We know how challenging it can be when you’re fed up with fast fashion and your friends are frequent fast-fashion shoppers. It’s not easy finding the balance of telling them the facts of the industry without sounding condescending. Thankfully, the truth of fast fashion is getting more spotlight and the movement to ditch it is growing larger. So you’re not alone! These conversations are tough, but they are worth having. Here are some tips to help encourage your friends to step away from fast fashion and shop ethically.
Respect the process. Everyone has to go through their own break-up process with fast fashion. For some it’s an easy quit, for others it could take a long time. Fast fashion is easy, convenient, and cheap. Switching to only purchasing ethical, sustainable fashion has to come from an authentic place. You gotta’ respect the process and let your friends get to that spot. Because when it comes from authenticity, it starts a lifestyle change that they won’t want to turn away from.
Be positive. There’s a lot of very horrible stories that come along with the fast fashion industry. Those stories need to be told, but there’s a time and a place for it. If your friend is talking about their new find at a regular fast fashion store, before you blurt out that it was made in slave-labour conditions and their money helped poison the environment, remember that a positive, gentle approach is more effective. (And more pleasant for everyone.) The truth of fast fashion doesn’t need to be sugar-coated. But many aren’t aware of what happens behind the scenes. Bringing up positive facts about slow fashion can bring up deeper conversations. An easy, gentle approach is to . . .
Talk about the brands you love. If you have a favourite go-to place for your ethical, sustainable clothes, talk about it. Bring up why you love it—their values, the quality. Social media is a great platform to share ethical fashion with your friends. It’s one of the easiest ways to spread the love and keep the conversation going.
Help them get over the hurdle. Ethical fashion is more expensive and this the biggest hurdle for a lot of people. When you’re used to fast fashion prices, it feels impossible to afford slow fashion. Some good points to bring up:
- The quality—Slowly made clothing lasts longer, longer-lasting clothing saves money in the long run.
- Where it was made—Clothing made in Canada or B Corp certified means that the people behind the scenes are treated fairly. Money in the pockets of slow fashion brands has a positive effect on humans around the globe.
- The impact on the environment—Because slow fashion doesn’t pump out a ton of styles every season like fast fashion does, less clothing is thrown away. A lot of slow fashion brands are using more sustainable fabrics.
Know your why. Knowing your values and why you shop the way you do strengthens your stance on the topic. Everyone’s why is different and the differences create some really great conversations.
We’d love to hear from you! Tell us your “why” in the comments below.
Jade is a writer, potter, and gardener living in a sleepy town in Northern Ontario. They love growing food, creating functional stoneware, and hermiting with a book as much as possible.