How to avoid Fast Fashion Faux Pas

fast fashion faux pas florida senior photography
You know those cool shoes you bought for only $30 and you wear them everywhere? You know the sole on them that is starting to flap because the glue wore out? How about the stitching around the sole that start tearing apart? Oh, and you know how you thought it was leather but now you realized it’s something else that stains and wears out quick? You’ve just made a fast fashion faux pas.

What is fast fashion?
Fast fashion isn’t just about the quality of the clothing you’re buying, but also where and how your clothing is made. It’s a little like fast food… yeah, it’s easy to get and tasty, but you don’t know where it came from and you’re going to regret it later. But like everything, there’s exceptions to this (even in fast food—think Chipotle using hormone-free meats and using fresh ingredients).

Knowing where your clothes came from and how they’re made is an important part of your style.
The working conditions overseas are notorious for sweatshops and inhumane labor conditions. We’re seeing the results of these labor practices these days, like the recent Bangladesh factory collapse. A $10 t-shirt isn’t worth human suffering so many of us are turning to companies that are able to give us quality clothing and accessories that are made by people in humane conditions making reasonable wages.

What if I can’t afford it?
You can’t NOT afford it. The simple approach to avoid buying fast fashion is understanding that when you buy products at better quality and craftsmanship, they should have a longer life. So that $30 pair of shoes that lasted about 3-months? A classic, quality pair from a company that puts more importance on the build and quality of their shoes, like at, will last longer giving a better return on your purchase.

Won’t the clothes go out of style?
When you’re buying higher quality clothes, it’s better to go with more classic items that will always stay in style. A pair of nude or black pumps can be multi-purposed for both professional and casual wear which will never go out of style. Now, that t-shirt with the cat wearing sunglasses playing a banana like a saxaphone? That might not be a piece you invest as much in. Although, 20 years from now that may be a collector’s item… so you may keep it in the bottom of your dresser for a while.

Where can I buy better made clothes?
Fortunately, some of your more favorite stores like Forever 21 and H&M are taking strides to improve the quality of their products and work conditions where their clothing is made. The Swedish-based H&M promised changes since the Bangladesh incident and Forever 21 announced a better line of shoes  but there’s many more places available that aren’t at the local Oaks Mall in Gainesville or Mall of Millenia in Orlando.

How else can I help others when I buy my clothes and accessories?
One of our favorite companies is Fetch Eyewear out of Portland, Oregon, who donates all of their profit to the Pixie Project, an organization that helps the welfare of animals through rescue, vet care, and education. Another clothing retailer, Sevenly, donates a huge chunk of change from each item purchased to a charity of the week, with over $3 million donated to date.

What are you doing to be a slower fashionista?

fashionable young woman in front of graffiti brick wall

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Kim - Love this post! Something I try to think about more, as I find myself to be a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to clothing. Like, oh, I have to have all organic fair trade coffee and chocolate buuuuut I buy ALL my clothes from disposable fashion websites sourced from underpaid overseas labor. Gah!

One of my favorite clothing stores that I’ve been trying to put more stock into is Everlane — based in the US, they are EXTREMELY transparent with what makes clothing so expensive and offer designer quality at wholesale prices. Love them!

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