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In short, fast fashion is the term used to describe the mass-production of cheap and trendy clothing. The goal of retailers is to bring styles from the catwalk to our closets as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. I know I have done my fair share of hauls from Shein, Fashion Nova, and Nasty Gal; it is difficult to resist the extreme sales. Yet, the low prices come with even higher environmental and social costs. The fashion industry is one of the biggest producers of pollution in the world, and textile workers are subjected to deadly working conditions and non-living wages. We all can do our part to fight fast fashion and here are 5 ways how.

The 30 Day Rule

With personalized advertisements on Instagram, Facebook, etc. we are constantly tempted to buy the newest clothes. With a few clicks, it is so easy to impulse buy, which is exactly what retailers want us to do. Next time you see something that you really want, wait 30 days to buy it. The time will allow you to be more conscious of your need for it. Most often, you will realize you don’t need it as much as you thought. If in 30 days the desire is still there to buy it, go for it.

The 30 Times Rule

Before you buy a piece of clothing ask yourself, will I wear this 30 times? If the answer is no, try looking for something that you know you will wear more often. Rather than buying lots of cheap, statement pieces that you may only wear once or twice, look for versatile clothing that can be styled differently over and over again. Always remember quality over quantity.

Share Clothes with Friends

We know that one of the many unwritten rules of Instagram is to never have an outfit repeat on your profile. That doesn’t mean that you have to give in to fast fashion. Sharing clothes with friends is a sustainable way to switch up your wardrobe. Next time you need a dress for a formal, try swapping dresses with your friend rather than buying a new one. ​

Thrift

Millions of tons of clothing end up in landfills every year. Supporting your local thrift store is a great way to help reduce the textile waste crisis. There are also lots of great thrifting options online (ThredUp, Depop, and Curtsy are currently my favorites). Thrifting is recycling!

Wear What You Already Have

From the words on Patagonia’s Chief Product Officer Lisa Williams, “the most environmentally sustainable jacket is the one that’s already in your closet.” You cannot buy your way into sustainability. Wear, wear, and wear what you already have!

Next time you are tempted to do some retail therapy, be mindful of the harmfulness of fast fashion. Remember, thrifting is cool, sharing is caring, quality over quantity and most importantly, wear what you already have. 

 

 

Disclaimer: Her Campus at St. Law U is neither sponsored by nor affiliated with any brands or companies mentioned in this article.

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Hi! I am Reagan Collier-Hogan and a junior at St. Lawrence University. I am a Sociology major and Educational Studies minor and a member of the volleyball team. In my free time, I love doing yoga, traveling and spending time with my dogs.
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