3 Reasons Why It's Time To Stop Buying Fast Fashion

3 Reasons Why It's Time To Stop Buying Fast Fashion Featured Image

3 Reasons Why It's Time To Stop Buying Fast Fashion: Small business fashion + handmade fashion

One thing I have recently noticed is that as I've gotten older, I have become more and more aware of my surroundings, and how the choices I make every day affect those surroundings. One area that I have become particularly aware of in recent years is what companies I buy my clothing from--and that I have made the intentional choice to stop buying fast fashion. 

Part of the reason that I am able to do this is because I am lucky enough to be able to choose to stop buying fast fashion. I am privileged to be able to buy from more expensive (and thus more responsible) companies. I know that, and I acknowledge it. But for a long time--up until a few years ago--I literally couldn't afford to not buy fast fashion.

When I was younger (as I think is the case with most Americans) I was definitely a quantity over quality kind of girl. Thankfully, that has now changed--the mindset shift actually started for me in my early 20's, when I was working at a small fashion label in New York. But it's only now, at 30 years old, that I am able to put the practice of not supporting fast fashion into motion.

That I am able to choose where my dollars go.

 

If you are able to choose to stop buying fast fashion (but haven't quite done so yet) then this post is for you girl. I think we all know (on some level) that fast fashion isn't sustainable, and that's it's terrible for both the planet and the workers that are forced to work in the industry. But do you know why?

The choices that you make when you purchase an article of clothing DO matter. Not only to the environment and to the garment industry workers, but in another way too--the example that you set with what you wear also matters, and absolutely shapes the perception of those around you. (Whether you are conscious of it or not!)

There are reasons as to why clothing costs are so different from brand to brand. Why one company charges $5 for a shirt, and another charges $60. And while I think a lot of us assume that it's just a markup--that's not necessarily the case, especially when buying from small businesses. 

(Not sure where to start when it comes to sewing? Building your own sewing kit is an excellent first step! Grab your free, printable worksheet below and start learning how to sew your own clothes today.)

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Build A Sewing Kit

Why it's time to stop buying fast fashion: Reason #1

Why it's time to stop buying fast fashion: Reason #1

More often than not, fast fashion is so cheap because it uses cheap labor to pay for sewing. And not just cheap--fast fashion workers in the garment industry are severely, severely underpaid for the work that they do. 

Think about it. Even the most basic T-shirt takes at least 15 minutes to sew. You have to sew the sides together, add the sleeves, close up the neckline, hem the body and sleeves. Which doesn't even include the time it would take to serge the raw edges of the T-shirt, to iron it, to tag it, to bag it. The cost of the fabric, thread, tags, shipping. Packaging.

The time a designer & pattern maker spent on the design.

A huge majority of the responsibility for underpaid labor lies with the companies that know they are underpaying the workers, yet proceed anyways. By choosing to stop buying fast fashion from these companies, you lessen their demand. They will then either be forced to get with the times and start paying workers a living wage, or they will go out of business.

Demand drives the market. By demanding clothing from sustainable and conscious companies, it will (hopefully) force the unconscious and non-sustainable companies to change their ways. And a bonus--by not participating in buying from these companies, you are leading by example, and may even change the mindset of those around you.

(Not sure where to start when it comes to sewing? Building your own sewing kit is an excellent first step! Grab your free, printable worksheet below and start learning how to sew your own clothes today.)

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Build A Sewing Kit

Why it's time to stop buying fast fashion: Reason #2

Why it's time to stop buying fast fashion: Reason #2

A second reason as to why fast fashion is so cheap is because of the materials that are used to make the clothing. Fabrics that are made cheaply make an overall garment that is less costly to produce--obviously. There are factories that make sustainable and environmentally safe fabrics, and there are those that don't.

The factories that produce environmentally friendly fabrics are often more expensive because those are the factories that are responsible. They bought the machines that recycle their water, instead of just dumping the waste in the ocean. Money is paid out in labor to man those machines. They use the dyes that aren't toxic to the environment.

If you want to learn more about why organic fabrics matter, make sure to check out this post.

All of these things (among others) contribute to a more expensive fabric (and therefore a more expensive garment) but are so much better and safer for our world. Take away: There is a reason that higher quality fabrics are more expensive--and it's a good one.

(Not sure where to start when it comes to sewing? Building your own sewing kit is an excellent first step! Grab your free, printable worksheet below and start learning how to sew your own clothes today.)
A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Build A Sewing Kit

Why it's time to stop buying fast fashion: Reason #3

Why it's time to stop buying fast fashion: Reason #3

And lastly.. The fast fashion industry is INCREDIBLY wasteful. Another way that fast fashion cuts down on costs is by making everything in bulk. Think.. Costco of the fashion industry. Just like how it's cheaper when you buy everything in bulk at Costco, the same is true for fast fashion.

These companies place huge, mind bogglingly big orders. Not only because they have tons of stores throughout the world, but because with sewing factories, the more you order, the cheaper each piece becomes. They want companies to place bigger orders, so they give them a price cut incentive (per garment) the larger the orders become.

This is how stores end up with massive sales racks.

They ordered entirely too many garments that didn't sell, and now they're on sale to try and get some of the lost cost back. Just take a second to think about it.. Every big fast fashion store you can think of has one of these big sale sections. Forever21, H&M, JCPenny. Every single store, in every single city, in all the major countries.. What happens when these pieces don't sell? Where do they go?

There are reasons that boutique shops with sustainable and conscious lines only carry a small amount of each design. These labels are more concerned with paying a little more per piece and creating less waste, rather than saving a few bucks and overproducing on a massive scale.

Choosing to stop buying fast fashion and to support these sustainable labels is a huge step in the right direction.

(Not sure where to start when it comes to sewing? Building your own sewing kit is an excellent first step! Grab your free, printable worksheet below and start learning how to sew your own clothes today.)

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Build A Sewing Kit

Stop buying fast fashion: Are you committed?

How to stop buying fast fashion

3 Reasons Why It's Time To Stop Buying Fast Fashion: The Vesta Leda Wrap Top + The Louisa Midi

Now, have I convinced you of the not-so-greatness (i.e. underpaying workers, polluting the earth, & generating huge amounts of waste) of the fast fashion world yet? And that the choices you make concerning your wardrobe ARE important? I know that I'm not quoting statistics or exact facts--I am just stating what I myself have witnessed working in the fashion industry.

However--I have worked all over the USA, from coast to coast. In big box retail stores, small boutique shops, with big and small fashion labels. With sewing factories and professional pattern drafters. These are all things I have picked up along the way, that I have noticed while working in the different areas of the industry.

Not to mention what I learned while at FIDM.

The fact of the matter is: If there is a piece from H&M that you truly love, and you knew how to sew, you could make it yourself. (Have you checked out our recent post on why it's important to learn how to sew? I goes in to some serious detail on this, if you need some more convincing.)

Talk about a good deal: You can stop buying fast fashion, support sustainable small businesses, AND perfect a beautiful skill. You are creating something for you, that is made by you. Imagine how many people you will inspire with your creativity, with your knowledge and desire to support a more conscious and sustainable world.

The only way to truly inspire and make a difference in the world is to lead by example... That's when the real change happens.

(Not sure where to start when it comes to sewing? Building your own sewing kit is an excellent first step! Grab your free, printable worksheet below and start learning how to sew your own clothes today.)

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Build A Sewing Kit

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