I had a full-scale panic attack after watching "The True Cost." Watch the trailer for the film below about the effects fast fashion is having on the world. I shopped with fast fashion retailers religiously. Guilty and terrified for the fate of the universe, I decided that it was time for a change.
This was my Fast Fashion Rehabilitation:
1. I purged my clothes.
Dumping out every drawer I own, I decided I had to divide and conquer.
2. The categories were toss, give away, reuse, and sell.
This was reserved for the items that were destroyed beyond repair. I tried to make this as few items as possible.
I thought of specific people who would want the items I was getting rid of. I have a friend who is a size down from me (which happens to be my high school size) who had recently complained about not being able to find new jeans. The faux leather bustier vest I never wear? Gave it to a pal with a slightly wilder taste then myself.
There are literally thousands of ways to customize old clothing. As a Textile Designer, I am a huge fan of hand embroidery. I also like to incorporate fabrics I have woven into my DIY’s. Take a look at the jeans I customized above! However, with countless online tutorials, you do not need to have an eye for design to customize your new clothes. A pair of scissors and some thread will usually do.
Refashionista is an entire blog dedicated to a woman who refashions (or upcycles) all of her clothing.
There are so many retailers, both online and in-person who are willing to pay for your once loved clothing. https://www.vinted.com/ , https://poshmark.com/ , ThredUp , https://carousell.com/ , http://www.ebay.com/ , https://marketplace.asos.com/ and many more online.
If you don't have any of these stores in your area, simply googling will deliver a surprising amount of results!
After I boiled my wardrobe down to what I really needed, I decided it was time to change the thought process behind clothing.
3. Evaluate the desired want or need?
What to do when we want new clothes? It is okay to want a suede fringe jacket because it is a trendy item. However, it is essential to recognize the difference between needing and wanting such a jacket. This mentality is the driving force behind fast fashion when you recognize you don’t actually have the immediate need for a target trend piece. You can save your money and get that same jacket at a sweat shop sustainable store.
Let's talk about needing something and I'll use an example. You need a winter coat because you live in a cold climate. Try approaching your purchase this way; spend more money on a timeless silhouette with a neutral color . This is also known as an investment piece. When you buy something new, think of each purchase as a stock in the market. You need to shop around first before you invest. You are looking for a sure thing. You are looking for longevity.
4. Plan ahead, shop ahead!
Have you decided that you need new bathing suits for summer ? If so, shop ahead at the many eco conscious brands that I have mentioned. This way you can avoid the need to shop with fast fashion retailers.
5. Shop at thrift stores
Most likely, they’ll have what you need. If it’s a shop that you can sell at (as mentioned above) and have a store credit, that's even better!
6. Shop at eco conscious brands
Some examples of these brands are https://wearpact.com , http://elroyapparel.com/ , (sweatshop free) http://store.americanapparel.net/en/, http://www.patagonia.com/us/home , http://www.hm.com/us/products/ladies/selected/conscious-sustainable-style and http://www.krochetkids.org/utm_source=shareasale.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=afilliate .
7. If you do end up shopping fast fashion, please try not to make it your whole wardrobe!
I’ll admit it! I cave sometimes! Fast fashion retailers know what we love. If I buy an item once every fifty times I go into a fast fashion retailer, I consider that a small victory.
In conclusion, I totally changed the way I think about clothing. I now have a new wardrobe that I don't feel ashamed of every time I put a piece of it on my body. Following my process, you can change the way you look, you think and you feel.