I have loved shopping ever since I was little. It’s one of my favourite (and most expensive) pastimes and I would do it every single day if I could (as explained in my Confessions of a Shopaholic post). But recently, I’m starting to think a lot more about the issue of fast fashion, my shopping habits and the effects they have, not only on my pursestrings, but also on the environment.
According to the dictionary, fast fashion is a concept deriving from the process of “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends”. I see so many bloggers and influencers who I follow inundated with freebies and don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be at the stage where my favourite brands wanted to work with me. But it does make me wonder how much this concept of fast fashion is effecting the environment given that they may only wear these items once and then get rid. I recently read an article which fuelled my musings on the matter further when it stated that in 2017, 235 million items of clothing were sent to landfill in the UK alone.
Stella McCartney recently announced a UN charter to combat the dangers of such fast fashion, calling on high-street retailers to work towards reducing their carbon footprint. Whilst I completely agree that things need to change, I also feel like there needs to be a degree of understanding that although creating sustainable fashion inevitably means a change in price point, not everyone (in fact, the majority of people) can afford the sustainable yet luxury items of the likes of Stella McCartney. There needs to be some middle ground when it comes to the expectations of high-street retailers.
Some initiatives that have already been put in place which are finding this middle ground have come from two of my favourite high-street stores. Just this morning I received two emails from them detailing each of their recycling schemes (perfect timing for this post!). The first came from & Other Stories‘ “Recycle with us and get 10% off your next purchase” scheme which details their desire to reduce their environmental footprint by recycling our empty beauty containers or unwanted textiles (read more here). The second email was from H&M announcing their “Conscious Shop” and inviting consumers to become sustainable shoppers through buying their H&M Conscious products, made with at least 50% recycled or other sustainably sourced material, and their recycling schemes which invites us to recycle unwanted clothes in return for a £5 H&M voucher (read more here).
There are so many more issues related to the problem of fast fashion such as the treatment of labourers, sourcing of materials etc and this post barely even skims the surface. However from what I have read recently, I took the decision that this year I will be more responsible for my shopping habits and more conscious of the effects they are having on the environment. Whilst I am by no means in a position to spend small fortunes on designer items that may last me a lifetime, I am vowing to ask myself questions like “do I really need this?” and “will I still be wearing this item in a few months time?” in order to control the amount of clothing I am consuming each year.
Similarly, whilst I will never stop shopping (after all, it is my passion) and blogging about fashion, I won’t ever just buy and blog about pieces for the sake of being “current”. As annoying as it is when you love something you see on your favourite blogger, only to be told it’s a few years old, I really respect bloggers who rewear older outfits and I will continue to do so too. If the item I’m wearing is no longer available, I always spend time finding alternatives for my followers (if anyone is even really that interested!).
I’ve shared photos from an outfit here of which I love each and every item and have invested in because I know I will wear them all to death. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this slightly more serious blog and if you would like more posts like this in the future?
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