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Embracing Sustainable Style: A Guide to Resisting Fast Fashion and Finding Accessible Alternatives

Embracing Sustainable Style: A Guide to Resisting Fast Fashion and Finding Accessible Alternatives

The allure of fast fashion can be tempting. Trendy clothes at affordable prices seem like a dream come true, but the reality behind this industry is far from glamorous. 

We are all pretty aware that fast fashion sucks- it’s responsible for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and is the second biggest consumer of water, leaving it contaminated with toxic chemicals. Fast fashion clothing sales is still increasing, while the number of times a piece is worn is decreasing. A garbage truck full of clothes is either incinerated or sent to landfill every second. Not to mention garment workers conditions as well, which is another massive topic.

Chances are, since you’re on the We Are Hairy People blog, that you’re also not a big fan of fast fashion brands, and you knew all those facts. You’re probably looking for or know of accessible and affordable ways to reduce reuse and recycle generally. 

Fortunately, there's a growing movement towards sustainable fashion, offering accessible alternatives that prioritize ethics and the environment without compromising style. If you're looking to break free from the cycle of fast fashion, here's a guide to help you embrace sustainable style:

  • Educate Yourself: Start by learning about the impact of fast fashion on the environment and society. Understand the concept of "throwaway culture" and the true cost of cheap clothing. Knowledge is empowering and will motivate you to make more conscious choices.
  • Assess Your Wardrobe: Take a critical look at your wardrobe and identify items that you truly love and wear regularly versus those purchased on impulse. Consider donating or selling clothes that no longer serve you to minimize waste and make room for sustainable additions. Or even better, send them to me for a painted upcycle, and you’ll fall in love with them all over again!
  • Prioritize Quality Over Quantity: Instead of chasing trends and buying cheaply made garments that quickly fall apart, invest in high-quality pieces that are timeless and durable. Look for well-made clothing from brands that prioritize craftsmanship and sustainable materials.
  • Explore Secondhand and Thrift Shopping: Embrace the thrill of treasure hunting by exploring thrift stores, consignment shops, and online resale platforms such as Vinted and EBay. You'll discover unique pieces with character while giving pre-loved clothing a new life. Plus, shopping secondhand is often more budget-friendly than buying new.
  • Support Ethical and Sustainable Brands: Research and support brands that prioritize ethical labor practices, sustainable materials, and transparent supply chains. Look for certifications like Fair Trade, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), or B Corp to ensure that your purchases align with your values. There’s also loads of brands working to raise funds for charities and charitable organisations, which are well worth supporting, without going to vinted for it. I’ve shared some of my favourites here.
  • Consider Renting and Borrowing: For special occasions or statement pieces that you may only wear once, consider renting clothing instead of buying. Rental services offer access to designer pieces at a fraction of the cost and significantly reduce the environmental impact of fashion consumption. For myself, I just own one occasion dress, as I just don’t go to enough events. Never be afraid to wear the same things loads of times- champion that openly on your social sit you’re active, to help open up people’s eyes to equally not being afraid.
  • DIY and Upcycling: Get creative and breathe new life into old garments through DIY projects and upcycling. From simple alterations to transforming old jeans into trendy denim shorts, there are endless possibilities to unleash your creativity and personalize your style. Not to mention our custom paintings we do here at We Are Hairy People- send us all the things you find in your wardrobe assessment from point 2!
  • Spread the Word: Share your journey towards sustainable fashion with friends, family, and social media followers. By raising awareness and inspiring others to join the movement, you'll amplify the impact of your choices and contribute to a more conscious fashion industry.

Remember, transitioning to a more sustainable wardrobe is a journey, not a destination. Celebrate progress over perfection and be kind to yourself along the way. Every mindful choice you make contributes to a brighter and more sustainable future for fashion.