With Fashion Revolution Week upon us (19-25 April 2021), we at Fyne Jewellery want to help you break up with your fast fashion favourites. Why? Because the fashion industry is a huge contributor towards global omissions, as well as causing problems for vulnerable communities that fall victim to its practices.
By following this step-by-step guide, we encourage you to find happiness with sustainable fashion instead! So, start crafting that break-up text, and get ready to move on to a way of shopping that looks good and feels good...
The Stats on Fast Fashion
Fast fashion has provided us with a way of shopping quickly, cheaply, and seasonally. This ease comes with an ethical and environmental price tag that we can no longer ignore.
Did you know?
- The fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of carbon emissions (more than all flights and shipping combined!).
- The fast fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and releases half a million tonnes of synthetic microfibres into the ocean every year.
- Only 2% of garment workers make a living wage. Not only that but their human rights are violated on a daily basis:
- - The Rana Plaza disaster (2013) was regarded as a ‘mass industrial homicide’. 2,000 garment workers were forced to continue working for some of the biggest fast fashion brands, inside a building that was clearly about to collapse. 1,134 people were killed.
- - Most recently, a woman working at an H&M factory in India was raped and killed. The factory is infamous for gender-based violence, and it was known that the woman had reported ongoing sexual harassment. Despite this, no action was taken.
Along with the rights violations of fast fashion practices, the industry is a massive cause of climate change. For these reasons, communities need to come together to shop sustainably, locally, and more consciously.
It’s time to break up with fast fashion. Here’s how...
1. Start Shopping More Consciously
The very first thing you can do is to become a more conscious consumer. Put simply: think twice before you buy. For example, when you’re shopping, ask yourself ‘do I really need this?’.
Armed with your newfound knowledge of fast fashion brands, consider the effects of your purchases on the environment. This also applies to online shopping, which may cause omissions from shipping/delivery. Because of this, try to shop locally, where you can, to minimise your carbon footprint.
Tip: Instead of buying clothes from fast fashion brands, save the money and donate to a cause you care about. Unsubscribe from fast fashion mailing lists to help you stay on track with your saving goals.
2. Reuse and Repurpose
Did you know that Fyne Jewellery started after our founder, Aya, began repurposing her old jewellery? This inspired her to create an online platform where consumers could shop sustainably.
>See more about our story
With this in mind, what could you repurpose in line with seasonal trends? Dig out your unused clothing and take it to your local tailor. They have the skills to be able to turn your old items into a totally new outfit!
If you’re past the point of repurposing, and really think the only option is to discard your clothing, consider recycling, donating, or selling second-hand.
3. Take Good Care of Your Clothing
Avoid falling victim to the temptations of fast fashion by taking care of what you already have. That means washing your clothes carefully, caring for your shoes, and learning how to fix your clothing.
The great thing about sustainable clothing is that the quality is often much better than fast fashion pieces. Because of this, we highly recommend buying from made-to-order sustainable brands that will last a lifetime. Sustainable clothing can be more expensive but this is a reflection of the fair pay given to workers and the quality of the items.
4. Make a Capsule Wardrobe
Speak to any fashion guru and they’ll tell you that a capsule wardrobe is the way to go! It’s also the perfect fast-fashion alternative and an eco-friendly way of shopping. Buy items from sustainable clothing stores that are long-lasting, classic, and that can be paired with other items in your wardrobe. This way you only need a few key pieces that you can rotate.
Shop the timeless ‘Noor’ collection
Seasonal trends are what fast fashion brands, like H&M and Zara, feed off. They continue to exist knowing that people will buy multiple cheap pieces to stay ‘in fashion’. Remember, trends don’t last forever! Instead, keep your wardrobe classic, with timeless pieces that will always be stylish. What’s more, choose pieces that easily transition between seasons. For example, layered in winter and paired with beachy accessories for summer.
Tip: If you want to wear pieces that are ‘on trend’ for the season, consider renting outfits instead!
5. Rate Your Fast Fashion Brands
A great way to see how sustainably you are shopping is to research your favourite brands and their commitment to sustainability. A great app to help you do this is ‘Good on You’, which gives brands a sustainability rating. They also provide fast-fashion alternatives to help you to be a more eco-friendly shopper.
Photo credit | Goodonyou.eco
Remember: Even if a brand has a ‘conscious’ collection or a commitment to sustainability on their website, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are sustainable. Greenwashing has become popular among fast fashion brands, using ‘eco’ branding to brainwash consumers into thinking they are buying environmentally-friendly and ethical clothing.
6. Start Searching for Sustainable Clothing
Now, the fun part begins: searching for small sustainable businesses that you can support instead of fast fashion! Ask around for recommendations, search online, and hunt out the vintage stores in your local area.
Remember: The high prices of luxury designers don’t necessarily equal sustainability. In fact, some of the most popular designers still have terrible practices.
To help you start on your sustainable fashion journey, we’ve curated a list of some amazing sustainable clothing brands in the UAE right now:
At Fyne Jewellery we are on a conscious mission to educate, inspire, and empower.
Read all about our commitment to sustainability.
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