Okay, so you’ve taken the initiative and made the decision to quit fast fashion and buy consciously.
You’ve learned about the harms of our trend-driven massive consumption habits and refuse to accept the treatment of the garment makers around the world and the destruction of our precious earth. You refuse to be a by-stander to the victims of fast fashion and you’re ready to do something about it.
This is huge – it takes determination to go against normalcy and make lifestyle changes that may not always be as convenient and cheap as what you’re used to.
There’s no doubt you made the right decision, but buying ethically does require more research and thoughtfulness. So here are a few tips to help you on your way to quitting that fast fashion habit for good!
1. Understand yourself and your habits
I promise I’m not trying to do a therapy session here… but self-reflection is inherently important when thinking about a habits – there’s just no getting around it!
Think about when you usually browse online or purchase fast fashion. Is it after a stressful day at work? After you’ve accomplished something, and you feel like you deserve it? After a fight with a significant other, and you’re feeling lonely?
Do you buy new outfits before every get-together or party because you feel more confident in something new and shiny? Are you following the latest trends to try to keep up with some group of friends or your co-workers?
Being able to answer these questions honestly is essential for getting to the root of shopping habits.
Even after I started this blog on ethical fashion and conscious living, I must admit I still had trouble keeping out of the fast fashion retailers that I walked by every single day on my way to work.
But when I thought about why (I felt entitled to “treating myself” occasionally after a long or stressful week), I was able to recognize my tendencies and stop myself from walking into those retail candy shops and instead “treat myself” in much healthier and more productive ways. (I’ve found that yoga does wonders for stress.. who knew!)
Delete. Unfollow. Unlike. Unsubscribe.
Temptation is everywhere… in your social media feeds, in your inbox and following you around everywhere you go – all the time.
It’s time to remove all those obnoxious subscriptions from retailers blasting out 40% OFF SALE emails to you every other day. Unsubscribing can be a hassle – trust me I know – but marketers know exactly what to say to get you to buy and it can be difficult to resist when those emails just won’t stop flowing in.
Social media is also incredibly influential in our decision-making. The average person spends nearly 2 hours per day on various social networks. That’s over 700 hours in just one year!!! Which means that who and what you follow matters. A lot.
And this brings me to my next tip…
3. Replace, engage and share!
Shopping sustainably doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck with frumpy hemp sacks the rest of your life! There are so many fashionable alternatives out there.
And social media is a GREAT way to discover new brands. My favorite method of finding fair and sustainable brands is Instagram, hands-down.
Two great hashtags to start your search are #ethicalfashion or #sustainablefashion – they are both very popular with brands and ethical influencers!
If you’re looking for a streamlined list of brands, I’ve collected my favorites in this Ethical Brand Guide.
Social media is also a fantastic way to engage and meet like-minded people who are on their own conscious journey. These will be people that you can look to when you’re celebrating a sustainable living success or people that can share advice on a struggle you may be having with these lifestyle changes.
And once you’ve connected with this community and uncover all the fabulous ethical fashion brands out there, you can share your newfound knowledge: post articles on social media, share tidbits with your co-workers, recommend a great sustainable company to your friends… spread the movement!
Photos via Unsplash.com