THE TRUE COST, FAST FASHION + WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP

May 22, 2017



Last year a friend of mine had suggested that I should watch 'The True Cost'; a documentary explaining the impact that fast fashion has on the world, it's consumers, and the workers in the industry. It hasn't been until recently that I have taken the time to watch the documentary, and as you may or may not know, I have been heavily following the fashion industry for a few years now and I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject.



WHAT IS FAST FASHION? - THE BREAKDOWN
'Fast fashion is described as “low cost clothing collections that mimic current fashion trends." These trends change incredibly fast, often causing new styles and trends to become obsolete in a matter of weeks. Fast fashion keeps up with these trends, but unlike with high fashion, fast-fashion garments are cheap and usually made out of lower-quality materials.' - Found on Leaf. Read more here.

Unbelievably, the Fashion Industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. There are roughly 40 million garment factory workers worldwide whom make less than £2.33 a day. As I stated above I'm no stranger to keeping up with current trends; my bedroom floor is covered with magazines, I follow designers and models on Instagram, I tune into Fashion Week, I've been to Fashion Shows, and I love love love to go shopping.

I've always seen Fashion as an art form. The idea that you can turn a design into something you can wear is quite mind blowing in my opinion, but as artistic as it is, it can be incredibly destructive. I'm also no stranger to fast fashion. I'd probably state that my entire wardrobe consists of 95% fast fashion items purchased from well-known brands such as H&M and Zara.

We all know that sweat shops are a thing, that workers are unfairly paid and that large corporations are producing cheaply made clothing and selling them at inexpensive prices. Not only does the 'True Cost' cover this topic, but also shines a light on how and where cotton is grown, the GMOs and pesticides used when producing cotton, the impact this has on the local people of these small communities, how consumers in the west are being lead into the marketing schemes of the fast fashion industry and so much more.

In the last few weeks, I have taken a greater interest in zero waste methods, buying minimally, ethically and sustainably and although I will always be into Fashion, sharing, talking and following the industry, it's refreshing to have a deeper understanding of its current affairs, and how I can make slight changes in my lifestyle. I'm not the epitome of world change, or someone who is extremely experienced in this field ( at all ) but I do feel that every little helps, and gaining knowledge is the first step to making adjustments.


HOW CAN WE HELP? 
Know your shit - Do you really know where your clothing is being made, by who and at what cost? Is it ethical, fair trade, do you know where the materials and fabrics are being sourced? Research, research, research and investigate as much as you possibly can. Don't be afraid to ask brands questions. You're investing into their business, you have a right to know where your money is going.

Buy from ethical clothing brands - This can be quite a tricky one. I personally don't know many clothing brands that are ethical, affordable and are based in the UK, so if anyone does know, please leave a comment below. However, as I stated above, research into it. There are many YouTubers and bloggers out there that specifically discuss buying from ethical fashion brands. One of my fav YouTubers of the moment is Verena Erin ( you can watch her videos here ) who shares content on how to build a sustainable and minimal wardrobe, so I highly suggest checking her out.

Buy second hand - Purchasing second hand and vintage items is a great idea. Not only are you finding something that is a one of kind piece, but you're also giving a home to an item that someone no longer needs or wants anymore. You can buy second hand on websites and apps such as ebay, etsy, depop, asos marketplace and so much more. Visiting vintage stores, charity shops and even going to outlet stores and warehouse clearances is also another magnificent way to shop sustainably.

Create a minimal wardrobe - Using the capsule wardrobe method is a fantastic way to cut down on how much you're buying. Invest in classic, comfortable and quality pieces that you'll love in years to come, and prevent buying trend items that will soon be out of style. Avoid purchasing clothes that you're unsure of; buy items that you need, and that fit the current season. If you'd like to know more about building your own capsule wardrobe, read here.

Spread the message - If it hadn't been for the same friend who had told me about The True Cost, I would definitely still be unaware of the fast fashion industry. It's important to spread the message, and let others know the impact that this is causing. Write blog posts, read, tweet, bring it up in conversation and see how others feel about the topic.

This is probably one of the longest post I've ever written on my blog. I hope you've enjoyed it if you've managed to read this far!

Let me know what your thoughts are on fast fashion, and have you seen The True Cost?
Watch 'The True Cost' here.
*Picture featured above is mine.

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