5 Ways to Stop Buying Fast Fashion Today

Vent. Okay, so originally this post was going to be about my weekend and how wonderful it was visiting Terrain with Juliette from Julietteful (which by the way was all kinds of wonderful). But before I sat down to write this blog post I watched The True Cost on Netflix and I couldn’t focus because I was so unbelievably frustrated and overwhelmed. For those who don’t know, The True Cost is a documentary that explains negative impact fast fashion has on the social, economic, political, and environmental structures of developing countries. That was a mouthful. In short: fast fashion is ruining everything around us. But what really resonated with me were the following statistics:

  1. The fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter. (Oil is the first).
  2. The world now consumes a staggering 80 billion pieces of clothing. (And we throw clothes away just as quickly as we consume them).
  3. One-in-six people work in the global fashion industry. (The majority of them are women and are being paid less than $3 a day).
  4. Only 10% of the clothes people donate to charity or thrift stores get sold (When the clothes are not sold, they are shipped to various developing countries where they are bought by the box and kill the local textile industry).

After watching this film, I feel so overwhelmed. I have been so blind to what was happening right underneath my nose. More than half the products I own I don’t even know where they came from. I don’t even know how my clothes came to American or the processes in which they were cut, dyed, or sewn. I love shopping and the “rush” of finding a good deal but I’m quickly realizing how wrong that is. Do I really want a cheaply made garment that will unravel after a few washes? Do I really want a garment that people have made with their own blood, sweat, and tears? I think it’s time I drastically rethink the way I consume, which is why I plan on implementing these steps into my daily life.

Recycled Fashion - Thrift ShoppingIMG_9387Sell your clothes on eBay. 

I know it feels great giving your clothes to charity and thrift stores but the harsh reality is that only 10% of those clothes are actually being sold and the majority of those profits aren’t going back to charity. Some second-hand stores even have a 30-day cycle so that if they aren’t sold in the 30 days they are removed and either thrown away or shipped in a box to a developing country. Once the box arrives at the developing country, buyers pick random boxes without knowing what exactly is inside. Those clothes then flood the textile industry in that country and diminish work opportunities.

By selling clothes on eBay you not only make a profit, but you can potentially donate that money to a charity that you choose. You then can know how much of your proceeds are actually going to the charity. Or you can simply just keep the money and use it to purchase clothes that are sustainable. I’ve been selling clothes on eBay for about a year now and have made a decent amount of money. It is a great way to have a little extra cash and I often use that money to buy sustainable alternatives. Let’s face it, I own a good amount of fast fashion clothes but I’m not going to just throw them all away because that would just be adding to the problem. Instead, I can think of different ways to reuse these items and get the longest life out of them.

Shop on eBay or go thrift shopping. 

Now, I know this idea might deter a few people but hear me out. This adorable dress was actually found thrifting. Since the cut of the dress is way too rebellious for my taste, I just threw on a simple turtleneck and called it a day. When I go thrift shopping, I really need to be in the right mood or else I won’t find anything. You really need to be open-minded to different ways you can style something. If you are, you’ll find endless things.

This is a great way to find vintage clothes and clothes for DIY projects. Plus, you’re helping cut down the impact of clothes that would be going to landfills and adding to our pollution problem.

IMG_9496Research the products and companies you’re buying from. 

This is something I’m still trying to get used to. As an American and a blogger, I love consuming countless things I really don’t need. This is why I’m trying to refocus what I’ve been putting my money towards and seeing if it is really worth it. For example, instead of spending $50-70 bucks on a pair of cheap boots that I knew my awkward, pigeon-toed feet would ruin, I decided to buy a pair of high-quality boots from Thursday Boot Co. I did just as much research on these boots as I would on a camera. I looked up what type of leather they use, where they manufacture the boots, and what other consumers say about the boots. Since we live in such a technology-driven world, there is really no excuse to not researching a company before you buy from them. Plus, this really helps cut down on my impulse shopaholic habits.

Quality over quantity. 

Just like my boots, you really want to make sure the products you’re buying are worth it. Are your boots going to last walking around three airports at top speed? Will that white shirt still look white after the 20th wash? Will that seam stay pull or unravel after the third wear? These are all questions I am starting to ask myself as I shop. I admit, I still shop and Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. The only difference is that when I buy products from there I really want to make sure they’re really good quality. I no longer buy a $5 cotton shirt that is thinner than a piece of paper because I know that I might only get a few uses out of it. Plus, if the shirt is $5 think of how much the person making that shirt is getting paid. I’m hoping that as I start this journey I can start developing a sense of what is good quality and what isn’t. IMG_9401Lastly, just be aware.

Since fast fashion is so ingrained in our lives, it is so hard to quit cold turkey. I totally get that and I’m right there with you. But now that I’ve opened Pandora’s box for you, you’re going to start hearing a little nagging voice in the back of your head every time you want to buy a cheaply made shirt. Sorry! But, hopefully, your bank account will thank you.

If you want to know more about fast and slow fashion I highly recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix, listening or reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline,  listening to the podcast Conscious Chatter by Kestrel Jenkins, and downloading the app Good on You. The following blogs are also great resources for finding more information on companies: Ecocult, Sustainably Chic, The Good Trade, and Ethical Unicorn.

IMG_9382Recycled Fashion - Thrift Shopping

Now I know conscious shopping isn’t for everyone, but I hope this makes you just a little bit more aware of where you’re getting your clothes. What do you think about fast fashion/slow fashion? Have you seen The True Cost? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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February Recap: Why the Heck I’ve Been Traveling so Much

If you’ve been following me on Instagram for the past month and a half you may be wondering why the heck I’ve been traveling so much. Every single weekend in February I’ve been in some random town in a different state. Simply put, I’m having the time of my life.

Saratoga Springs, New York: Chowderfest

February started off with a bang in Saratoga Springs for the annual Chowderfest. All of my college friends crawled their way back to where it all began. It was like a winterized college reunion with a plethora of delicious chowders. Gaffney’s and Sweet Mimi’s were my favorites this year. (Sweet Mimi’s is always my favorite dessert chowder).

Anaheim, California: Trade Show

The Monday after Chowderfest I flew to Anaheim, California for a medical trade show. During the week, I was able to play ping pong against a robot, eat Mexican food outside, and wake up to an amazing view. I even was able to try my first In-n-Out burger! It’s very similar to 5 Guy but you don’t feel like you’re dying after. The fries are nothing compared to 5 Guys though. I’m still missing this burrito bowl.

Norwalk, Connecticut: Valentine’s Day Celebration

Robert and I stuck our faces on every tank at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. We saw seals, sharks, turtles, otters, and so much more at this lovely place. It’s quite a hidden gem in Connecticut. I’ve been to Mystic a few times but I highly recommend this adorable aquarium to putts around in. Plus, you can get ice cream at Milkcraft after! Still dreaming of this heavenly s’mores cone.

Fayetteville, Arkansas: Family Visit

My father and I had a blast visiting my brother in Arkansas. I was able to see the first Walmart, an amazing American art museum, and my brother’s incredible brewery. I’m still blown away by how incredible this art museum was. Check out this post to see more of what I did in North Western Arkansas.

Jersey City, New Jersey: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

The last full weekend of February, Robert and I became very patriotic and visited both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I have lived so close to the Statue of Liberty and have never seen it with my own eyes. It was such an incredible thing to see how far America has come. If you visit the Statue of Liberty from the Jersey side (there are ferries both from New York City and Jersey City) you can see the breathtaking skyline of Manhattan. It’s just never something you will get used to.

IMG_8668My travel favorites (and big sized toiletry favorites).

Since I’ve been traveling a lot, I visited good ole’ Target to stock up on travel toiletries. While I was there I also stocked up on normal toiletries… hey, a girl like me can’t resist. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to find more natural, eco-friendly products and companies. I was thrilled to find out Target has an entire section dedicated to natural products. I literally spent three hours just going through the two aisles.

Note one: I love the brand Shea Moisture and what they stand for but I hate this Daily Hydration Milk Mask. It had this odd burning sensation instead of a soothing feeling. The whole time I thought I was developing a rash. I wouldn’t recommend the facemask but would d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y recommend the facial moisturizer. It’s a lifesaver for the colder days.

Note two: I absolutely love the fresh smell of Tom’s natural deodorant, however, I was so sad to find out that it contains aluminum. For those who don’t know it is believed that daily doses of aluminum can cause breast cancer and Alzheimer. The whole reason I bought this new deodorant was because I knew Tom’s was a natural based deodorant. Other than the fact that it contains aluminum it’s a great product.

Favorite DIY Project: Graphic Tee Shirt and how to style it.

Is it cheating to say it’s my favorite DIY project of this month if it was my only one? Give me the benefit of the doubt… it’s been a busy month. But if I’m being honest I’ve been wanting to do this DIY for the longest time and it only took 15 minutes. If you’re bored one Sunday definitely give this easy DIY a try.

My favorite statement piece: This Pink Blazer

I literally keep reaching for this blazer and have no intention of stopping. I even stopped my Marshalls (again) to look for more blazers. Luckily for my wallet, I didn’t find anything as cute. But knowing me… I’ll probably be back there next week.

How was your February? What was the best thing you did in February? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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P.S. If you’re curious what March is going to bring check out my new About Me section. I’m really excited to start a new series very soon.