I love fashion. I’m not ashamed of loving outward aesthetics.
However … full stop … one thing I am increasingly ashamed of is my historical indulgences in fast fashion.
If you’re like I was just a few years ago, you’ll not have heard the term ‘fast fashion.’ It’s the fashion equivalent of fast food: cheaply and quickly produced in bulk with the expectation that consumer demand will keep any rotten leftovers from going in the bin. And for those leftovers which do get chucked in the bin, well, meh — it was cheap anyways.
Think H&M. Cheap in quality, cheap in price, and perfect for when you just need a fix of the latest fad.
The thing is, though, that so much of this fast fashion does end up in bins even if it does make it home from the original shop. Many consumers buy fast fashion at such low costs precisely because they won’t feel guilty chucking it away after just three wears — or even with the tags still on!!
I know I for one have in the past been very guilty of shelling out $15 on a silly graphic tee from Forever 21 that I know I will only wear for that one pre-Halloween party. And then the first week of November, wudyaknow, it’s in the bin being sent to a charity shop.
Guilty as charged: See below for evidence of $20 spent on a Forever 21 shirt for some silly pre-Halloween Ninja Turtles thing I went to. (I was also in my insufferable selfie phase, which thank God I have come out of…)
Slowly, steadily, over the intervening years, I have come to adopt a starkly different philosophy on fashion. Which is that, as much as is feasible, I want my adoration of fashion to promote systemic sustainability, eco-friendliness, cost savings, and waste reduction.
I must sound like a complete hippy dippy tree hugger saying all that, which I can assure you I don’t consider myself (not that there’s anything wrong with that…I’m just more of an Elle Woods meets Amy Farrah Fowler type girl.)
I guess it’s just that, the longer I live, the more I see just how much sh!t goes into landfills — and just how much of that sh!t is perfectly good, wonderful, stylish, upcyclable clothing.
Heck, I spent 10 minutes in my local charity shop the other day and scored this amazeballs pencil skirt that’s almost never been worn for just $2. TWO BUCKS. And it might have ended up in a landfill.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suddenly against purchasing straight from a fashion vendor. I maintain that if an article — especially things like handbags or shoes — are well crafted out of fine materials, that they are totally worth buying new if I can get miles and miles out of them until they’re falling apart.
It’s almost like, I’ve reached a point in my fashion consciousness that my predilections are distinctly bimodal: I either want to spend upwards of $500 on brand new nice leather shoes that will last me for ten years, or I want to spent $5 rescuing an article of fast fashion from the landfill.
Tell me, what are your thoughts on fast fashion?
Until next time,