Ending Fast Fashion

Seattle in July is more like April in other parts of the country, so I put on a pair of jeans to work from home. After work, I sat on the living room floor, as I do several times a day, to brush the cat.

When I stood up, I noticed my jeans had ripped. Dang! They had been getting thin. I opened my computer to find a replacement, then stopped myself.

I made a new year’s resolution this year not to buy new clothes. As in not fresh from the manufacturer. I could buy used clothes if I needed to replace something. My resolution has been making me more thoughtful about my purchases. Also, since all outings are canceled for 2020, there’s not a lot of need for new clothes.

I highly recommend you join me on this mission. Fast fashion is a huge problem and completely unnecessary. Before the quarantine, I subscribed to LeTote, a clothing rental service. That provided me a couple new-to-me pieces to mix up my work wardrobe. It also let me try new styles commitment-free.

I listened to a podcast with a clothing rental company founder. She noticed that her younger sister and friends were buying cheap clothes constantly because they didn’t want to have the same outfit in their Instagram photos. She noticed that her sister and friends didn’t necessarily want to keep the clothes. They just wanted to wear it once or twice. (Side note: therapy is great for building self-confidence).

Buying Used

I really had no reason to keep the subscription, but I did notice a few gaps in my work-from-home wardrobe that needed filling. Many of my comfy pants are magnets for cat fur, so that wasn’t really working for me. But I could older yoga pants that are too warm or don’t quite stay in place right for workouts were fine for my work-from-home life. I also noticed that I have long-sleeve shirts and tank tops, but not so many short-sleeve shirts.

To fill in the gaps, I turned to Poshmark. Poshmark is an online marketplace where people can sell their previously-seen-on-Insta clothes and things that didn’t work for whatever reason. One tip though, read the description carefully. I did end up with a couple things that still had the original tags on them (NWT). This wasn’t not keeping with my mission since people snatch up discounts and then resell. Now I’ve gotten better about making sure things are actually used.

Recycling Clothes

Even when I buy used on Poshmark, I look for clothes with one type of fiber (please keep that in mind when buying for your families). These are more likely to be recyclable later. I have a Ridwell box that will take threads for recycling, so ripped or stained things go in there.

If you aren’t in Seattle, you can find places to recycle your own threads—and buy recycled! I love Marine Layer. Adidas even makes running shoes out of recycled ocean plastic.

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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