Say 'No' to Fast Fashion With These 5 Alternatives

Published March 14th, 2022 - 06:00 GMT
alternatives to fast fashion
(Shutterstock: Anastasiia Vyshnevska)

Changing fashion trends have been happening at a noticeably rapid pace in recent years, and it is becoming harder and harder to stay up-to-date with the latest ones, thanks to fast fashion.

One of the main premises of fast fashion is that it offers relatively affordable clothing items, ones that are quite trendy and nice-looking but are easy to consume, wear out, throw away, and replace. 

This approach has made fast fashion brands amongst the most selling industries all over the world, especially with increasingly unified trends that gain massive popularity using social media platforms.

While this phenomenon does reflect encouraged consumerism amongst younger generations who are already struck by one financial crisis after the other, there are more important reasons to reconsider this lifestyle, namely; our highly threatened ecosystem.

For once, most fashion items manufactured in today's world use cheap materials such as nylon, rayon, viscose, and polyester, which are all very hard to dissolve, with some taking up to 70 years laying around in our natural spaces. 

Not to mention the damage caused by the production process where every kilogram of fabric generates an average of 23 kilograms of greenhouse gases and wastes the amount of water an average person would drink for 13 years for every shirt or pair of trousers in the make.

While it is not fair to blame only fast fashion for the environmental crisis, it is sure one aspect through which almost every individual can either be part of the problem or the solution.

Since almost all of us are guilty of going on shopping sprees from time to time, we can definitely play a major role in limiting the consumption of easy-to-throw-away clothes. But what alternatives do we have?

Alternatives to Fast Fashion

5 Alternatives to Fast Fashion

In order for us to limit our reliance on fast fashion brands, we have to manage both our wardrobes and shopping tendencies.

1. Making and Repairing Clothes

A new hobby that is becoming so trendy, especially amongst the young Gen Z is making clothes. These young people are all about unique styles and handmade stuff, which not only helps them stand out but also gives them a fun activity to enjoy.

With endless DIY videos available online, people are now more and more interested in making their own outfits before proudly posting them on social media as their own products. How cool is this? 

Also, for the sake of sustainability, owning a small sewing non-professional machine can help in repairing clothes that need nothing but a quick fix to be used for a few more years, instead of throwing them away.

2. Online Options

Today's online world has opened up new alternatives that we would not have had if not for the internet. Nowadays, people who have to purchase special outfit items they would only wear a few times (such as prom dresses) can guiltlessly exchange or rent clothes from online stores for less than half of the original price, before passing it on to someone else.

People are also now replacing their wardrobe items with the minimum amount of guilt by selling their pieces to other users online.

3. Invest in Timeless/High-Quality Items

One other way to avoid rotating a lot of clothing items can be achieved by purchasing high-quality and long durability items that can be worn at any period of time, without it being limited to a certain hype or trend. Classic cuts and basic color clothes can be a good start to maintaining your wardrobe for as long as possible, without risking looking outdated. 

4. Thrifting

Here is another option that is gaining high popularity amongst younger generations. Not only does thrifting offer us the ability to buy items without the guilt of consuming fast-fashion pieces, but it can also guarantee a unique sense of style as it is easy to spot one-of-a-kind secondhand pieces.

5. Sustainable/Ethical Options

Finally, if you are still interested in buying new clothing items for whatever reason, the best you can do is to do proper research that can help you eventually purchase less-harming items. 

Nowadays, fashion designers with enough environmental awareness are exploring new sustainable options, such as using organic and plant-based materials that use fewer resources in the making and would take less time to dissolve in nature, once discarded. 

Bonus tip: It is perfectly understandable that not everyone can easily commit to the alternatives mentioned above. In such a case, what you can do is to make sure you send items you no longer need to either recycling centers or to donate them to charity, so you help others minimize their consumption of clothes and consequently leave as minimal damage as possible.

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