I know that not everything you buy can be thrifted. Some things need to be bought brand new, like underwear for example, or sometimes a brand releases something you really love and you deserve to try yourself to it. But there are some ways to make those high street fast fashion purchases last as long as possible.
Nowadays, we’re so accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle that we just want everything else fast — fast food, fast entertainment, fast dating, and fast fashion. The first three concepts though aren’t as new as fast fashion.
So what is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is basically inspired by expensive designer looks trickling down from the runway to the department store. Fast fashion is more accessible, inexpensive, trendy, and mass-produced. But the quality isn’t quite there.
Most of these products come exceptionally cheap and are of low quality, which is why it goes in your closet fast and out into the bin just as quickly. But why should we care about fast fashion?
What is fast fashion’s impact on the environment?
It’s no surprise that fast fashion has a detrimental impact on the environment through carbon emissions. In fact, fast fashion is one of the largest polluters next to the agriculture industry. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, fast fashion and the fashion industry as a whole contribute to 10% of global CO2 emissions each year. That’s more carbon emissions than ALL the international flights and maritime shipping combined annually.
So how exactly can you help?
One of the best ways to help the environment is to buy secondhand. Of course, you can’t exactly buy EVERYTHING secondhand. Sometimes the items you are shopping for are available exclusively on the high street. If you can’t avoid buying fast fashion, here are some ways of making fast fashion slower:
- Make sure to read care labels. Extending the life of your clothes keeps them in your closet and out of the bin. This means more wear and less tear. The more clothes you keep, the less you’ll be tempted to replace them. So make sure to read care labels so you can extend the life of your clothes.
- Don’t overwear or overwash. One characteristic of fast fashion products is the thinness of the material or the poor workmanship. If you overwear your clothing, then you’ll mostly need to overwash them too. This can often result in threads going loose or wearing out the material until it has holes in it.
- Invest in good hangers. You’re more likely to snag your clothes on cheap and thin hangers than on wooden ones. Strong and sturdy wooden hangers are better for clothing, especially items such as jeans, jackets, and coats. Plus, it’ll stop your clothes from getting those little bumps in the shoulders.
- Avoid tumble drying. Tumble drying can cause a lot of damage to clothing. There may be shrinkage and it could also wear down fabric fast. Air-drying might be time-consuming, but it really is the best way to dry your clothes to keep them in good condition longer.
- Don’t hang wool items. The added weight of wet or damp garments will stretch them out if you hang them to dry. So it’s best to air-dry woollen items such as sweaters and leggings on a flat surface like on top of a chair or table. Hanging wool items in your closet will totally ruin them even when they’re dry. The weight will warp and misshape the weave until the garment is just unwearable, gravity is not your friend when it comes to wool.
As much as possible, we encourage you to buy secondhand items if you can. This way, you’ll be helping the environment by extending the life of someone else’s fast fashion. This is a great way to practice the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Buying secondhand is sustainable, inexpensive, and accessible. But for those times you can’t buy secondhand, slow fashion can still be done by doing the simple tips above. If you want to find great secondhand items, lomasearch.com is the best place to find cool finds at the best prices!