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By Elena Picci

How to break up with Fast Fashion

‘’Wow! It is soooo cheap!’’ We have all experienced the joy of finding a piece we love at a low price. We will have more money to buy the same piece…

‘’Wow! It is soooo cheap!’’

We have all experienced the joy of finding a piece we love at a low price. We will have more money to buy the same piece in another colour. Because of course! This product is available in so many nuances that we cannot just choose one.

Fast Fashion presents new collections at a low price every 2 weeks, giving us the opportunity to refresh our wardrobe easily and often.

 80 billion articles of clothing are purchased each year  (CNN) 

But why is it so cheap?

Like fast food, fast fashion is quick, cheap, always available and unhealthy!

Fast fashion is often produced using cheap, toxic materials and chemicals. Further, companies usually outsource their production to factories that have dangerous working conditions, extremely low wages, and child labor.

 Now that you are aware of the true cost of fast fashion, you can end this toxic relationship.

Image credit from left to right: People Tree & Closed 

How to end your relationship with Fast Fashion
#1: Recognize it at first sight

#What’s the price?

The easiest way to spot fast Fashion is the level of the price.

If your t-shirt costs less than a salad, it is a RED FLAG!Keep in mind “Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying.” Lucy Siegle, Ethical Living journalist 

#Who made it?
Check the label to see where it has been made and if it has certifications such as Fairtrade that can ensure ethical labor practices were used.If the price of that piece you love so much seems too low, it is likely that the person who made it is underpaid. A recent study showed that in Bangladesh, some garment workers were paid less than the living wage of 84,65 Euro monthly. (The Guardian ) 

#What’s the quality of the material?
Remember the nasty materials to avoid if you want to dress sustainably?Well, those are the cheapest ones as well, so you can imagine that they are the favorites of fast fashion brands!Stay away from any synthetic materials such as polyester.It may be cheap, but these items will lose their shape easily and end up in the throwaway or donate pile. 

#Is it the last piece?
Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you could find this item 100 meters away in the same shop or online.Fast Fashion restocks easily as it is based on quantity and not quality. New collections are presented every 2 weeks while the industry average is every 6 months.Where does this stock go once the trend is over?Fast Fashion ends up with tons of unsold goods every year.This stock called ‘’Deadstock’’ ends just like our clothes when we throw them away in landfill or burned

Image credit: Riley Studio 

End your relationship with Fast Fashion
#2: Replace it with true love

#Avoid impulse purchases
They know how to get our attention with low prices but don’t worry, you can learn to resist them.
One way to do this is to buy only what you initially planned to, even if prices are terribly tempting.
Do you really need that piece? How many times will you wear it?
Actress Emma Watson makes her wardrobe decisions with “the 30 wears rule”. Promise to each item you buy that you will wear them at least 30 times! 

#Create the change
It is our attitudes that drive the market. Fast fashion is only the market responding to consumers who want to dress like celebrities and change thier clothes for each Instagram post.As consumers, we can push companies into more sustainable practices with simple questions such as:‘’Where does it come from? Who made it? Is this material sustainable?’’ 

#Buy sustainable clothes
Why buy from fast fashion brands that everyone has when you could buy sustainable clothes and be unique?
Yves Saint Laurent once said: “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” By wearing clothes that were made ethically and sustainably, you can spark positive conversations and drive real change! 

#Go second hand
What’s just as cheap as fast fashion and good for the environment?Second-hand is a perfect combination if you want to save the world and keep the style!

Find sustainable second-hand clothes

#Think twice
Recently, some companies have tried to mask the social and environmental costs of their clothing with ‘conscious collections’. However, the best way for fast fashion to become sustainable would be to ‘’slow down’’.

And then it would not be fast fashion anymore, right?

By following these simple tips, you can end your toxic relationship with fast fashion once and for all!

’We are never ever ever getting back together. Like ever!’’

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