How To Tell Your Friends To Quit Fast Fashion

Written by Thea Godding

 

Hello to all you lovely readers,

I must say, I am not an experienced writer. Honestly, this kind of terrifies me. I am unsure where to start. How about I just jump right in!? As we all know a global climate crisis is looming and it is a constant conversation amongst friends that we must all do our bit to prevent a climate disaster. The generations before us have cultivated an approach to life running on capitalism and the need for more. The goal is to work hard, earn money, and spend it on things we don’t need that our planet cannot sustainably produce. I would say I am quite wrapped up in this need for more. Our insatiable desire to have the next best thing is destroying our home. So, what can we do? How can we ‘do our bit’? Some people turn vegetarian, others buy a bike, a few get compost bins, and many of us are obsessed with reusable coffee cups and chilli’s bottles. The carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK each month alone is equal to flying around the entire world 900 times. When I learnt this, I realised I needed to add something to my list of ways to help this beautiful home nature provides us – I needed to stop wanting more clothes. Now this is harder said than done. For many, fashion adoration is not just an outlet of our capitalist nature, it is also how we express ourselves, or feel confident in our own skin. That is why I love re_considered. Tabby shows us that we can feed our desire for a creative output, whilst reducing overconsumption that pollutes our planet with things, only to be thrown away next season. You can stay stylish without looking any further than your own wardrobe.

 

My journey to conscious clothes shopping started in late 2019. I realised all these cheap t-shirts I was buying, or dresses I was ordering in two sizes to return one, or outfits I would wear for a couple months and throw away, were all just a waste of money and the Earth’s resources. For timeless staples I turn to charity shops. For the more seasonal items I tend to give them a miss or buy from a sustainable store. Now let us not ignore the elephant in the room, these sustainable shops can be expensive. Although, I must say I now spend less on clothes because I do not buy in bulk. I choose things I truly love and take care of my clothes, rather than buying lots of items that are bad for the planet, and usually, worse quality. Re_considered really helps me out when I stop liking my clothes. I just turn up to Tabby’s workshop and give her a bag of clothes, which she re-works into my new favourite pieces.

The reason I am telling you all of this is not just to let you know how I feel about the fashion industry, because let’s be honest it isn’t that original. No, the reason I am writing this blog is because I have a dilemma. How do I talk to my friends about their shopping habits? I am in no way perfect. I have friends who buy a fifth of the clothes I do, and only shop from second-hand stores. So, what leg do I have to stand on? I think I just feel we should all do our bit. We do not need everyone to never buy things ever again, that is just unrealistic. It also isn’t likely that half of us will stop buying anything and the rest of us can keep consuming everything we can. Life is about balance and our approach to fighting the fashion industry should be too. If we all just slow down our consumption and change our mindset, then our impact can be more sustainable and effective long term. So how do I tell that to my friends? What do I say when they want to buy 10 things from Boohoo to return 9 and keep one? Do I explain that it is likely the clothes they return will be thrown away and not resold (I know, crazy right!)? Do I tell them that the carbon footprint of the shipping is unnecessary? It is really hard to do that without sounding like a preachy, annoying, as**ho*e. But this is my planet too. I care, and I also know my friends do too.

 

If I am honest, I don’t think I have an answer to my dilemma. That said, I am hoping the more we talk about these issues, and spread the slow fashion message, then hopefully I won’t have to tell my friend. My dream is that they will know already. They will be chatting about it as they walk down the road on their way to a charity shop, or their wardrobe, the next time they need a new dress for the party tonight.