Sustainable Shopping vs Fast Fashion

Sustainable Shopping


Sustainable living is a widely used term and one, that is attributed to so many different aspects of living. There is sustainable cleaning, eating, cooking, and the type we’re talking about today – shopping. Specifically clothing.

Next month we’re hosting a suitcase rummage/ pre-loved clothing market here at the Green Life Warehouse. So we thought we’d give a little introduction to sustainable shopping and why buying less, or buying pre-loved, OR buying from ethical and sustainable companies is so important!

Did you know?

The fabric of your chosen clothing can be having a huge impact on the environment.

  • Regular cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world. These pesticides kill and injure people every year.
  • Nylon & Polyester – Made from petrochemicals, these synthetics are non-biodegradable as well, so they are inherently unsustainable on two counts. Nylon manufacture creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Opt for Organic Cotton or Hemp.

Fast fashion is a growing pandemic, the waste of the garments, mass production and the behind the scenes issue of who makes your clothing.

“93% of brands surveyed by the Fashion Checker aren’t paying garment workers a living wage” (Fashion Checker, 2020)

Slow Fashion Movement

It is commonly known that fast fashion production facilities are located in countries that are referred to as emerging or developing markets. Fast fashion retailers employ thousands of people from Bangladesh, India, China, Indonesia, and other developing nations as a cheap workforce. Not only do these people have to work exhausting hours, but the payment they get is far from fair. (Good on you, 2021)

Ethical clothing companies will be transparent with you about who MAKES your clothing, their daily wages etc. Look for this, otherwise you may be supporting mass production and unethical employment from third world countries. Garment workers who are in this unfortunate situation work 7 days a week and 14-15 hours a day, barely making enough money to survive themselves, let alone feed their families. It is modern day slave labour.

Pay for quality, pay for ethical employment and treatment of the garment workers.

Sustainable shopping tips for beginners:

The 3 day rule – impulse buying is a problem and something everyone has done before. Ever brought something and then think later “I didn’t really need that, or like that, why did I buy it”? Avoid this by using the ‘3 day rule’. When you’re considering buying something, instead of impulsively buying it, think about it for 3 days, if you still want it after that – go ahead, buy it!

Conscious purchasing – To take a page out of the minimalist concept, only buy something that makes you feel good wearing it, or brings you joy – everything else is just wasted and cluttered space. To start, declutter what you currently have! Go through and cull pieces of clothing that no longer make you feel good, or pieces you don’t wear often – give them away or sell them at your local pre-loved clothing markets.

Buy pre-loved – Download Depop or other pre-loved clothing shopping apps OR visit your local thrift stores when needing to shop. Want some new house décor? No problem you’ll actually probably find some real neat, vintage finds! Thank us later!

Check out Good on You & Sustainable Fashion  for a massive directory of slow fashion, ethical clothing companies.

Recommended Resources (for tons more info!!):

  • Netflix Documentary – The True Cost
  • Netflix Documentary – Minimalism

There’s so many different ways you can make an impact! Whether it’s how you eat, how you shop, or your plastic usage, every single bit helps – even if you personally can not get to it all. Your effort is appreciated!

Welcome to the sustainable living journey! 💚