Fast Fashion? No Thanks.

how to

There’s a movement going on. A movement within the fashion industry where people have collectively chosen to take a stand against big fast fashion brands and ask the million dollar question: Who made my clothes?

This is a revolution synonymous with protecting the environment, as well as the people whose literal, blood, sweat, and tears go into making our garments.

“who made my clothes?”

In August 2014, a garment factory in Rana Plaza collapsed, killing more than 1,000 garment workers. Workers who had families, friends, children, partners. 1,000 people is far too many people to lose in one day, or in general for that matter.

Let me first just say that I watched a documentary titled “The True Cost,” which immediately opened my eyes to the downside of the fashion industry. Garment workers can barely afford to keep a roof over their heads, merely because they are paid very little to produce clothing for brands who in turn make a lot of money selling that product to us. The workers who make the clothes for our favorite fast fashion brands are treated extremely inhumanely. They are beaten when they demand higher pay, and are killed in the wake of creating clothes cheaply for us. Someone needed to take a stand, and I am so glad the fashion revolution has begun.

But there’s one thing that kept troubling me, as a person who lives in The States, and who is presumably afforded the luxury of the American Dream, I wanted to help. But, how could I?

Thankfully, there are little steps that are easier to take than you think.

“As a person who lives in The States, and who is presumably afforded the luxury of the American Dream, I wanted to help. But, how could I?”

Love What You’ve Got

First off, you can start by appreciating the clothes that are already in your closets. Fast fashion brands, or not. Keeping your clothes, and prolonging the lives of your pieces significantly lessens the environmental impact because your clothes aren’t being thrown out. We’re so often swayed into believing that what we see in stores and on models is the key to our happiness. Unfortunately in no time at all the next best thing is going to be released. It’s better (for your wallet and the environment) to find true, personal style.


Many believe that a conscious solution to getting rid of your unwanted clothes is to donate them. Sadly, that could not be farther from the truth. Only a record ten percent of clothes donated to thrift shops actually make it into the store, while the rest of our unwanted goods get shipped and dumped in third world countries. 

Instead Clothing Swap and an Online Shop

A great way to help out the environment is to host clothing swaps with your friends! Grab a glass of wine, throw on some tunes, and bring out the clothes. You can grab a fun piece from your friend, while giving an old garment in your closet a new home.

If that’s not up your alley then you could always approach the situation the old fashioned way of selling your unwanted clothes in a yard sale, or selling them online. Either way, your old item becomes someone’s new loved treasure.

Eco Friendly and Ethical

Also, if you would like to revamp your wardrobe with some new ethical/sustainable pieces, there are brands who cater to your aesthetic, treat their workers fairly, use biodegradable fabrics, and work in excellent factory conditions. Finding these brands, and knowing that you are not only going to save money in the long-run, but are also helping to support worker’s lives and give back to the earth, is all part of the fun!



  1. Couldn’t agree more, I used to buy from the likes of Zara just to have the latest ‘it’ piece only to find a few weeks later it would fall apart as the quality didn’t stand; I’m glad not to support those shops anymore. This has reminded me to watch The True Cost ASAP and carry on discovering more sustainable brands! 🙂

  2. Farah says

    i agree with you, but then i would say to myself “okay, we are against fast fashion and then everybody is going to be aware of this and go against it, then the fabrics will go bankrupt and close, then loads and loads of people will have no job!!! ” so, my questioon is, how to prevent that?? i just think we must take action to help these people have better work conditions and a reasonable pay but not something that stops their job. i mean, what if the fashion fabrics, when noticing whats happening and are losing money, instead of making a better environment for employees, they would either pay them even less or either fire them???

  3. coraline says

    So, babes, do some of you know about some fashion brands that are sustainable?<3

  4. Amy V says

    This was so great!! I watched the true cost a few months ago and have only shopped thrift stores since. Really really loved this

    • Maine says

      Reformation is a good one a bit pricy but super cute and their store has a location on the lower east side of nyc

  5. andrea says

    been waiting for you guys to write an article about this love it 🙂

    • andrea says

      Have you guys read the story of stuff? It’s an amazing book on materialism and consumption in our world today and how it affects our environment. 10/10 reccomend

  6. yes yes yes love this!!! finally woke up recently and realized how I was spending my money and willingly promoting all these atrocious happenings… only shopping second hand and trying desperately to sell or reuse my clothing. I didn’t know that info about our donations, really shocking!!!

  7. I’ve felt uneasy about the ethics of fast fashion for years! It really makes me so happy to see more and more people rejecting fast fashion and sharing information and tips to help create change and combat the negative consequences of fast fashion!

  8. Amalia says

    Great post! Totally going to watch the True Cost asap.

    A few months ago I started following the Fashion Revolution and ditched fast fashion for good (their instagram has pictures and stories from garment workers around the world, which really connects you to the people behind the clothing we wear.) I started going to a swapshop, upcycling old clothes and shopping second hand. It’s actually inspired and challenged me to be much more creative. I’m still not completely sure what I’ll do when I need to buy new socks/ underwear but I’m sure I’ll manage!
    Posts like these are so important, thank you for spreading the word ❤

  9. Could you guys make a post about affordable sustainable/ethical brands? I have a hard time finding brands that aren’t way too expensive. Also, how do you know something is ethical? The websites of the stores themselves make everything sound really well, even Primark sounds ethical on their site.

  10. Same with a lot of coffee growers in Columbia, Brazil, Uganda etc.. The farmers gets the least amount of pay out of everyone involved. Especially if your buying from somewhere like Nestlé for example, their coffee growers don’t get looked after. Make sure you buy fair trade! 😉👍🏻

  11. Ahhhh love this post! I’ve been against fast fashion now for quite awhile, and I can honestly say it’s changed my view of the world.
    xoxo Caroline Grace

  12. this is a great article! however, I had a professor tell me that you should always donate your clothes, even scraps of fabric to goodwill because they have access to clothing recycling plants that we can’t send our clothes to.

    • Hi, Andi! I encourage you to research more about the recycling process as I am not too sure about that. I do know that thrift shops get an overwhelming amount of clothing donations a day, usually too much, making it nearly impossible to take in all clothing donations. I’ll research more about what your professor told you. It would be awesome if that is the case!! xo

  13. Pingback: FAVORITES – Style by Kailee

  14. Pingback: Old News Lookbook. | Hashtags N' Hash browns

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *