Sustainable Fashion: Suspicious or Serious?

Sustainable fashion is the newest trend in the fashion industry. As consumers become increasingly more aware of their ecological footprint, they have come to the realization that their shopping habits make a significant impact on the environment.

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By definition, fast fashion is “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” Companies like Forever 21, H&M, Zara, etc. are at the forefront of this industry, producing clothing in mass quantities at low prices. Fast fashion is appealing because it makes it possible to stay on trend at a low price – but as consumers we must ask ourselves the question: at what cost?

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Although fast fashion is the most economically appealing option, it is not ethically or environmentally sound. In short, because fast fashion produces clothing quickly and cheaply, it is often made using cheap labor in dangerous factories where employees are placed under harmful working conditions. Not only are the working conditions unfavorable, but the environmental effects are just as bad. Major companies like Zara place their factories in undeveloped countries because they value the health of western countries above third world ones. Their water becomes polluted from toxic dyes and air pollutants, making their drinking water unsafe to consume and the air they breathe toxic.

In a society consumed by social media, one-upping everyone, and instant gratification, many people feel it’s necessary to buy fast fashion to stay on trend. Though we’re all guilty of buying fast fashion, we’ve rounded up a few of the best ways to convert to a more sustainable lifestyle when it comes to our buying habits.

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Ways to avoid fast fashion: 
Invest in Better Quality Items
Although it is difficult to make big investments on a budget, these items will be cheaper in the long run. Investing in a high-quality pair of jeans or a pair of shoes that will last is much better than having to repurchase a cheaper clothing item over and over again. Remember: better quality is a better buy long term!
 
Buy From Sustainable Brands
As this generation becomes increasingly more aware of their environmental impact, sustainable fashion is on the rise. Brands are learning how to take advantage of technology to create environmentally sound fabrics, recycle fabrics, and implement programs that encourage customers to participate in environmentally-friendly habits. There is still a lot of room for growth in this industry, but in the meantime, it is important to support brands that are making efforts to improve the retail industry’s ecological footprint.

 

Buy Basics
When you invest in basics, you can assure yourself that they will be worn for years to come. Some people are concerned that buying basics will make them look just that – basic. But I can assure you that this is not the case! It is possible to dress up basics with accessories and other basics that match well together. It’s much easier to incorporate these items into a variety of outfits as well, so you know you’ll be getting your wear out of them for a while.
 
Thrifting
Something that has become increasingly more popular is thrifting! People are buying second-hand clothing from stores like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and many other consignment stores. It is easy to find quality, on-trend items at a reasonable price in these stores, without doing damage to the environment! A win-win!

Like we said, all of us in TREND are guilty of giving into the fast fashion industry. It is something that feels unavoidable in this day and age, but it is also something that needs to be reversed. By switching even a few habits, we will significantly reduce the retail industry’s impact on the environment! So to answer our question, sustainable fashion is a serious matter and not suspicious in the slightest!

Written and Edited By: Kami Strander


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