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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi South chapter.

Every person with an Instagram account today knows what fast fashion is, its demerits and which niche influencer is now cancelled because of their latest SHEIN Haul. While the social media platform goes a long way in spreading awareness about the issue on a global scale, the lack of a fact checking mechanism also allows for a great deal of opinionated and/or incorrect content.

So firstly, here’s what you need to know about fast fashion.

When the ‘in’s and ‘out’s of fashion change as quickly as they do today, multi-national corporations that manufacture clothing mass produce garments to accommodate one trend only to soon discard it to favour another. The two major consequences of this are landfills filling up with clothes no one has the place to store and underpaid workers being overworked to meet the demand. The recognition of this has led to people choosing to thrift clothing instead of buying new and shop from smaller brands and business that favour ecologically sustainable practices.

While people in western countries, owing to an existing culture of thrifting, have found the shift easier, the lack of infrastructure in countries like India makes it harder for people to make the shift. The few and far between existing thrift stores in India are either niche and expensive or inaccessible, forcing even those willing to shop elsewhere. Further, the older generation of Indians that hasn’t been introduced to the concept doesn’t support their offspring’s switch. As a matter of fact, wearing new clothing bought specifically for a festival or a special occasion is considered auspicious in India, which results in one-wear purchases.

Markets in India-like Sarojni Nagar, Majnu ka Tilla etc- do however save export rejects from ending up at landfills. Several shops both established and local sell export rejects of brand names at lower prices, a much preferable alternative to them going to waste. Not to mention, they’re great for on-a-budget college students.

Essentially, what this presents to us is the dichotomy between wanting to do the right thing but not having the means to do it. Till thrifting and sustainable businesses become prevalent in India, this is what you can do as a concerned citizen:

One, wear what you already have. Instead of playing along with fickle trends, buy clothes that you feel like represent you and make them last.

Two, whenever you have to, shop from local stores so that it’s the economy of your society you’re promoting instead of a company.

Three, don’t shy away from secondhand clothes- wear those clothes your cousins send you if you can.

There is no one-shoe-fits-all solution for this situation. Eco-friendly alternatives aren’t always available or affordable but so long as you can, choose the better option, even if it’s a little more expensive. This applies not only to clothes, but all daily use commodities. Buy shampoo that comes in bio-degradable bottles, by metallic soda cans instead of pet bottles, use refillable toiletries, buy a metal straw. They seem like small, inconsequential actions, but if every single one of us is a little more mindful about what we’re buying, we’ll have gone a long way.

The following are some markets and thrift stores, both offline and online you can check out:

Sarojni Nagar


Cotton Candy, Hauz Khas

Shop With Love, Hauz Khas

Bombay Closet Cleanse

Curated Findings

Lulu Thrift

Copper Boom Vintage

Aditi Singh

Delhi South '24

Aditi is a reader-writer-cake enthusiast who uses writing to channel her thoughts and ideas. She is a second -year mathematics major who enjoys writing pieces that force the reader to challenge their existing notions. She also talks about navigating a male-centric heteronormative world as a queer teenager