The genie is well and truly out of the bottle; fast fashion is destroying the planet, and upholding some pretty appalling labour practises as it does so. Many of us have quite understandably had enough, and are choosing in growing numbers to jump ship. This can be a daunting decision at first, so to help out we've come up with a few tips to get you started!
Luckily for us consumers, not all retailers engage in the nefarious practises that have come to define the fast-fashion industry. In fact, as the revolt against fast fashion continues to grow, so do the alternatives. Retailers established specifically around core values of ethical and sustainable practise have never been easier to find - accessible in minutes with nothing more than a quick google search. Even better, reference websites such as Good on You and The Ethical Fashion Guide make checking the practises of fashion brands even easier. At The Friendly Eco, we pride ourselves on our sustainably sourced, ethically made, organic clothing for both adults and children!
The Internet has made small-scale fashion more feasible and accessible than ever. Websites such as Etsy and Folksy in particular have granted small, local businesses and individuals a huge platform for selling handmade fashion to a wider audience. With fewer middlemen, and often fewer miles between seller and customer, small-scale, handmade fashion is a brilliant way to shop more sustainably. Check out local baby markets and local small brick-and-mortar baby stores for local and WAHM (work at home mum) brands, who make small batches of beautiful clothing! If you're local to Bristol, UK, then pop in to The Friendly Eco and say hello!
The vintage and second-hand clothing industry has exploded in popularity in recent years, with apps such as Depop and Vinted now as recognisable as multinational high-street fashion chains. It's easy to see why. With so many sellers, and a ballooning marketplace of outlets, there are some fantastic deals to be found, whatever your stylistic preferences may be. Such variety, and at such affordable prices - it's no wonder why many have turned their backs on buying new altogether!
The one piece of advice nobody wants to hear - but it is arguably the most important. The only reason fast-fashion survives is because we as consumers drive the demand for high volumes of affordable, immediately replaceable clothing. If we really want to put an end to the damage inflicted upon our environment, and the unfair working practises endured by those working in the fast-fashion industry, then reducing our rate of consumption is pivotal. For the record, we aren't saying that you should commit to never buying clothes again, simply that when you do, challenge yourself to avoid fast-fashion retailers as much as possible.
At The Friendly Eco, many of our children's items are dual sizing and have roll-up cuffs to preserve the lifespan of each item. A single item of clothing can easily last my children 6 months, and due to the fantastic quality I can pass down to others or even sell on!
Adapt Your Clothes
Instead of chucking away an item when you think it's reached the end of it's life, upcycle or fix it instead! Cardigan has a hole? Try your hand at some embroidery and add a creative patch to fix it. Baby vests too short? Invest in some inexpensive vest extenders to lengthen them. Velcro gone on your favourite fitted nappy? Use a nappy fastener instead! There's so many solutions that can come before throwing in the bin or recycling!
Have you saved an item of clothing from the bin in a unique way? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to be featured on our social media!