Fast fashion has taken over the fashion industry within the past decade resulting in more fashion consumption than ever before. People are no longer valuing their clothes like consumers have done in the past. Before the rise in fast fashion, people would take care of their garments by following care tags such as hand washing and air drying and mend them instead of throwing them away. Now that a shirt only costs a few dollars, people don’t care to take steps in prolonging a garment’s life. According to a CNN article, fashion consumption has increased by 400% since two decades ago. Just in the United States alone, 82 pounds of textiles get thrown away every year… per person. Consumers need to put value back into the clothes they dress their bodies with. Yes, quality clothes tend to be more expensive, but it’s definitely a money saver in the long run. Below, I have made a list of the top 4 tips to consuming less.
Top 4 Shopping Tips
- 30 wear rule: Think about if you really need something before compulsive shopping. According to an Ellen Macarthur Foundation report, the average women wears a garment less than ten times before throwing it away. If you know you’re not going to use a garment more than 30 times, it won’t add much value to you and your wardrobe. Bottom line, you don’t really need it.
- Rent: There are now a few sites people can rent clothes, bags, and shoes on! A couple to check out are Rebag and Rent the Runway. If having a minimalistic wardrobe with key pieces that you can wear for a decade as mentioned in tip one isn’t working for you, this is a perfect alternative. For individuals that have to switch it up frequently but don’t want to contribute to fast fashion, just rent!
- Swap: If you live in a big city like me (NYC) there are swap events all around! People show up with bags of clothes and have a swapping party. Check out the Global Fashion Exchange to learn more about how this is run and what a blast it can be. If this is not something that is available in your area, create an event of your own or just stick to swapping clothes with friends or family.
- Care: If there is a stain, trust me there is a way to get it out; don’t give up after one try. Use Google; that’s what it is there for. If there is a rip, learn how to mend. This knowledge will help you a ton in the long run; it is well worth learning and isn’t too hard. The more clothes are washed, the more they wear down. It’s not gross to wear something a few times before washing if it’s not really dirty. In fact the brand Levis educates their customers on this and encourages them not to wash their jeans after every wear. Lastly, wash them correctly by reading tags and only use warm water when needed. If something is not soiled or really dirty, it can be washed in cool water which will save a lot of energy.