Everything You Need To Know About Fast Fashion But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Everything You Need To Know About Fast Fashion But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Do you know where your clothes really come from?

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You may have seen this term around the internet recently. But what exactly is fast fashion, and what should it mean to you? Look no further for all the details.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is clothing that quickly grabs the hottest fashion trends straight from the runway. Fast fashion clothing brands focus on mass-producing tons of new, on-trend items as rapidly as possible.

What’s the problem with that?

Well, there are a bunch of problems with fast fashion. Let's break it down:
  • Poor Quality- Since fast fashion brands are focused on mass-producing as many clothes as possible, they're not necessarily focusing on the quality of the clothes they produce. Fast fashion clothes may be cheaper, but they certainly won't last you as long as something well-made.
  • Manipulative- Fast fashion clothes are made to be very on-trend, which sounds great, right? Actually, that's part of how they get you. Fast fashion brands know that soon after you buy their trendy clothes, they'll go out of style and you'll buy new ones. It seems great that these clothes are affordable, but the prices don't seem as great if you keep buying new ones every few months.
  • Unsustainable- Fast fashion brands create a whole lot of waste. Not only do their customers throw out their clothes frequently, but large amounts of unpurchased clothes go to waste as well. And where do all these unused clothes actually go? Most of the time, they end up in a landfill in another country. Even if you donate your old clothes to a thrift store, chances are, a lot of them will end up going to waste.
  • Unethical- A lot of fast fashion clothing is made in factories and sweatshops in third world countries that treat workers very poorly. Often times, the employees are forced to endure unsafe working conditions and don't make anything close to living wages.

What are some popular fast fashion brands?

Bad news: chances are, some of your favorite clothing brands are probably fast fashion companies. Some well-known culprits are Forever 21, H&M, Zara, and Topshop. Plenty of other clothing brands also use unethical and unsustainable manufacturing processes.

What can I do about it?

You can stop supporting fast fashion! Instead of going on shopping sprees at fast fashion stores, you can invest in a few high-quality items from ethical and sustainable brands. It may sound daunting, but "slow fashion" clothing items will be well worth your investment. They may be less trendy, but they'll better reflect your personal style. Plus, there's something special about loving and valuing every clothing item in your closet.

Where can I buy slow fashion?

Slow fashion is great, but the prices can get pretty steep. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable ways to shop sustainably! One of the best, tried-and-true ways is to start thrifting. Buying used clothes is a great way to do your part to minimize waste. Plus, it can be really fun! If thrifting doesn't work out for you, consignment shops usually offer a more curated, smaller selection of stylish secondhand clothing.

Thanks to the internet, now you can even thrift without leaving the comfort of your own home! Thrift websites like thredup.com and swap.com make thrifting a lot easier. Individual sellers are also able to create their own online secondhand stores on apps like Depop and Poshmark.

Is there anything else I can do?

Yes! A great way to shop and own clothes more sustainably and ethically is to simply be a little more picky about the clothes you buy and wear. Next time you go shopping (even if it's at a fast fashion store), think a little harder about your purchase. Try using the rule of 3's: will you still want to wear this item in 3 weeks? How about 3 months? 3 years? Ask yourself, how often are you actually going to wear this item? It's always a great idea to be more thoughtful about your purchases.

It can be easy to forget that each of us makes a small impact on this earth, and the individual choices we make can amount to a substantial difference. There are lots of ways we can make an effort to be more sustainable and ethical in our daily lives. Whether you take many of these tips, just one, or if you simply continue researching the topic, you are doing your part to help take care of our world.

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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 semi-colon 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 in to 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 & 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 glyphs 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 & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is 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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Get The Most Out of Your Trip To The Thrift Store

Tips from a self-proclaimed thrifting expert.

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If you know me, you know I love thrift stores. Sorting through racks of clothes, filling my basket up with dozens of different pieces, and walking away with a couple of different things is always so satisfying. Some people go for the vintage items, but I'm there to find the best over-sized t-shirt around and maybe yet another pair of shoes to add to the dozens I already own. Every time I go, there is a different selection of clothes for me too look at, so I end up going there all the time to see what's new! The bonus of thrifting? You can get a bunch of new styles without spending a bunch of money. To make the most out of your own trips to the thrift store, here are six rules you should follow.

Try on EVERYTHING that catches your eye

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We've all had those moments where we see a shirt we like at the mall, but then decide it might not fit, or it's not in our usual comfort zone, or it's too expensive, so we skip right over it. Not the case at thrift stores. If you like it and you think it might fit, try it out. I've gone into thrift stores and tried on fifteen or twenty things, some of which are just t-shirts but others that are interesting tops that I normally would never pick up. Sometimes those different clothes end up being my favorite, and since the prices are low it's the perfect way to test out a different style without dropping a lot of money on a shirt you might not wear more than once.

Bring a friend

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If you're going to a big store like Savers, there can be an overwhelming amount of racks to go through. With a friend, you can look for each other and end up with outfits you like that you might've not seen by yourself. Last time I went, my friends found a ton of UMD gear for me to try on! Going with a friend means double the finds.

Scope out different locations

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College gear is all over the place at thrift stores. Have you seen the price of a sweatshirt at your college bookstore? Check for something similar at the thrift store before you snag that $50 crewneck. If you're going to an instate school, there is a solid chance your local thrift stores will have gear for your school so you can show your spirit without breaking the bank. Some of my favorite college t-shirts are from thrift stores and they were under $5 each. For out of state schools, hit up the thrift stores in the towns close to it.

Read the label

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Where else are you going to get an authentic Longchamp purse and a Southern Marsh fuzzy pullover for $3 each? Expensive brand names at ridiculously low prices are one of the hidden gems of thrift stores. They are rare finds but totally make going to the store with it. Make sure to check the shoes, too!

Look for deals

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Many of the major chain thrift stores offer 50% off at the end of the month for one day only, if you're a rewards member. The rewards programs are usually free and sometimes include early access to sales or bonus coupons after shopping a certain number of times or spending enough money.

Give back

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Got clothing in great condition that doesn't fit anymore or isn't your style? Donate it and make room for your new clothes while doing something good at the same time! If you aren't bringing it to the thrift store, look into non-profits or organizations around you that will take what you don't wear anymore. Many places will take books, shoes, and furniture, so bring those on your next trip, too. Donating is a win for people and the planet!

Whether you hit up the thrift store all the time or you're just starting out, thrifting is the way to go if you want to revamp your wardrobe without spending a ton of money!

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