Let's talk about fashion! The fashion industry is enormous. It is worth more than 2.5 trillion dollars, and it is responsible for so much waste. Like A LOT of waste.
Globally, 13 million tons of textile waste is thrown away each year. Fashion is one of the top five most polluting industries from its supply chains down to it's manufactured disposability.
In the 1940’s the average woman had 9 outfits. In the 60’s people on average attained 10 pieces of new clothing a year. Now, each person buys roughly 70 new garments a year!
We used to have four seasons, but four seasons isn't enough anymore. In order to keep us spending, retailers have pioneered 52 micro-seasons which means new products and styles are coming out every single week.
Their goal is to make you feel like you're out of fashion the moment you wear something.
Which, in our right minds, we all know is ludicrous. But, when we're influenced by marketers, we're not thinking with our right minds. We're thinking with our subconscious and our feelings.
The picture I'm trying to paint for you is that our shopping habits and the fashion industry are out of control.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can help reverse this!
1. wait before you buy:
One of the best ways to combat these clever marketing tactics is to simply step back and wait. Give yourself 30 days.
If after 30 days you're still thinking about the item and you know that it will add value to your life, then buy it. But, if the 30 days pass and you realize it won't add a lot of value to your life, then just let it go.
2. don't chase trends:
Instead of focusing on the newest, latest, and greatest trends - try to stick to classic pieces with classic lines that you can wear season after season.
Now, my wardrobe isn't 100% boring and neutral. I do have a few key selected trends that I've selected, but I'm VERY purposeful with them and I source them from ethical and sustainable designers or secondhand.
The great thing about fashion is that everything is cyclical. One of the best ways to get the trend for less is to shop for something vintage.
Of course, thanks to tons of rental clothing services, you can also rent the trend! Check out Rent the Runway and LeTote.
3. shop ethically:
When it comes to buying new clothes, I always try to shop ethically. I want to know that the clothing I buy was made responsibly and by someone paid a living wage. Here are a few of my favorite ethical retailers that I shop from often.
4. shop secondhand:
I am also a BIG proponent of second hand. I love vintage clothing, consignment and thrifting! I just love secondhand shopping and always have.
The secondhand market for clothing is HUGE. There are so many amazing pieces out there in need of a loving home.
One of the most eco-friendly things you can buy is something that has already been bought.
What most people might not know is that there are different levels of secondhand shopping. If you're looking for a treasure hunt - i.e. combing through racks for the gems then definitely hit up your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or independent thrift store.
If you're looking for higher-end pieces and something that is more curated, then you're going to want to go to a consignment shop. With curation, comes a little bit higher price tag, but you don't have to dig!
Then there's also online thrift stores like ThredUp.
Kaitlin Dickie has a few more tips for you in the Pela Pointer below.