Learning to Say No to Fast Fashion


Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 19.34.13.pngWhen this list from Flic of @loveagoodstripe came through it felt very timely.  I had found myself sucked into January Sale madness; scouring the internet for clothes to buy for the sake of it!

Begrudgingly I couldn’t find anything that I loved – apart from some particularly excellent jogging bottoms. But, had I not been the size of a house, I would definitely have made a multitude of mindless purchases.

ANYWAY saying no to fast fashion is definitely something I’d like to do more of and here is how I (or we) might do it:

  • If I had a quid for every time I drooled over a magazine outfit image then I’d be bloody rich. If I had a quid for every time I ‘liked’ an Instagram fashion square after I had pressed ’Snooze’ on my alarm for the 4th time at 5am, then those pound coins would be rolling in quite nicely.

  • I often find myself swiping and drooling over various clothing photos on my phone when I’ve either been sweating and swearing after standing on a piece of lego or maybe because I was in need of a serious ‘lifter’ since it had rained all bloody week – or maybe its just the fact that being a working Mum and rushing from one place to another was simply getting ‘right on my tits’ that day and I felt I deserved a reward for my gallant efforts. Well, I reckon it’s fair to say that this soothing retail therapy moment possibly happens to a few others out there!

  • You see, they don’t call it ‘Retail Therapy’ for nothing. I’m confident that I’m not alone in the world on the ‘cheer up’ shopping front. Fashion and style, after all, is a way to define ourselves, to express ourselves and to stay true to ourselves and our personalities. It helps us put our stamp on the world and helps us to shout out from the rooftops and proudly declare who we are.

  • I may be lying in bed right now with a face-mask on, a G&T sitting on my bedside table and my boobs tucked into my PJ bottoms but as I flick through those Instagram squares of fashion and outfit perfection, I’m blissfully living in my imaginary wardrobe accompanied by a wish-list of what I want to add – ensuring the dream becomes a reality.

  • But where the heck do we draw the line? At what point do I put on my sensible knickers and shopping blinders? When do I sternly say to myself that “yes, I do love a good stripe but maybe I should call it a day since I now own 20 of them”!! FFS

  • It’s a devastating fact that Fast Fashion is now the world’s second biggest pollutant . A whopping 12.7 million tonnes of clothing is reported to be thrown away annually in the U.S. Did you know that it takes 2720 litres of water to make a single T-Shirt? It shocked me to learn that is about how much we drink over a 3 year period!

  • Our thirst for the latest trend and ‘hit’ from the High Street is affecting the planet that we are leaving behind for our children. It’s great to tap into so much of the epic style inspiration and choice that is available but I believe it can take a nose dive when we are harming the world and the lives of those making our cheap clothes. Another negative aspect, in my opinion, is this clothing still doesn’t celebrate our own individual style. We risk the danger of just buying the carbon copy of our style hero’s ‘Thursday outfit’. It’s some serious food for thought.

  • We have control over our choices and what we want for our life.

  • So here are my list of questions that I tend to ask myself once I have washed off my face mask and stare into a style abyss with my big crazy shopping eyes as I evaluate the bloody gorgeous jacket that I’m currently lusting over. Quite frankly, it helps me reign in my retail therapy purchases so maybe it can help you too? As always, there is never any judgment from my end, just a big applause for anyone who goes against the grain and sticks to their guns in an effort to buy YOU, wear YOU and be YOU.

  • So here we go, roll up your sleeves and prepare to make a sensible shopping decision as you ask yourself:

  • Do I love it? I mean do I truly bloody love it? or is the enticing glossy media just influencing me to love it? Remember to always buy YOU. There’s nothing wrong in applauding a piece of beauty or someone else and their fab sense of style. This absolutely does not however, detract  from either you or your personal style. This does not mean that you need to buy it in order to feel good about yourself and your style.

  • Does it suit me? Does it actually work for my body, my proportions and accentuate my shape to its full potential. Repeat after me “ I am so bloody fabulous, just as I am and I will only choose and wear things that celebrate this”! Never buy anything to slim into. Repeat after me “I am enough, the end” and then go eat that carb-orific sandwhich for lunch!

  • Is it a case of the ‘best of a bad job’? Did I just spend 30 minutes finding the best items from the sale section as that was the only place I could afford to look? Do I need them?……I think I know the bloody answer to this question as I hold up some fluorescent green fluffy knickers and matching bra. Yep, this is a true story. This was one of my moments of madness in Fenwicks on Bond Street! Thankfully I had my best mate with me to slap some common sense into me as she was simultaneously bent over double crying with laughter. My response was “you’re right, green is probably not my colour”. WTF!!

  • Are you buying it for yourself to wear today? The sign of a good purchase is the one that you wear immediately. In the past I have acted like a true 5 year old child sometimes and literally asked the sales staff to cut the tags off for me so I can wear my new purchase out of the shop. This is a good thing. But buying for your future self is not  a good thing particularly if its to slim into or set aside for when you have a achieved an unobtainable quest. Buy for you…..for now. The present moment is all we have. Live it and enjoy it.

  • On that note, don’t buy for a season ahead of time. I reckon its important to be who you are. We are allowed to change. We are allowed to change in both our style and grow into how we want to be in the world . I have bought out of season items in the past and found that by the time that particular season is in, I’m bloody bored of what I have. I’m over it. But my Visa card is clearly not!

  • Gold medals are always awarded to those who can declare I “loved it and left it”. Just because I stroke every faux fur leopard that crosses my path does not mean I need to buy them all and convert my coat closet into the faux plains of the faux fur animal jungle! Theres nothing wrong in finding a beautiful piece and simply leaving it for someone else.

  • Is it the lure of the heavily discounted stack of red stickers bargain? Would I pay the original price for it? Its a tough  question that demands a tough answer. There is no deviating or wriggling out of this one. Not even for me!

  • Play the ‘cost-per-wear’ game. How many times can/will I wear it? The top golden points go to £1 per wear

  • Does it work for my climate? Be realistic in how and where you can wear it. Where do I live? Barbados or Antarctica? Yep….thought so! No wetsuits will ever be required at Sainsburys on a Sunday morning in High Wycombe!

  • Is it my reality? Do I plan on attending a dozen Black Tie functions during next month? Or am I more likely to be going to a dozen youth footie games in a muddy grass field? I need to put down the Stella McCartney Tux!Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 19.36.22.png

  • Can I wear it with 3 other things in my wardrobe? A nice healthy dose of wardrobe reality and in turn a sterling bit of wardrobe gratitude. Sometimes it helps to just peek at what I already own. It helps to remind myself that I already have so many pieces that I absolutely adore so why add more? Time to love what you already wear.

  • Can I part with one? Use the ‘one in, one out’ philosophy. Can I donate or sell anything to make room in my wardrobe and help my bank manager or spouse stop hyperventilating?

  • Will it dress up & dress down? How  versatile is it in my wardrobe? I love the pieces that I can wear on a Saturday morning at the farmers market but that can also dress up with a dash of ‘sparkle & spangle’ and make it for a round two on a saturday night at the pub.

  • How many do I already have? Are the repeat buy alarm bells ringing? I admit to having an undying love for Levi’s denim but there are only 7 days in a f*&^ing week and the last time I checked, I do actually own a washing machine. How many jeans do I actually need to sit in my wardrobe? A pair for each day of the month is just not possible to rationalize.

  • Is it washable? FFS….My life is not ‘dry clean only’ territory! Quite frankly, it never has been a dry clean only land either. If I didn’t have a life filled with grubby fingered happy kids then I did once live a life with a constant pint in my hand. I rest my case. Machine washable please.

  • Can I take this style trend as inspiration and search the preloved or vintage options out there? Not only does this approach support sustainability and the environment. But what a privilege it is to own a vintage va-voom velvet blazer from the 70’s to kick ass in as opposed to a fast fashion High Street imitation of a 70’s velvet blazer.

  • To conclude and in honour of the mighty Dame Vivienne Westwood’s wise words “buy less, choose well and make it last”, maybe think twice next time you’re on a swipe’n’shop frenzy.

  • Take a moment and peek at the question list above. Do you really need to buy it? Let’s aim to buy fewer pieces and create a wardrobe that completely represents our individual style! The planet and the garment workers livelihoods depend on it. Take a moment and reflect on why you’re reaching for a bit of fast-fashion retail therapy. Maybe now is not the best time to shop but a chance to fix the issue that’s niggling you in the first place? She says as she sweeps the Lego filled floor with a seeping brush! 

  • May the slow-shopping force be with you.Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 19.37.28.png

Fancy more excellent advice of being a Fashion Economist? Find her in these places:

Blog:  www.loveagoodstripeblog.com
Instagram: @loveagoodstripe
Facebook page: Love A Good Stripe

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1 Comment

  • Reply FashionNotFear January 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Such a fun, great post!


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