The sustainable fashion revolution

Working on being more sustainable with your fashion? Here’s how!

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 1600s came the ability to quickly produce clothing and apparel. This speedy production created a surge of items and opened the door to the overproduction of clothing. Today, we consume 400% more clothing than we consumed decades ago. Pollution and consumer waste are significant contributors to climate change. Looking towards a modern world, it is important to cut down on waste and pollution; here are a few simple ways you can help to be more sustainable when it comes to fashion.

  1. Donating Clothes

Thrifting, or simply buying from thrift stores, has become a hot topic recently. Thrifting is a super sustainable practice – it helps reduce mass production and the use of resources. When you donate your items to thrift stores, they will give you a receipt for a tax deduction because you donated to charity. So now, not only are you donating and practicing safe and sustainable fashion, but you are also getting a little tax reward. 

  1. Buying clothes second hand 

What if you don’t feel like rummaging through thrift stores to find your new date night outfit? In addition to shopping in physical thrift stores, you can shop online on sites like eBay, Depop, or Thredup. These apps are great ways to buy pre-owned and even new items at relatively low costs while helping to reduce production. eBay has even introduced a new feature for buyers and sellers, where they will inspect items and guarantee authenticity and quality for items of high-ticket value. This introduces a new way to buy items of a higher value while still being sustainable. 

  1. Avoid fast fashion companies

Who hasn’t seen those Shein Haul TikToks? Fast fashion companies are notorious for producing mass amounts of products for low prices, in order to fit whatever is current in the fashion world. Unfortunately, according to Wu Peiyue, a writer for Sixth Tone,  these companies capitalize off labor extortion, which is how their prices are much lower than in other places. Peiyue explains that the company’s staff “often pay the price for these cost-cutting measures.” Peiyue also describes how in order to fill the workforce, facilities will fill their workshops with family members and temporary workers, allowing “the bosses to avoid making expensive social security payments.” This is because of the fewer perks part-time staff is granted in comparison to full-time employees. In addition, the conditions of these workshops are often less than desirable for workers. They’re often unsafe and do not prioritize the workers, but rather what they are producing overall. Peiyue states that “working at the facilities, which operate 24 hours a day, isn’t for the faint-hearted. Chinese migrant workers call it taking the ‘Shein Challenge’ — trying to withstand the brutally intense work.” It is thus crucial that we strive towards sustainable fashion; we can no longer stand for the support of these practices, and by shifting them out we are reducing the harm done to our global community.

It has become a trend across social media to thrift, repurpose and create clothing. Popular influencers are often seen showing off their thrift finds, and in doing so, encourage many viewers to participate in the trend. There are many companies that are working towards sustainability, and sustainability has gained global popularity. IKEA is a leading business in making its way to sustainability, utilizing bags made from recycled plastics. With these major companies, alongside a lot of our population, supporting and practicing sustainability, we are one step closer to a sustainable future and a safer planet.