'The True Cost'

how to make fast fashion as sustainable as possible

So you can’t resist a bit of fast fashion. Whether it’s the rapid changeover in styles keeping you on the edge of your seat, the lack of commitment when picking up a trend-led piece, the budget-friendly price tag of dreams or the convenience of the gorgeous window displays right on your office doorstep, luring you in for a lunch break-long retail therapy session.

Perhaps it’s not so much the temptation of fast fashion, but the lack of accessible alternatives - perhaps you’re above many ethical brands’ distorted perception of what it means to be ‘plus size’ ( more on that in a future post ) ; maybe there’s simply no available sustainable option for your personal style.

Whatever the reason, I don’t want you to feel like you can’t incorporate sustainability into your wardrobe - there’s always a way ( even if it’s seemingly insignificant ) that you can join the slow fashion movement.

1. buy less

I’ll admit, this one is a bit basic and perhaps pretty naïve, too, but I’ve got to be honest with you - this is a good place to start. Make a note each month of how much money you spend on clothing and how many pieces of clothing you buy - the money will probably give you a bit a shock, so that’s the first step to cutting down your clothing consumption! Try challenging yourself to buy one less piece of clothing each month and see how you find it. Perhaps you could limit yourself to only shopping at the start of each season? Give it a go and let me know!

2. rent

Find yourself getting bored of pieces easily? Not any more! Try out a couple of rental services when you’ve got a special occasion coming up - whether it’s an awards ceremony or cocktails with your mates - the money and material you’re saving is a major win-win situation!

3. care for your clothes

This is a chore I know many of us are guilty of ignoring. Let’s be honest, why would you need to worry about the state of your jumper if you can replace it tomorrow for a fiver, right? WRONG. Well, right. But bad for the environment so … wrong. The best ways to give a sh*t about looking after your clothes are: only buying pieces you absolutely adore so you want to keep them looking beautiful; spending more than usual on a garment so that you see it as an investment ( this comes with buying less ) ; shopping vintage or second-hand so no piece can be replaced after a trip to Primark the next day. Got any other suggestions? Drop ‘em in the Discuss page!

4. buy second hand

Got your eye on a certain piece by a high street brand? Set some notifications on second hand apps like Depop and Vinted so that as soon as someone else pops it up for sale ( they’ve probably only worn it once because #fastfashionculture ) you can grab it without upping the industry’s impact on the environment!

5. swap shops

This is a super fun and social way to get free new clothes. What more could you want?! Swap shops are an awesome way to get to know likeminded fashion-lovers and update your wardrobe with preloved high street gems without spending a penny. Keep an eye out on Eventbrite for swap shops in your local area and, if you don’t see any, set one up yourself! If you need any help with it, I’d love to lend a hand!

6. contact your favourite brands

You know that brand on the high street that you just love? The one that sells your size, suits your style and keeps you refreshing their New In page every evening before you go to sleep? Drop them an email and let them know - while you’re at it, explain to them that you would be so grateful if they could start incorporating sustainability and transparency into their work and create an ethical value chain. Feel free to keep me updated on responses - it’ll be a good point of discussion!

I’m looking forward to hearing how you plan to incorporate the slow fashion way of shopping into your wardrobe!