We're Going Fast Fashion Free in 2018
I recently found myself having a moment connecting with a stranger on the internet. Sarah Spellings of New York Magazine’s The Cut has taken a new vow: to be fast-fashion free in 2018. I thought to myself “how did I not think of that?” and immediately sent her an e-mail hoping she would send me some tips on her trade. You can follow her journey here, and track mine on Giving Fashion. The rules are pretty simple: Do not purchase anything from a fast-fashion retailer for a year and record how it goes.
First, I have to define fast-fashion. Fast-fashion is officially defined as a concept by Merriam Webster as “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. Fast-fashion encourages consumers to buy heaps of items, discard them after a few wears and then come back for another batch of new outfits based on fervourous trend cycles.” To me, fast-fashion are clothes that are born of mega-suppliers that push trend cycles weekly, at an extremely low-cost, with little to no possibility that the full cycle of that garment’s impact on the earth or the communities that make them are being fairly considered.
Instead, each piece of new clothing I buy in 2018 should be produced in a method that is fair to the workers, artisans and communities that create the garment and as considerate as possible to the environment. Each piece should be an investment in my wardrobe, not a one-off piece meant to worn and discarded immediately.
In brief, I have made a personal list of stores that I usually step into when I have a panicked moment of “I need a dress for a birthday party tomorrow and I can’t wait for anything to ship to me” which includes: Zara, H&M, Target and Ann Taylor Loft. I will not purchase anything where I can’t account for where it came from, or at least try to understand where it came from with more due diligence than “it’s on the avenue next to my subway stop.”
This leaves me with a few next steps and a few guidelines:
The first rule of thumb is to buy less and get creative, which is the general (and most challenging solve) for the plight of our modern day fashion waste.
The second rule is to buy second generation and vintage clothing as much as possible, which is the majority of my wardrobe sourcing now, because by utilizing second generation clothing I have the opportunity to lengthen the utility of an already existing garment AND I can usually score some pretty chic things at a lower cost.
The third rule is to research and plan my purchases from sustainable and conscious fashion brands. This requires planning ahead (and no wine-induced mindless shopping on Amazon). That’s hard.
Follow #FastFashionFree2018 to watch me learn and report along the way.
Deanna, founder & editor of Giving Fashion