Many of you will have read my blog at the beginning of last year about my intention to ditch fast fashion and to find a more sustainable way. A year down the line and I thought I’d give you an update on how it went.
Well, as we all know, 2020 did not really go to plan. Not that this is an excuse, but I’m going to say I probably fell back into old habits of enjoying shopping a bit too much to cheer me up. So I haven’t ditched fast fashion entirely, but I won’t say I’ve failed because I think I have increased my awareness and I have changed my behaviour. (N.B. I would also say, I don’t think I tend to buy from typically fast fashion brands anyway, but I still shop too much!)
Through my personal research and through the sustainable fashion course I completed, these are some of the top things I’ve discovered…
I’ve found the Good on You app (it’s also a website) and used it to inform my decisions about which brands to buy from. The app rates fashion brands based on three criteria – environmental, labour and treatment of animals and is useful for looking up brands (but be prepared to be upset when you discover a loved brand is horribly unethical and so no longer an option!)
I have discovered brands I haven’t previously shopped at, but that are apparently quite ethical – Thought, COS, &OtherStories (the latter two both owned by H&M). You can find some more suggestions on my follow up blog here.
I’ve bought from independent designers, so small batch handmade clothing, made with UK-made fabric, which is always more ethical and less-wasteful.
And I’ve started buying pre-loved. If I’m honest, I’ve never really had the time or inclination to go trawling charity shops, so it’s always put me off – especially if I’m looking for something specific. On this occasion through, technology has come to the rescue and my new fav online shopping places are Thrift+ and Re-fashion.
Both great platforms to be able to search for exactly what you’re looking from the comfort of your own home. Being able to buy from them means the items are checked and you can return them if they’re not right, unlike FB marketplace or Ebay. I also love that you can send things into them, so I’ve had a bit of a declutter and clear out of things I no longer wear or don’t fit. (Thrift+ operates a profit share model so you get some money back for your items.)
I’ve also discovered Facebook pages for some of my favourite brands but pre-loved. This is a great way to compensate for not being able to buy brands that are not sufficiently ethical – just buy pre-loved items instead.
As a rule, I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions, because I prefer to make slower changes that I feel are more likely to be permanent. But on this occasion, I feel like it worked. Whilst I didn’t completely stick to my commitment, I have learnt more and made changes that I can stick to.
Now, what shall I change this year?