The fashion industry has changed rapidly over the past two decades and one of the most significant changes is the rise of fast fashion.
A google search of the term fast fashion yields the following definition:
“inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.”
- Production of clothes has almost doubled since 2000
- People bought 60% more garments in 2014 than in 2000, but only held onto them for half as long
- Fashion companies in Europe went from an average offering of two collections per year in 2000 to five in 2011
- Some brands release a lot more: Zara deliver 24 collections a year and H&M between 12 and 16
- So much of this clothing winds up at the dump.
- Each second, the equivalent of a garbage truck packed with clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill
Most, if not all, of my wardrobe comprises of pieces from fast fashion brands. However, I feel I’m not really contributing to the above statistics because I try and buy what I need and I do things to make my clothes last longer. Before I talk about how I do this, I feel it’s important to remind my readers that once upon a time I did buy way too much stuff that I often forgot about. If you’d like to read about that, check out this post!
Now, let’s get started!
I hand wash my clothes
Most people look at me like I’m the 3-eyed fish from The Simpsons when I tell them I hand wash my clothes. I only do this with the clothes I wear in public, so things like my pyjamas and ‘home clothes’ will go in the washing machine. Only recently have I started to wash more bulky items using the delicate wash setting.
Yes, hand washing clothes involves a lot more effort than machine washing, but I do it because it makes my clothes last longer and it also means they don’t shrink. The latter is particularly important to me as I get older because, although I don’t have a problem with my legs, I prefer to wear longer things and I struggle to find dresses and skirts that aren’t too short.
I dry clothes in the shade
I like to dry my clothes in the shade so they don’t fade and look more worn out than they actually are. In saying that, I have noticed white clothes can handle the sun quite well.
I’m more lenient with this rule in the colder months a the UV rays aren’t as strong, and sometimes my clothes need to be hung outdoors to speed up the drying process.
I unintentionally maintain a consistent size
I hesitated to put this in but I feel it may be worth a mention.
Alright, I’ll be honest, I did put on a bit of weight after the busyness and stress of planning a wedding and renovations passed and had to give away some clothes, but overall, for the past few years I’ve maintained a somewhat consistent size.
Naturally, this means I get the most out of my wardrobe as it still fits me. Do I expect to fit into the same clothes forever? No (unless I buy a size too big lol). But to wear something over and over for 2-3 years and not add new clothes to my wardrobe is just another way I make fast fashion last!
I buy less jewellery and bags and make the most of what I have
I used to buy cheap handbags and jewellery all the time, but these days I buy a lot less. The main reason is because I don’t need it. So when I shop for these things, I look for items that compliment most of the items in my wardrobe. With handbags and clutches, I also stick to neutral colours like black and tan as they compliment almost everything.
One thing I’d like to try next is op-shopping, or thrifting as they call it in America. I’d really like to know if you do anything to make your clothes last longer?