you motivated on your anti-fast fashion journey. evagoesthrifting, crueltyfreebecky, fash_rev, f.laura_and_fauna, & sustainably_vegan are a few of my favourites. Check out this list from The Good Trade for more!
I hope this post has provided you with some inspiration and helpful tips for ditching fast fashion.
Good luck & happy thrifting! x