It’s not easy to break-up with fast fashion. Those frequent styles and low prices are really attractive and if you’re sticking to a budget, fast fashion might feel like your only option. There’s no denying that ethical fashion is more expensive. Slow fashion’s quality—and what it stands for—is worth the extra dollars spent. The true cost of fast fashion is bound to inspire making moves away from it. But how do you break up with fast fashion when ethical fashion is outside of your price range?
It’s all about being slow and steady, baby. Every small step away from fast fashion is a step in the right direction. The key is to start.
Make goals—Your decision to quit fast fashion has to be personal. Authenticity is the best motivator. You’ll stand up for your own standards. Take some time to find out why you’re breaking-up with fast fashion then lay out your goals, your next steps, and give yourself a lot of grace for the process.
Pick one thing to say good-bye to—You don’t need to go through your closet and toss everything that was made by fast fashion. (That’s counter-productive, but we understand the urge). Instead, pick one store that you know isn’t ethical and decide to never support it again. Slowly say good-bye to your go-to fast fashion stores and say hello to sustainable companies. If ethical fashion isn’t in your current price range, give thrifting a go. Thrifting is a great way to stay sustainable and not support fast fashion.
Question every purchase—Do I need this? What’s the cost telling me? What’s the tag telling me? Do I want my money to support this company? Asking questions helps you think twice before buying something. Only you can be the judge of whether or not you want to buy it.
Keep challenging yourself. You might find yourself sliding back to fast fashion when you’re in a rush or for items that are harder to find. Don’t beat yourself up about it. But let any guilt remind you of why you’re breaking-up with fast fashion. It’s good to go back to your goals often, refocus, and remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
Give yourself a pat on the back—Every time you almost buy a cheap T-shirt then put it down, celebrate that! That’s progress. Every time you refuse to buy something unless you know what happens behind the scenes, give yourself a high-five. When you invest in clothing that is ethically made, wear it with pride. The slow, subtle changes amount to big ones and soon enough, you’ll be able to say good-bye to fast fashion without a second thought.
Believe us when we say that tiny steps matter. Go easy on yourself. It’s okay that this is hard. Break-ups usually are. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, it’s about the process. When you finally say good-bye for good, you’ll be able to sigh, knowing that you got yourself there and now have the tools to empower others to get there too.
Written By Jade Paxton for FRANC