Yesterday, today, tomorrow, whenever I pass by clothes shops or fashion websites, there are new trends, new models, new clothes. New trends are hitting the shops constantly, at lower and lower prices. I can't deny the desire to look good and feel pretty (I'm a girl so obviously:)), but is it worth harming the planet that much?
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), fast fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. Annually, it releases over 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than those of international marine and aviation industries combined (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). The amount of water consumption is also enormous, at 93 billion cubic metres each year, as for a simple pair of jeans, it already takes 7,500 litres. Besides, there are other environmental effects coming from pesticides in cotton farming, toxic dyes, plastic microfibre and so on. Socially, thousands of people in poor countries are also working at just about $3 a day (remake.world), in terrible working conditions that can lead to deadly accidents (The Rana Plaza Accident in Bangladesh that killed at least 1,132 people).
Being shocked by the truth, as the more I learn, the more I find out how much companies are doing to trick us into buying more! I have to say all marketing experts here are really good at what they are doing! I hence start finding my own ways to slowly ditch fast fashion from my wardrobe!
1. Stop following fashionista's social media
Social media is nowadays the main way for us to know the new trends, see what others are wearing and so on. I have to say social media gives me quite a big of mental pressure, as I might not look as hot as those KOLs, my clothes are not as trendy, my face is not pretty enough, etc. Those famous people on Social media also work with big brands to promote their new products, so that more people can be tricked into catching up with the trend.
By simply unfollowing certain fashionista's social media, especially Instagram, I feel less pressure in term of catching up with people, making sure I am not the one behind. An easy start for this journey!
2. Get rid of my clothes sustainably
When there are clothes that I can no longer wear (normally because I gain weight :(( ), I will donate them to my relatives in my hometown (in Vietnam, people in countrysides are generally poorer than those in cities). I make sure that all clothes are still in the best condition and suitable for wearing.
Seeing the joy and smiles of those who receive my clothes always makes my day!
3. Recycle old clothes for other purposes
When my clothes are too torn out to be donated, I recycle them for other things. The most common thing is to turn shirts into carpets for my bathroom or kitchen (they absorb water really well). Another thing is to turn shirts into pillow cloth, or as blanket for my pets.
4. Be creative!
To be honest, I am not a big fan of 2nd clothes. No matter how much I love the environment and want to protect it, I cannot get over the feeling of wearing clothes that someone has worn (I don't like the feeling of my personal items being touched by others). Hence, I know for sure 2nd hand clothes are not for me!
What do I do then? Be super creative! I try to mix and match more, maybe change the design a tiny bit. I also keep most of the clothes that I can wear, as you can easily see that fashion trends come back every 5 to 10 years. So why wasting your soon-to-be-trendy again?
5. Order from small tailors
I like supporting local businesses. I still buy from big brands, of course, when there are things that is almost impossible (or too expensive) to be made by local tailors. However, for simple things like summer dresses or shirts, I go to local tailors to get them made, as a way to support the tailors.
Plus, my mum does all the knitting for me, so my winter sweater, scarf and hat are always super unique. Love you Mum!
What else do you do to ditch fast fashion? Can you share with us? I would love to hear from you!