Sustainable practices are becoming more popular in the fashion industry. Since coming home for the summer, I’ve seen the H&M commercial focused on sustainability at least 15 times. However, in my experience, fast fashion companies often find a way to market themselves significantly more sustainable than they actually are (Look no further than Patriot Act’s episode titled The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion, available on Netflix).
So, I wanted to take a moment to touch on sustainable options for looking your best. This does not need to be an all-or-nothing switch. I’ve bought a few fast fashion items for refreshing my wardrobe this summer. However, I’ve also bought approximately one thrifted item for every fast fashion piece. Making a slow transition is always better than nothing at all!
- Choose the more sustainable brand in the department store. Yes, for some of you out there, I know it is a shock that there are people who still shop at department stores, but stay with me. Most large department stores carry multiple brands. I have found that I sometimes like department stores for items that are more investment pieces (ex. bras, fancier dresses, professional clothing). If you know what stores you’ll be in, look online for what brands they carry. Take a little time to do research on those labels. If there are one or two brands that have substantial sustainable practices in place, choose those in the store or shop them online. (Brands are having increasingly better online shopping return policies, so you may be able to easily order multiple sizes and only keep the one that fits!)
- Resale apps. There are plenty of resale apps to choose from. One of the most well-known for fashion is Depop. These apps give you the chance to buy clothes from other users and sell clothes you no longer want for some extra cash!
- Thrift shopping. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Thrift shopping is one of the best ways to add sustainability into your closet. With the ability to try stuff on and the possibility of finding some one-of-a-kind pieces, thrift shopping is a world full of opportunity without breaking the bank. It’s important to make sure to check the quality of your items – some people give things away because of rips or loose threads, which you don’t want to discover after bringing home your haul!
Feel free to check out a previous post, Shopping, Tips for the Sale Season, for tips on inexpensive shopping. Despite these tips being written for larger sales at big stores, they apply to thrifting and apps like Depop.