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I Stopped Buying Fast Fashion 5 Years Ago, Here's How and Why

I first learned about the tremendous impacts of fast fashion during my college years. Throughout my childhood (and early adult years) I pictured myself living in one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world, heavily involved with the fashion industry. However, around the age of 18, I started doing more research on how the fashion industry is a dangerous and toxic environment. My childhood dream was gone for good. I spend the rest of my college years learning more about the ethical and sustainable side of the fashion industry.

What is fast fashion?

Almost everyone knows the meaning of fast fashion, however, we simply don't associate it with big house names like Zara, H&M, Mango, and Topshop. Indeed, all of these brands (and thousands more) are falling into the unsustainable fashion category. The industry is filled with cheap, massed produced clothing that has no durability or quality to them. So, Why people buy them? The sole purpose of the fast fashion industry is to sell as many "trendy" styles as possible for people to use and throw away within a year. Most of the time they come with super affordable price tags, while other times brands like Zara, Guess, Fashion Nova, and Massimo Dutti put up a "high quality" front thanks to their overpriced collections.

Why you should avoid fast fashion?
The true cost of fast fashion

dangers of fast fashion

Most of these clothes are made of polyester( thermoplastics and petroleum). The production of this fabric uses dangerous chemicals for the people and the environment. Most of these harmful materials are non-recycled and cannot be bio-degraded. Surely the 10€ price tag might seem appealing, especially if you have a low shopping budget. Nonetheless, you are heavily contributing to the toxic fast fashion industry that profits by mass selling cheap clothes and not paying their workers livable wages. In most cases, the sewers work up to 20 hours per day for 1€ in countries like China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.

What about the quality?

The sad reality is that the fast fashion industry wants you to throw away your 5€ t-shirt as soon as possible. After all, it's the only way to make you come back for more. When you throw away a piece of clothing it ends up in the landfills or the ocean, along with all the plastic waste. Plastic needs many decades to decompose.

Our constant need to be trendy and acceptable 

Trends come and go. Seems like every month a new trend pops up, only to be replaced by the next one. The psychological pressure the whole fashion industry pushes to our heads results in our need to constantly buy new trendy styles. 

How to avoid fast fashion?

Even though there are hundreds of exposing videos online, the younger generations tends to over-shop on these toxic giant corporations (I was one of them). Avoiding fast fashion is easier than you might think. 

The beauty of thrifting
buy and sell clothes online

The fashion industry has already produced double the amount of clothing we need to dress every single person on earth, therefore we surely don't need any new ones. Constantly buying clothes will only harm the environment even more, not to mention the waste of resources. By choosing second hand you actively help the people involved in this dangerous industry and of course, the pollution of the earth.

Repurpose your clothes

There is no need to only buy, you can always sell your clothes as well. That's a great way to make more money for your future second-hand purchases and more room in your closet. Surely there is a piece of clothing gathering dust right now in one of your drawers, that design might be exactly what another person is looking for. OneOff Vintage shared an amazing guide on How to Sell Vintage Clothes Online. Quick note, I have already sold close to 100 pieces on Instagram and around 20 on Depop. All I had to do was create a new account on both platforms with a relevant name and voila!

Score the best vintage & retro style streetwear
vintage thrifts sportswear

Despite what many people think, thrifting is not a hard (smelly) process. It's actually super fun and a great way to score some amazing retro streetwear styles. I previously posted a guide to the best online vintage clothing stores I personally know and trust. Some of them may also offer custom vintage styles like hand-painted jeans (my personal favorite). Take a look at how to sell pre-owned authenticated luxury fashion if you are on the market for luxury goods.

There are also a great number of sustainable brands that are by no means pricey or exclusive. We all need to spread information about the type of industry so many support. The humanitarian and environmental consequences of our acts are severe, the only thing we can do is start living in a much more sustainable way.

Don't spend your money on the brands bellow
This is a list of the most well known fast fashion brands at the moment.

  • Victoria's Secret
  • Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Oysho ( aka INDITEX group)
  • H&M
  • Mango
  • SheIn, Zaful, Yoins, Rosegal
  • Asos
  • TopShop
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Primark
  • Boohoo
  • Missguided
  • Pretty Little Thing
  • Fashion Nova
  • Nasty Gal
  • Gymshark
  • Anthropologie
  • Brandy Melville
  • Americal Eagle
  • Free People
  • GAP
  • NA-KD
  • New Look
  • River Island
  • Old Navy
  • Guess
  • Peacocks
  • Forever 21
  • Uniqlo

Fast fashion, myself & outfits of the day

Why I stopped buying fast fashion influencer greece

Even though I stopped buying fast fashion clothes and accessories, I shared 2-3 outfits from un-ethical brands last year and the years before on my Instagram page. There is a very good explanation for that. Back in the day, when I was trying to create looks without having the means or extra money to do so, I formed many "collaborations" with leading fast fashion companies like SHEIN, Yoins, etc. For some odd reason, many of these brands keep sending me stuff I no longer order or approve based on my previous info.

Sending them back to their warehouse will only impact the environment and the carbon footprint more. Instead, I wear them and re-sell them for a fraction of the price online with the help of Instagram and Depop. When you find me posing in Mango or Guess, I bought them pre-owned. 

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