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  • Writer's pictureGreer

Breaking Up with Fast Fashion; Building Your Sustainable Wardrobe

Online shopping is the new window shopping. Think about it, from the comfort of your own home, in your bleach-stained sweats and your high school ex boyfriend’s ratty NBA t-shirt, assessing, re-assessing, and rebuilding your wardrobe with a click of a button, at your doorstep in 3-5 business days. It’s also opened a new level of entrepreneurial expansion, anyone can sell their designs, ideas, and creations. Win win? Well…not just yet.

Where there’s a rainbow, there’s always rain. With the evolution of online shopping that has been the last decade and a half, new clothing companies from all over the world have popped up, offering lower prices than ever seen before outside of a thrift store. There’s Shein, PrettyLittleThing, BooHoo, even Amazon, the list goes on and on. So, remote shopping, for cheap, and quick, what’s the problem?

The problem is in the solution. Fast fashion, at its core, is inhumane, unsustainable, and poor for the environment. Companies like Shein and Boohoo are actively bending the labor laws paying workers pennies on the dollar, working them for agonizingly long hours, and essentially putting on a façade for a quick buck, or millions of them.

Building your Wardrobe

Companies like Shein are always scouring the internet for the latest trends in fashion; Is Y2k back? Denim miniskirts are riding the top of the TikTok charts! It’s print! No its neon! I remember when fashion was about the exclusive pieces. The cashmere scarf that was a one of a kind. It took years for the designer to perfect the idea, to put it on the Fall/Winter New York Fashion week runway.

I myself fell into the fast fashion, new trending piece for every event on my schedule. Until one day, I got tired of – embarrassed even, of looking, for lack of better word, cheap! Wrinkles everywhere, see through fabric, thinner than a baby’s head of hair. No matter what I considered my “style” to be…this sure as hell wasn’t it.

The Money Pieces

After my fashion epiphany, I set some ground rules. Of course, I’m a shopaholic, so I wasn’t willing to give that up, but balling on a budget, building out outfits for the season wouldn’t be so easy without giving into the fast fashion faux pa.

1. Rule Number 1: Build out Your Staples

In fashion, Staples are like Evergreen content. Pieces you can use as the core of your outfits. Pieces you build your outfit from! For all the girls like me who shy away from being an “outfit repeater”, staples can help you achieve the new day new outfit look, on a budget. Every fashionista should have the following staples, to name a few:

· Black, white, grey, and brown tank top, short sleeve, and long sleeve.

· 3 pairs of durable jeans; lightwash, darkwash, and black.

· 1 black, oversized blazer

· 1 pair of white sneakers, black heeled booties, and loafers.

· & of course, 1 durable big enough yet small enough, black purse.

2. Rule Number 2: Good Quality is Your First Priority

Resisting the urge to get the cheapest and quickest piece is going to be hard. So before you press checkout in your fast fashion cart, think about your future! Fill your closet with items that will last you the next 5-10 years. Yes, they exist. If you can’t think of an article of clothing that you wear regularly that you bought before 2016, you may need to re-evaluate your approach. Instead of basing your wardrobe on company and name brands, pay more attention to the fabric of your pieces.

Durable Fabrics Include:

· Linen

· Cotton

· Wool

· Hemp

· Lyocell

3. Rule Number 3: Refrain from being Easily Influenced

This decade is known for one word: Influence. Social media has a tight grip on influencing followers on what to wear, how to act, what to say, you name it. The fast fashion companies owe 60% of their success to online influence. This is also a very difficult change to make. Your favorite TikTok influencer has the perfect Dior dupe on Amazon, you need to jump on it to stay relevant and trendy. WRONG. The clothes don’t make the person, the person makes the clothes. If you have trouble in not being easily influenced, allow the idea to influence you. Make a similar outfit, with the staples you have!

Fashion is first and foremost about expression, creativity, and fun. It is not about class, or exclusion, or fitting the latest mold. Don’t let society push you into a corner of over consumption and cheaply playing into the latest trend.

If you need advice on building your wardrobe, navigating your style, or anything fashion related, let me know!

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