How To Avoid 'Fast Fashion' When You Go Shopping

Avoiding 'Fast Fashion' Isn't Difficult With Apps Like Depop And Relovv

The options are endless and the prices range from under $10 to more pricey, yet discounted clothing from designer brands.

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It's hard to always be environmentally and socially conscious when you're a young, poor, college student. Being vegan is expensive, using animal-friendly products is difficult and avoiding fast fashion can seem impossible. The most important thing is to do your part to the best of your ability and to try to make a difference in tiny ways. The good news is, avoiding fast fashion isn't as impossible as it seems.

Fast fashion is a term used for companies that mimic the latest designer trends and sell them at an inexpensive cost to the public. There's a reason you can buy shirts from a brand like Forever 21 for ten dollars. Clothes that fall into the "fast fashion" category are often made by exploited, underpaid workers. The production of these clothes has also been shown to have negative, harmful effects on the environment. In a time where it is so crucial to take care of our earth, we all need to do our best to cut down on the behaviors that contribute to global warming.

Although thrifting is a smart solution, it can be tricky to find a reliable, well-priced thrift store. So many second-hand stores price their "vintage" items just as high, or higher than the original cost. Turning to purchase items at cheaper places like the Salvation Army feels wrong, as those clothes are for people who are in extreme need. Thrifting also doesn't have the convenience of online shopping.

When you don't have much money of your own it can be hard to find the motivation to save money for expensive clothing and to stop shopping at the cheap brands that work well with your budget. Most young adults would prefer to save money by buying several, cheaply made articles of clothing opposed to purchasing one, high-quality article of clothing, even if they do care about the environment and the wellbeing of workers. However, there's a way to do both.

Apps like Depop and Relovv allow you to search a plethora of second-hand clothing that fits your personal style. The options are endless and the prices range from under $10 to more pricey, yet discounted clothing from designer brands. Depop and Relovv both employ an easy process on the app that allows you to sell your own clothing as well. A benefit to shopping on apps like these is a chance to find unique clothing that fits your look, while avoiding matching with five other girls who liked the same shirt as you at Fashion Nova. These apps are an example of sustainable fashion and are an easy way to circulate clothing and limit your engagement in fast fashion.

Sewing and altering your own clothing is arguably the best way to contribute to the fight against fast fashion. Donations that aren't purchased often make their way to third world countries and have adverse effects on the economies of these countries. Not everyone has the time to pick up a skill like making their own clothing, so while you wait to figure that out, pick up your phone and download a sustainable fashion app to make thrifting as easy and affordable as shopping at Forever 21.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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5 Ethical, Sustainable Clothing Brands For Your Smart Shopping Sprees

We are probably all guilty of purchasing items that support the "fast fashion" market, but take a look at this list the next time you want to perpetuate this harmful network of stores.

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If you are unfamiliar with the term "fast fashion," your favorite clothing store may fall into this category. It is defined as clothing that is developed rapidly in response to trends, and are often marketed at low prices. These low prices mean low production cots, thus implying that there are shortcuts made in the production of materials, including environmental disregard or low wages. Fast fashion is not a sustainable practice, both for the environment and for the people who produce the clothing. There are countless horror stories from companies that perpetuate the industry, like a handwritten desperate note stitched into the Zara shirt. Here are five alternatives that will make you well-dressed, but a conscious advocate as well.

1. Everlane

Everlane is a unique brand, as they disclose the factories they use. The company prides themselves on being ethically sourced, as clothing brands are often run in suspicious or inhumane conditions in forlorn countries. They also are open about their pricing, and the cost to make their items. There is little markup on the final product. For more information on their ethical practices, visit their website here.

2. Reformation

For those willing to pay the price for eco-friendly clothing, look no further than Reformation. According to their website, they have been carbon neutral since 2015. They offer a $100 gift card if you change your utilities to a wind-powered energy source. There is an extensive list of their sustainable goals and accomplishments that you can view here.

3. Patagonia

Patagonia's brand is an outdoorsman's staple, but over the years their casual clothing has drawn a larger consumer base. Their company is not only sustainable in their practices and creation of the clothing, but they actively seek out change and tackle environmental issues. This includes donating 1% of their sales to environmental agencies or making their clothing out of recyclable materials. Further, the CEO, Rose Marcacio, used the $10 million her company received in tax cuts to donate to various non-profits centralized on climate change. Visit this link to see how you can help your local community, another initiative that Patagonia has advertised.

4. Thred Up

Thredup is an online consignment store which acts as a middle man for selling and buying old clothes. First, you order a "cleanout" bag to ship your clothes in. You may even earn some cash or credit for them! They then are listed on the website. People often do not think about the environmental cost of clothing production, namely the dramatic use of water and the non-recyclability of clothing. Thrifting and consignment stores aids in this issue, and if you are an avid online shopper, Thredup is a perfect place to shop.

5. United by Blue

United by Blue is an amazing clothing company that removed one pound of trash from the ocean with every product sold. So far, the company has removed 1,606,921 pounds of trash from our waters. Not only this, but this innovative brand has made products out of new and recycled materials, like recycled polyester. They have everything from backpacks to sweaters, so explore their page now!

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