Sustainability in the fashion industry – Where do you buy your clothes? I always buy my clothes online and so do a majority of the people I know. In today’s’ world, almost everyone is updating their wardrobes on a regular basis and why not? Cute outfits for work and weekends are now so affordable – plus it’s so easy with sites like ASOS and PrettyLittleThing which are linked to quick payment options like Apple Pay. But what is the real cost of fast fashion?
What is fast fashion? Its a business model where brands turn around new collections every 2 weeks, that’s 12 launches a year! They bring out new collections so often to make your current wardrobe out of date as quick as possible. These brands want to reduce their costs, at any cost. Many issues come along with a business model like this. Yes, they are saving money, but they are cutting on production and processes, and losing on fabric quality. There’s also the cost to the environment, did you know it takes 2,700 litres of water to make a t-shirt?
Ethically there are many issues for staff employed. What about the safety rules and human rights? I’m sure you’ve heard of the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013.
Can you be into fashion if you’re against fast fashion? Yes you can! I set myself a challenge to not buy new clothes this year, thinking I could go 12 months without shopping online. I made it through 6 months. What did I learn? It does not matter if you wear the same outfit twice. It really doesn’t matter! I learnt to appreciate what I already own. I also swapped outfits a couple of times with a friend. Another option available is vintage clothing, there is a huge variety of second hand clothing stores. I think the over all lesson I learnt is that its fun to buy new clothes, but you don’t NEED to be buying new clothes every week. Also do your research and find brands which have a more sustainable and ethical business model, I recommend Reformation.
A bad example of a fashion brand appearing to be sustainable (this is called Green Washing) is H&M. I recently found this YouTube video by Kristen Leo: Honest H&M Ad
If you’re really interested in this topic and want to know about how you can make lifestyle changes, I recommend this website The Good Trade.
Until the next post, Fi x