Are you shopping sustainably? Learn what brands to avoid
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Conscious consumption starts first thing in the morning when we wake up and decide what to wear
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion is the term used to describe the business model within the clothing industry where companies mass produce catwalk trends at a low cost, and bring them in to retail stores while demand is still at its highest. By creating low cost options of high fashion items, consumers are more likely to purchase and cycle through clothes more often than if these companies did not exist
Why is it Harmful?
Increasing production and reducing production time ultimately make the clothing industry one of the largest polluters of our planet. Cheap toxic dyes are often used in the clothing which created water pollution, as well as polyester which is created from fossil fuels and can shed microfibers from which increase the amount of plastic in our oceans around the world.
Fast fashion has led to do a type of “throw away” culture in the modern world. Landfills are piling up with clothing as consumers today want to stay on top of the latest trends. This leads to constant closet turnover, and once new items are purchased, the old ones have nowhere to go but the dump. Clothes shopping used to happen a few times a year, but today's consumers are always purchasing to look their best.
Microfibers in the ocean and pollutants in waterways harm wildlife. Animals in the ocean can swallow and choke on some of these pollutants, and waterways contaminated with some toxins may no longer be inhabitable by wildlife.
Fast fashion brands
The list of fast fashion brands is long. Popular brands to avoid in the U.S. include: H&M, Topshop, SHEIN, Victoria’s secret, Fashion Nova, Gap, Guess, Urban Outfitters, and more.
International fast fashion brands to look out for include: Uniqlo (Japan), Primark (Ireland), New Look (UK), Mango (Spain & Turkey), Zara (Spain), ESPRIT (Germany), Missguided (UK), and plenty more.
What do we mean by "Sustainable Fashion" ?
Sustainable Fashion refers to the environmentally conscious practices within the fashion industry. This process aims to design and produce clothes that will have positive impacts to our communities and the environment.
There are many ways to shop sustainably, so choose companies that are:
Green and Clean: Use environmentally friendly materials (ex: organic materials such as fiber, cotton, wool, linen, etc). Implements eco-friendly production with the use of natural materials like natural dyes. By using these biodegrade material, companies will decrease their overall CO2 emission during the decomposition process.
Fair and Ethical: Enforce ethical labor practices, productions, and distributions that minimize harm to both humans and the plant.
It's a bonus if the company offers handmade or vegan products. This shows that they are also animal conscious.
Promote and encourage second hand shopping
Although there is an abundance of fast fashion brands, there are plenty of brands changing the game in the fashion industry. Here are 10 brands we consider to be eco-friendly and ethically sourced:
Allbirds - shoes
Patagonia - jackets and outdoor wear
Levi’s - jeans
Girlfriend Collective - women's activewear
Everlane - modern and luxury
Outerknown - casual
Reformation - women's casual
Boyish - jeans
Polo Ralph Lauren - designer
Colombia - jackets and outdoor wear
Consider checking out these companies the next time you’re shopping for a new look. Fast fashion may be quick and easy, but that efficiency comes with a considerable cost. Now when you think about saving the sea turtles, remember, you can do more than turn down a straw. Remember, behind every piece of clothing you wear was a worker who helped make it. Shopping sustainably isn't just good for the environment, it's a good way to help others. This way you won't just feel good about the way you look, you'll feel great about the brands you’re repping. #shopsustainably