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Fast Fashion And Me

As someone who has almost always been on a budget, I have shopped in high street stores for most of my life. And, I have to admit, I was never blind to the realities of fast fashion and the damage it is causing. Since my school days, I have been told horror stories about unsafe factories and child labour but I felt like I had few options available to me. 'Slow fashion' seemed inaccessible to me because those organic, fairtrade items were often a little (or a lot) more pricey and I just couldn't justify spending that much on an item of clothing. It sounds bad to admit that I willingly made the choice to support an industry which is harmful but, at the time, I felt like I had no other options. And, for some people out there who are living on the breadline, there really are few options available outside of buying clothes on the high street or in supermarkets.

But there is a difference between necessity and choice. I wear a size 12. This means that I can go into any charity shop and be confronted with an entire rail of clothing that would fit me. There are probably thousands of listings on eBay of clothing that fits my size. I am also able-bodied - this means there are few additional factors that I have to take into account when buying clothes. But we have to remember when we have these conversations about fast fashion that not everyone is in the same situation as yourself and that ethical fashion just isn't accessible to everyone for a range of reasons.

That being said, I have recently starting to have a look at my own shopping habits. I have recently started to notice that I am impulse buying a lot of items that I don't necessarily need - nor even really want. The thing is, I see YouTubers and other bloggers sharing hauls and different outfits everyday and I feel like I have to have certain items because they're 'in'. Even if it is something I wouldn't pick out in a shop myself - if I see my fave influencers wearing it, it is highly likely that I will want it too.

As a blogger (especially one who shares fashion content), I know I am just as much part of the problem as any other influencer - and I can't blame them for creating content that they enjoy to make and will almost guarantee them views and likes. I mean, I am ashamed to admit how many Primark hauls I have watched in my time. And, as I watch them, I never think about the actual impact of fast fashion. All I think is 'ooh, I want to go to Primark' then I do go to Primark and leave the shop with a bag full of clothes that I probably will wear once before putting them to the back of my wardrobe where they'll eventually make their final journey to the charity shop a year later.

So, why do I do this? Mostly, because I don't want to feel like I am missing out. I don't want be the only one not wearing the latest trends. And because I know that outfit pictures in that must-have skirt will generate more likes. Superficial as it seems, this is why I impulse buy - and haul culture encourages this. Haul culture tells me that I don't have enough. That there is always something more to buy. Another trend to follow. And I admire the women selling me these ideas so I listen to them.

Another factor in fast fashion is the easiness. Although I buy a lot of my daughter's clothes second hand, finding things I like for myself takes a little more effort. Trawling through charity shops takes time whereas high street stores present clothes in a way that make you want to buy them so you can go in and find exactly what you want immediately. High street shops have every item in a range of sizes - I can walk in and I know I will find a pair of black jeans in a size 12. It is just easy.

Because of these things, my wardrobe is made up of about 98% fast fashion pieces. And that's kinda the problem. My wardrobe isn't full of fast fashion pieces because I really can't afford ethical pieces - I could probably stretch to it, if I am honest - but because I make that choice. It is deliberate. And that's what I want to change.

Now I'm not saying I will never shop on the high street again - that would just be a blatant lie - but what I am saying is that I intend to make more of an effort to find alternatives. I want to only buy things that will work with the items I already own. I want to wear a piece to death and feature it on my Instagram all the time without feeling weird about repeating outfits. I want to challenge the notion that we always need something more by not getting so caught up in trends and treasuring the clothes I already own.

And I hope the fashion industry will start to change too because many people, myself included, simply aren't able to buy exclusively from ethical brands. But, for now, we just need to start small and try to challenge 'haul culture'.

And remember - individual, small changes have the potential to amount to something huge.


  1. I am really trying to make a difference when it comes to fashion fashion and how I'm spending!

    Danielle xx

  2. You're so right - these small changes can add up to a huge wave!


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