Photography: Yasmina Madgy
It’s hard to go a day without somebody talking about the impact of fast fashion, its everywhere!
Since the Stacey Dooley documentary aired a few months ago, the blogging community has been awash with those opting to ditch fast fashion and change their shopping habits – although a lot of these views quickly vanished when Black Friday came around and my Twitter feed was jam-packed with affiliate links to fast fashion brands. Oh Well.
I myself talked about my relationship with fast fashion in this post during the summer. Here I spoke about my decision to ditch fast fashion and make the effort to shop more ethically. It’s been around 6 months now since I decided to ditch the high street and opt for shopping more with a conscience. So I thought today would be a great chance to talk about how I’ve found it so far.
HOW HAVE I FOUND SHOPPING ETHICALLY?
I’ll be honest, I’ve not found shopping ethically and ditching fast fashion THAT hard. But this is coming from somebody who shopped secondhand a lot anyway, so it wasn’t a huge jump for me. I’d imagine that somebody who bought a LOT of fast fashion might struggle more with the change than I did.
Yes, there have been times I’ve been tempted – a trip into Primark with Yasmina right as the new autumn winter fashion came in was a little tricky. But I stuck to my guns and walked out empty handed.
I think the key to my success has been to just avoiding going into high street shops as much as possible. I think the more I look through their clothes, the more likely I am to want to buy them. So avoiding them all-together takes away that temptation.
Now I’m not saying I’ve been 100% perfect, as I have stumbled upon a few problems over the past six months. So let’s talk about the things I’ve struggled with the most when shopping more consciously.
FINDING ETHICAL BRANDS THAT FIT MY STYLE
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know I enjoy colour. My wardrobe is awash with vibrant colours and attention grabbing pieces. This doesn’t always translate well when it comes to ethical brands.
I’ve found a lot of ethical brands follow a very minimalist style of fashion. Which makes sense as they promote the idea of long-lasting classic pieces you’ll wear for years to come. But as somebody who loves a pop of colour – this just doesn’t suit my style.
There are a few brands that are colourful and ethical too, which I might explore further in a future blog post. But I’ve struggled to find loads of brands who fit my personal style who are also in my budget.
This is probably why I focus more on shopping secondhand via eBay, Depop and Charity Shops. This way I can find pieces I might have normally bought from Primark, Topshop and Zara at a fraction of the price, all whilst giving clothing a new home and reducing the need for a ‘new’ garment to be made.
The second issue I’ve come across since the summer has been finding basic items, such as underwear, socks and basic tops and t-shirts. My biggest issue is my budget – I don’t have lots of money to spend £15 on a pair of socks when they’ll wear out at the same rate a £1.50 pair do.
Plus finding items like these in Charity shops is nearly impossible.
A few weeks ago I was on the hunt for some new underwear and socks as mine we’re ready for the bin – I do recycle textiles at work so these don’t actually end up in the bin, its a figure of speech.
But anyway, in the
If I’m in a position where 98% of the clothing pieces I buy are ethically sourced or secondhand and every once in a while I have to grab some knickers from the high Street – I think I’m okay with that.
Since July I’ve lost around 12.5lbs in weight, so as you can imagine a few of my clothes have gotten a little too big for me. Finding jeans that fit have always been tricky for me as there is about 10 inches difference between my waist and my hips. But having to buy new jeans has proven tricky.
At the beginning July I purchased a pair of ASOS Farleigh jeans. Mine literally had holes in so I was getting pretty desperate. I opted for a pair from ASOS purely because I had seen others talk about the ASOS Eco-edit.
These jeans have since also become too big for me. After months of tightening my
Because I’m losing weight at the moment I’ve been reluctant to spend a lot of money on a pair of jeans that likely won’t fit me in a few months. So low and behold yesterday I found myself in Primark taking a pair of black skinny jeans to the checkout. Shopping in there made me feel SO GUILTY. But my jeans needed replacing and I was desperate. Proof that nobody is perfect.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt these past six months is that nobody is perfect. Nobody can do everything completely right. Yes I’m buying most clothes secondhand, but what about microfibres? Shouldn’t I be buying natural fibres instead? But being vegan means leather, silk and wool which isn’t an option – so what else am I left with? Where do you draw the line?
For me, this decision to ditch fast fashion has made me more mindful on what I was buying, what I actually NEED and being more mindful when I am making purchases.
There is also the fun of being more creative with my purchases – nothing beats the thrill of finding that jacket you were looking for months ago, on Depop in your size for £15. Having to hunt out items in this way makes me appreciate them a lot more.