Is it possible to buy from 'fast fashion' stores and still be sustainable?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

I've been thinking a lot about this question recently and when I'm all for ethical shopping and adore sustainable style, I do see the challenges this way of shopping brings to the consumer. Shopping ethically for clothes can be really difficult. Sustainable fashion brands don't pop up as readily as the big fast fashion brands on the high street, for a start. You often have to purchase new ethical fashion online, which is frustrating when you want to try it on it on before buying. And they aren't the most friendly companies on a student budget either!  Some items buying second hand isn't always an option, new pants and bras as an example. Often you need those sort of items in a hurry to! In those cases its really hard to not go to fast fashion brands as they are nearly in every town you meet and are so convenient to get to.

So is it ever possible to still shop in fast fashion brands and get the convince without the fear that your damaging the environment?.....

It's mainly about  consumption 

If your buying apparel new less than once every three months then you are on the right track. If your buying more than that, you are over consuming, it's as simple as that. If your buying into fashion 'trends' you aren't being a sustainable consumer either as trends are designed for binge throwaway fashion. So instead of following trends work more on personal style. 

​When you think about it, its clear to see that, sustainability and over consumption don't mix, at all. Even if you only consume organic and Eco friendly products,  landfill over flowing with organic products is still an over flowing landfill. Sustainability will never truly mix with  fast fashion stores as they can't be sustainable because their business plans are based on providing over consumption and are intrinsically unsustainable. It is only when the huge demand drops for new items every week that they can even think about being properly sustainable.  ​As another blogger said speaking about H&M.  On what planet can you continue to produce 600 million garments per year and not exceed ecological boundaries? 

​The obvious solution to this is dont buy more than you need. Really befriend your wardrobe and get to know your clothes. Work out what you use the most and why that is. Really love what you have. If you need to buy something from a fast fashion shop then give it a lot of thought before doing so, how often will you use it, could you do with out it? Remember that every pound you spend at a fast fashion store is a vote towards what type of store you would like it to become.  Buying sustainable items is a vote in favour of making fast fashion stores more sustainable. 

The photo above is me in a recently bought & Other stories (branch of H&M) organic cotton jumper that I have been thinking about since December. I don't have many pull over jumpers so I thought I would use it a lot. I  waited ages before buying and when I saw it on sale for half the price, I could finally afford to buy it (still £30 though!). I adore this jumper and I'm already getting lots of wear from it. I could have bought second hand but the unique design of this particular jumper is not something I could find all that easily.  

The type of fabric  is really important  too! 

What I like about conscious lines, such as H&M's, is that the materials do have to be checked thoroughly, after all more organic cotton is sold than what is produced. So you know that what you buy is what you get. When buying from fast fashion stores at least go for sustainably made materials.

go for products made from materials such as - organic cotton  - linen  - hemp  - bamboo lycell

​to  sum  up... 

Personally I feel that, If you have to buy from fast fashion shops try to support the ethical and sustainable lines, which use good Eco fabrics. And dont shop there more than once every three months.


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