Striving Toward Sustainable Shopping

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We’ve all been guilty of it at one point or another: fast fashion. You buy a super cute top with a very cheap price tag, wear it out once or twice, take your Instagram photo and allow it to be dumped to the back of your closet. Then a new trend starts and the pattern begins all over again. It’s a vicious cycle that not only damages your wallet, but the environment as well.

Fast fashion can be broadly defined as cheap, trendy clothing that quickly comes in and out of style. Retailer brands such as Forever 21 and H&M are culprits of this, as they mass-produce cheap, low-quality clothing. As a college student with low funds, it can be easy to fall into the trap of choosing quantity over quality, but VALLEY has a few tips for some fast fashion fixes.

Inform Yourself

YouTube and Netflix are flooded with quick clips and documentaries that will help educate you on the problem. “The True Cost” on Netflix dives into explaining the dangers of fast fashion in just over an hour. The documentary shows the division between ethics and fashion in our world today. Becoming informed of the problem is a great first step in trying to better the world around us. 

Shop Resale

Thrifting or buying resale is a great way to lessen your “clothing footprint”. Thrifting at stores such as Goodwill or consignment shops can be a great way to expand your closet without breaking the bank. This allows you to bring old clothing pieces back to life and out of landfills. In today’s world of shopping, it’s easy to shop resale right on your phone. Apps such as Depop, threadUP and Poshmark make it easy to buy and sell pre-owned clothing through your phone.

Shop brands that promote sustainability

You may already own a piece of sustainable clothing and not even know it. Brands including Patagonia and L.L.Bean promote their “lifetime guarantee” policy, promising to repair damaged clothing purchased from their company for a low cost. Patagonia also promotes their “product care” guides, which encourages consumers to take proper care of their products so they are assured to last for years to come. Repairing and properly caring for more expensive pieces such as coats and jackets ensures that they will last longer.

All in all, it’s important to keep in mind that your shopping habits affect more than your bank account.

Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with some of your sustainable fashion snags!

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