Over the past year I know I have been guilty of participating in the online shopping trends. I keep saying to myself “oh I will wear this once we can go out more” and that has yet to happen. I’ve ordered shoes, jeans tops, everything but the kitchen sink basically.
However, I have realized that my online shopping addiction is not only hurting my wallet, but the environment as well.
As harmless as shopping (even online shopping) seems, there are environmental impacts. I know, it’s sad.
Overconsumption is a huge issue in the fashion and shopping industry, and I know I am a part of that problem. Have you ever been out at a store and there are just so many good sales that you buy way more than you planned on? Yeah, me too, but sadly that is overconsumption. Do you really need that 3rd white tee-shirt?
Overconsumption leads to an increase of clothing being tossed out. It has been said that there are around 2 million tons of textiles and clothing that end up in landfills each year. Two million TONS.
I know I may sound hypocritical right now, because anyone who knows me knows I am a huge sucker for shopping and am constantly browsing online clothing stores. But upon further research, I have cut way back on my shopping habits.
I am not trying to stop you from shopping but thankfully there are things one can do to limit the amount of clothing waste one produces.
Smart shopping is a great place. Go through your closet and get a refresher of the articles you already own. Next time you are out and about shopping, remember what you have so you do not buy duplicates or items that are very similar to ones you already own.
Try to purchase quality made items as well and avoid fast fashion retailers like, H&M, Zara, Bluenotes, and Shein. Even though the clothing at these spots are cheaper, they are not made to last and are massed produced in order to keep up with current and quick passing trends. Try and shop smart and buy staple, timeless items. Sweaters, and cardigans, and jeans are a great thing to buy because they will always be around.
Above is a list of fast fashion retailers. You do not have to avoid these brands at all cost, but try and shop smart at these locations to avoid fast fashion.
The rule of 30 is a great one. When you are shopping and see something you like, but aren’t too sure about, don’t just buy it. Think about if you will wear it 30 times, and think about how you could wear it (potential outfits).
Every six months, or every year, deep clean your closet and pick through every single piece of clothing and think about the last time you wore it. If it was more than 6 months ago, and you won’t wear it again within a few weeks, put it in a donation pile and give it to Value Village, The Salvation Army, or Goodwill. Avoid throwing articles of clothing out unless they are unwearable by others (ripped beyond fixing, stains that won’t come out, that kind of stuff).
Another tip is to learn how to do some simple repairs. Sewing on buttons is simple, easy and quick! I used to work at a dry cleaners, and I learned how to sew buttons on and it has saved me so much! Also stitching up holes on clothes can be a life saver.
A fun thing to do is clothing swaps with your friends! Pick out some old things you don’t wear anymore, and swap some stuff with friends. This way you get new (to you) closet refreshers without the price tags. I have done this a few times and have gotten some nice hoodies for some old stuff I no longer wore.
Upcycling old favourites is a great way of giving them a new life! My Easter weekend plans are to do exactly that to an old pair of jeans that are too big in the waist and length. I am going to use shorts as a guide and give these jeans a new look! If you have old tee shirts, try either the dying them or even bleach dying!
And lastly, it may not be for everyone, but check out some thrift stores! Thrifting is gaining a lot of popularity online and is a bit of a trend. You can find some really good quality items at thrift stores for a fraction of if you bought it new. Grab a friend and head over to the closest Value Village or Goodwill and make a day of it! Dig through the racks and find some bargains. While you’re already there, donate your old clothes, two birds, one stone! If you do not want to go to a thrift store, check out some online second hand places. Depop, Poshmark, and Instagram all have people that sell their old clothes for great prices and they ship them to you.
Happy smart shopping!
Dean, C. (2020). Waste—Is it “really” in fashion? Fashion Revolution. https://www.fashionrevolution.org/waste-is-it-really-in-fashion/