How To Be A Little More Sustainable When You Can Only Afford Fast Fashion

by - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fast fashion is an industry that has been skyrocketed since influencers could make money off affiliate links, but there is a dark side to buying so many clothes in a month. Fast fashion has been proven to have a negative impact financially and environmentally because of how many resources are used just to produce that H&M skirt that your favorite influencer is eventually going to sell on Depop or Poshmark. Of course, there are sustainable clothing options, but I have found that many sustainable clothing lines aren't affordable for most people. There is a way to be more sustainable when all you can afford is the likes of department clearance store sections and fast fashion shops at the mall like H&M and Forever 21.

Why is this a problem? 
Being sustainable in a world where fast fashion is king is a problem because of how many influencers do weekly or even monthly hauls and we all know that 95% of that haul either gets returned, donated to a local charity or thrift store or attempted to sell on Depop and Poshmark and that promotes a lot of unhealthy financial habits for many audiences. They feel like they have to wear something new every day because their favorite influencer doesn't wear the same outfit every day, or if they don't buy that new Primark purse, they'll be labeled as an outcast and a cheapskate by their peers. Constant fast fashion shopping also is bad for the environment because of the natural resources that are being used up just to make 100,000 clothing items, as most fast fashion brands use factories that spew a lot of pollution into the air.

How can influencers and bloggers solve this problem? 
Reuse your clothes
I'll be very frank: nobody is going to care if you wear that black Primark dress two days a week because they won't even notice. I noticed that influencers seem to never wear the same outfit twice, which is simply unrealistic for many people who have to work 9-5 jobs or in retail. There's no shame for influencers to re-wear their clothes because it's what a majority of people who aren't celebrities do anyway

Teach your audience to shop on a budget
Teaching your audience how to shop for clothes on a budget is handy, because it's better than those weekly ASOS hauls that seem to pop up on Youtube every day, and it gives handy tips for teenagers or young adults who are entering university, or college graduates who have landed a job and aren't sure how to save.

What can I do to be more sustainable? 
If you can afford sustainable clothing brands, kudos to you. For the rest of us, sustainable clothing really isn't an option because of the price points but there are ways to be a little more conscious of how you shop for clothes.
I ask myself a lot of questions when I buy anything, really, but the questions I ask myself when looking at clothes are:

  • Will I wear this more than once?
  • What is the cost per wear? (ex: a $40 dress you only wore once would be $40 per wear, and a $30 pair of boots you wore 100 times would be $.30 per wear) 
  • Will it fit once I throw it in the laundry?
  • Do I need to care for it in a special way? (ex: drycleaning) 
  • Is it practical?
  • Will I wear it year round? (only exceptions are anything winter-related) 
  • Do I need it to replace a certain item? 
  • How many of this item do I have (ex: how many sweaters or purses do you have?) 
How are you becoming sustainable if you can only afford fast fashion? 

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