Despite the fact we know the fashion industry is largely impacting our climate we still struggle with reducing our fashion footprint, myself included. I honestly think it’s mainly down to habit, and social pressures.
I remember being about 15 or 16, and that’s the age where everyone starts having parties, and there was constantly this underlying pressure to have a new outfit every weekend. Even now, I know people that wouldn’t dare wear the same outfit twice, for fear of being an “outfit repeater”, but in the words of the famous Lizzie McGuire – “I’m an outfit repeater, but you’re an outfit rememberer, which is just as pathetic.”
Talking about that Lizzie McGuire moment, yes someone did pull her up for wearing the same outfit twice, but how often does that actually happen in reality? I wouldn’t even give it a second thought if I saw someone wear something more than once, and I guarantee most people think the same way.
In the day of social influencers, I think it further pushes the idea that you need to constantly buy new clothes, however that’s not the case. Buying an outfit and only wearing it once is not a sustainable – nor is it a viable – way for the majority of people to live. Still, fast fashion is extremely cheap which is why I think a lot of people still choose to buy their clothes this way.
Now, some sustainable brands are considerably more expensive, meaning people can’t afford to buy from them. Again, I think this is a big factor in why individuals struggle with reducing their fashion footprint. Although there’s been a huge improvement in people making the effort to buy consciously, I think a huge amount of work still has to be done by brands and companies to ensure sustainable fashion is available at affordable prices.
I’ve always been a huge fashion lover, and over the past year I have really started to research sustainable fashion. With that being said, I still catch myself wandering into shops on my lunch break and browsing online websites as pure habit. Buying clothes is so accessible to us now that I think it’s so easy for people to do some online shopping without giving a second thought to how it affects our climate, because they are so used to doing it.
It’s not realistic to think people will just stop buying from fast fashion brands overnight, but I think more people are becoming aware of it’s impact and things are starting to move in the right direction.