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It turns out you can save the planet by shopping, total score.

Let’s face it: our planet is undergoing huge physical changes for the worse right now. However, we’re not going to be able to stop it by using those cute “no-straw lids” from Starbucks. As it turns out, the fashion industry is the second most highly-polluting industry in the world. Where we shop and how we shop could be a major factor in the Earth’s future.

Stop buying directly from fast fashion companies

Not only are fast fashion products cheaply made and somewhat tacky, but they’re also highly detrimental to the environment. Most fast fashion companies source their labor from outside of the US in under-developed countries. This means that they are underpaying their employees and causing a lot of damage to foreign economies. Also, most of the clothing they are producing is only good for a few wears, and then it ends up in a landfill somewhere. So not trendy. Until we stop shopping at fast fashion companies or force them to acknowledge their poor practices, they will continue to be a major threat to our environment.

Buy pieces that you will wear for 5+ years

When shopping, take a hard look at what you’re about to buy. Will you still want to wear it 5 years from now? Will this last more than one season? Does it make you happy? Will it add value to your life and wardrobe? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, buy it. If not, save the money you would have spent and put it toward your next pair of Manolos. Once you’re done with the clothing items you’ve had for a while, sell them, donate them, or repurpose them- there’s usually no reason to just toss them.

Go thrift shopping!

I’m a little bit biased because thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies, but it’s so much better for the environment, it’s rewarding, and it will definitely up your style. Most cities have at least a few thrift stores, especially in college towns. If you don’t have any near you, or if the ones in your neighborhood are not up to par, go online! Companies like eBay, Poshmark, and Depop (my personal favorite) offer millions of second-hand items for thrift store prices. Not only is thrifting better for our planet, it’s usually much cheaper, which is good news for the college-girl-budget.

The sooner society hops on the slow fashion movement, the better. There are so many ways to be sustainable while shopping, so make sure you do your research on where and who you’re buying from. Remember, being environmentally friendly is always in-season.


Julia Caravello

Wake Forest '22

My name is Julia, and I'm currently a Junior at Wake Forest! I'm studying Finance with a minor in Entrepreneurship. I'm from right outside of Philadelphia, PA. I love shopping, going to the beach, and being with friends! If you want to follow me on social, my instagram is @juliacaravello
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