Ditching Fast Fashion And How My Relationship Has Changed

This post contains gifted items, for more information, visit my Disclaimer page

Hello there, remember me?

First of all, I’d like to apologise for disappearing off the internet completely for a little while. But you know how it is, life gets busy, Netflix launches a truckload of new content, and before you know it three months have passed you by and you’ve barely typed a word. But I am back, I’ve binge-watched Stranger Things season 3 and I am ready to get my ass back into the world of blogging!

What better way to kick things off again then delving into the world of Fast Fashion! Something I’ve discussed a fair amount on this blog over the past few months, and something I’m really passionate about.

Believe it or not, it has been a whole 12 months since I talked about giving up fast fashion completely, and let me tell you, a lot has happened in those 12 months. There have been ups, there have been downs, there have been triumphs and a few slip-ups along the way too. So today, I thought I’d sit down and tell you all about how my relationship with fast fashion has changed over the past year.

Top: Topshop [St Oswald’s Hospice]

Trousers: Boohoo [old]

Handbag: Oasis [St Oswald’s Hospice]

Necklace: Be or Knot To Be* [GIFTED]

I STILL MAKE MISTAKES

Let’s start off with a big dose of honesty. Have I bought items from fast fashion brands over the past 12 months? Yes, I have. 

Am I annoyed about this? Not really. 

If I look back to my spending habits I was somebody who shopped at fast fashion brands pretty often. A quick trip into the city centre often ended up in a trip to Primark. Evenings were often spent browsing for clothes on Boohoo, Zara and New Look. And my wardrobe was rammed full of clothing that I often wore once or twice before I got bored of them or found something new to wear instead.

In the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t a huge shopper – purely because I couldn’t afford to blow £200 on ASOS in one single evening. But the items I did purchase were all from fast fashion giants, with the occasional charity shop purchase thrown in. 

Over the past year there have been a handful of occasions where I’ve ended up shopping on the high street. These were few and far between and were often times where I had tried to shop secondhand first and couldn’t find what I was looking for.

  • I needed a pair of black skinny jeans to wear to work
  • My bra size went up and I needed to overhaul my underwear drawer
  • I attended a wedding and couldn't find an outfit dressy enough secondhand
  • My wardrobe lacked plain basic summery tops
  • I saw something I really liked and knew I'd get a lot of wear out of

Being somebody who only a year ago, bought around 90% of their wardrobe from cheap fast fashion brands, to now being somebody who has only made around 5-6 purchases in the past 12 months from the high street – that’s a pretty good achievement.

I still get tempted

I’ve often been asked by friends how I manage to go into high street shops and not wanting to buy everything I see. The truth is I just avoid going into them as much as possible.

I’m always going to be somebody who enjoys clothes, who gets excited by vibrant prints and new styles. I still love clothes as much as I did before, so for me the easiest way to stop myself from wanting these items is to take away the temptation and not go into the shops to begin with. If I don’t go into a shop I won’t see what new items they have in store. If I don’t know what new items are in store I don’t want to buy them. It’s that simple.

But being somebody who’s part of the blogging world and spends a shocking amount of time on Instagram, it’s easy to see item’s I wish I could buy. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve for occasions like this.

Do I have something similar I already own? 

Often when I see outfits on Instagram I wish I was wearing, I take a step back and look at what it is that I like about that outfit. Often it isn’t necessarily the exact outfit I enjoy but more how something is styled. 

For example I ADORE Erica from Being Erica and I always have outfit envy and love her collection of midi skirts she’s rocking at the moment.

However, when I like an outfit like this I now try to dissect what it’s really about. A patterned midi skirt and a slogan t-shirt. Both of which I already have in my wardrobe, so why not wear those items and style them in a similar way, instead of going out and trying to buy these exact items for myself. 

Is it going to be the exact same outfit? No, but using similar items that are already in my wardrobe to create a similarly styled outfit works perfectly for me.

Can I find it secondhand? 

This is probably one of the first things I do if there is a specific item that I really can’t stop thinking about. I see if I can find it secondhand!

So far this year I’ve managed to get a number of items secondhand on either eBay or Depop that I wanted to buy new. I’ll admit it took a lot longer, but there was a huge sense of achievement when I finally managed to get that item secondhand for a fraction of the original price. 

My most recent Depop find was THAT Zara dress. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I highly recommend you check out Hot4thespot, which ironically is a perfect example of why fast fashion sucks sometimes when everybody and their Aunt ends up with the same dress.

Putting that aside, I managed to grab the dress for £20, half of what it would have cost to buy new. Now you’re probably asking, Alice why are you buying a dress that pretty much the entire female population of the UK already owns? Well it was just so I could dye it a totally different colour. 

I had gone and tried the dress on earlier in the year when I was on the hunt for an outfit for a wedding, after failing miserably to find something secondhand. I loved almost everything about the dress, bar the colour. Which on my pale complexion did nothing for me, and looked a little like I was wearing a nightie. However seeing Olivia from Clothes My Boyfriend Hates, dye her Zara dress a gorgeous pastel pink colour. I decided I wanted to try and do it myself, so I’m going to attempt to dye mine yellow. I think.

 

I still have changes to make

My relationship with fast fashion is something I’m continuing to work on and there are still lots of changes I can make. I’m not aiming to have THE most sustainable wardrobe ever, but I am trying to make as many changes as I can to help reduce the impact my purchases are having on the environment.

Reducing the amount of items I was buying from fast fashion brands was the first step, and is something I will continue over the next 12 months. 

 

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This post contains gifted items, for more information, visit my Disclaimer page