How to avoid Fast Fashion: 7 ways of adapting Sustainable Fashion

The fashion industry is leaving a lot of negative impacts on the environment and now everyday we are served with new designs that tempt us to buy more clothes. We need to be conscious consumers and go for sustainable fashion.
Sustainable fashion

Back at the beginning of the 1990s, Zara introduced New York with its new mission to take only 15 days for a garment to go from the design stage to being sold in stores. This surely made customers excited for frequent design launches and also made other brands pump designs frequently.

The fashion industry today is majorly driven by fast fashion- daily or weekly introduction of new, cheap, and trendy designs for consumers. These designs are majorly inspired by the ramp walk styles and are infused into the life of customers as these designs are hot in the market and in demand.

But the fashion industry has been facing a lot of backlash because of the impacts it has on the environment and on the life of laborers employed here.

The fashion industry contributes to greenhouse gas emissions to around 1.2 billion metric tons annually, which is 10% of the total greenhouse emissions. This industry is expected to expand by 63% by 2030 and will lead to a 2-degree temperature rise by 2050.

Today the major players of this fast fashion market are Zara, H&M Group, UNIQLO, GAP, Forever 21, Topshop, Esprit, Primark, and Fashion Nova.

Indian Chamber of Commerce has estimated that India’s per capita expenditure on clothes will rise to Rs 6,400 by 2023 from Rs 3,900 in 2018.

With the expected rise of this industry and all the impacts it’s creating, it is important to introduce regulations on the functioning of this industry.

In 2019, the Ministry of Textiles launched project SU.RE (sustainable resolution) involving fashion and retail brands like Future Group, Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Retail, Lifestyle, Max, Raymond, Levis, Westside, House of Anita Dogre who pledged to incorporate sustainable fashion into their current processes by 2025.

But government regulations alone will not affect much. We as consumers need to stop getting tempted by these trending designs. With the disastrous impacts this industry is creating, let’s adapt to ways to get rid of fast fashion and make sustainable fashion a new trend.

7 sustainable ways to get rid of fast fashion

1. Know what you are buying

As a consumer, you need to be cautious of what you are buying. Read the label on each garment and know which fabric is good for the environment and which is not. Say no to petroleum-derived fabrics like polyester, nylon, acrylic, Spandex. These fabrics are a source of greenhouse gas emissions and are unbreathable too, which is not good for your skin.

Cotton farming uses harmful chemicals and a lot of water. It is not a sustainable option for garments. But you can go for organic cotton which has a very less carbon footprint.

Other eco-friendly fabrics are hemp, linen, bamboo, and wool.

Try understanding the fabric before buying your garment.

2. Look for sustainable brands

Sustainable fashion

Choose the right brand for you, choose which not only promises but delivers it too. Go for brands that are either recycling to make new garments or are using environment-friendly or bio-degradable clothes.

Few Indian brands you can rely on for sustainable fashion are B LabelInSomUpasanaMaati by Neha KabraBrown Boy. You can look at more sustainable fashion brands here.

3. Choose quality over quantity

Don’t go for cheap clothes that are made by exploiting human resources. These clothes fade out easily and will make you buy new clothes more frequently. Know the difference between good and bad quality clothes to differentiate what is a sustainable product.

Key differentiators are- the weight of the fabric, the seam of the clothing and the preferable material should be hemp, organic cotton, silk, wool, or linen.

4. Don’t let brands control what you buy

Consumers are often trapped with the advertisements of new designs or heavy discounts. Go for them only if you are being offered good quality clothes and if you actually need one.

In the name of discounted price don’t go for a product that is causing more harm than good. These products neither last longer for you nor are they made from ethical practices.

5. Donate or sell

Don’t just dump your garments, but go for giving them to someone in need. If your clothes are in good condition and can be worn again then donate them to NGOs like Salvation Army, Oxfam, Bharat Seva Ashram, Ramakrishna Mission, and many others who can help in delivering your clothes to the ones in need.

For the clothes that cannot be worn, give them to brands like H&M that will recycle them further and offer you with great discount for your next purchase.

6. Go for renting

Why not rent clothes that you are going to wear occasionally? This will not only prevent from creating textile waste but will also allow you to dress up differently on every occasion.

7. Wash with care

washing tips

Each wash generates thousands of microfibers. If these microfibers are from fossil fuel derived fabrics then they won’t decompose and will seep into underground water. It’s important to follow these tips to reduce your washing impact.

If you are someone who loves to dress up and is a shopaholic then you may initially find it a bit difficult to cut on to your needs. But here we want you to adapt to sustainable fashion so that you can fulfill your desires with minimal impact on the environment.