“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” – Vivienne Westwood
Written by Rachel Lee
Shopping for clothes has become a significant part of our culture. In the 1980s, the average American bought around 12 new articles of clothing every year. Now, that number has surged to 68. This is a result of a new movement in the clothing industry, also known as “fast fashion.” This phenomenon can be best described as making trendy, cheap, and disposable clothing in a shortened time frame, resulting in numerous consequences for workers and the environment. In other words, fast fashion has evoked the sentiment of luxury without paying the full price. But in reality, someone else is paying it for us. Along with the record-high amounts of greenhouse gases filling the air and the overuse of finite resources like water, individuals across the world are being underpaid, working long hours, and being exposed to harmful chemicals. Likewise, fast fashion is manufactured to not last, promoting a vicious cycle.
Sustainable & Ethical Fashion
On the other hand, “slow fashion” promotes the opposite: fair labor, responsibly-sourced materials, and lasting clothing. These components are what define mindful manufacturing. Although these pieces tend to cost more than those found at H&M or Zara, buying from sustainable brands ensures better quality for you, the workers, and the environment. Likewise, buying second-hand and less, in general, is more affordable and contributes immensely to the sustainable fashion movement.
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Rachel Lee is an editorial intern at Green Living Magazine who is pursuing a degree in global studies and sustainability at Arizona State University. Born and raised in Arizona, she has always been in awe of its unique landscape and hopes to engage in ways to preserve its beauty.
Photo by Luiz Fernando from Pexels