Fast Fashion: Why It Sucks For Everyone (And How To Quit)

Fast fashion is an addiction. Flicking through the racks at your local Zara or scrolling through ASOS while laying in bed, browsing what seems like a total steal is addictive. Why the hell wouldn’t I want a trenchcoat for less than the cost of a week’s rent?

The allure of fast fashion is nearly irresistible, you’re basically getting that same #trendy designer ‘look’ without the price tag, right? Wrong. Fast fashion f*cking sucks. The problem with fast fashion isn’t just the poor quality, it’s actually KILLING people AND destroying the environment.

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Image via Fashion Revolution

While it may seem like those faux Gucci loafers at Zara are a great deal, they’re probably going to costs you a butt load of money in the long-run. And that’s not even the worst of it.

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FAST FACTS ON FAST FASHION:

  • 426 fashion/textile workers died in Bangladesh in 2017.
  • The clothing industry is the second biggest polluter in the world (after oil).
  • 7,000 litres of water are needed to produce one pair of jeans.
  • Garment factory workers can be paid as low as $1 a day.
  • The average person purchases 60% more clothing than in 2002 and keeps it for half as long.
  • Some clothing (like lycra sports attire) can take up to 200 years to decompose in landfill.

 

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Fast fashion literally sucks for everyone. You get a shitty quality product that’ll end up in landfill in a couple of months, the workers who make your clothes are not only underpaid but are working in such terrible conditions that people are actually dying, and that’s not even touching on the environmental impact of fast fashion. So why are we all still stocking our wardrobes with this shit and how do we dial 1800-QUIT on the fast fashion game?

I’m not saying you have to completely quit fast fashion (I sure haven’t), these are just some tips to minimise your contribution to the industry while looking stylish AF.

Invest:

If you need to buy clothes, invest in good quality garments that will last you a long time. Spend a little more money and buy a good quality pair of jeans for $200 rather than buying the $40 pair that you’ll replace every three months. Find your own personal style, rather than following the constantly changing world of fast fashion.

Remember: Any contribution is better than no contribution. If you can’t afford to invest in higher quality for every item, do what you can. You’re not a terrible person for buying the H&M jeans because you can’t justify the expensive/ethical ones. Be ethical where you can.

Thrift:

I’ve always loved secondhand stores for cool homewares and decor, but finding fashion while thrifting is a relatively new hobby of mine. Not only is this a much more ethical/environmentally-friendly/budget-friendly option, but its also way more fun than regular shopping. Grab some of your friends and make an afternoon of it, you’d be surprised what you can find (especially in the men’s section). If you’re grossed out by secondhand clothes, you should definitely be grossed out by workers in 3rd world countries dying for your fast fashion.

Borrow:

If you have a sister, you’re probably already doing this, but if not: borrow shit. You and your bff don’t both need that bright red party dress. If you love the dress your friend wore to your birthday but you know you’ll only wear it once or twice, ask if you can borrow it. Sharing clothes not only prevents stuff from going to landfill, it also saves you both money (and gives you both more clothes to choose from – bonus).

Swap: 

This is kinda the same thing as the previous point, but I’m separating it because it’s kinda different. Grab all of your closest friends, grab all of the clothes you don’t want anymore and have a swap sesh. This gives you all the opportunity to pick out some new pieces before it ends up in land fill, you’re saving the planet AND getting free shit.

You can also take your old clothes to places like SWOP Clothing Exchange (Brisbane and Newtown). They’ll buy your old clothes and give you money or store credit to buy new (old) vintage pieces. Obviously donate anything you have left over to your local salvos/secondhand store.

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8 Designer Bags That Animals Didn’t Die For

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I’m pretty new to the whole ‘vegan’ thing, and although there are many parts of living plant-based that are much easier than I thought, being ethical when it comes to fashion can be quite hard.

I’ve always had a high quality standard for handbags, but my beloved Kate Spade is coming to the end of it’s life and I am was majorly struggling to find a high-quality or designer bag that didn’t require me to be carrying around a dead animal all day long. Luckily, after a long search on the interwebs I managed to find a bunch of great brands that specialise in (or at least include) vegan leather options.

 

Stella McCartney – Daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, lifelong vegetarian and iconic fashion designer, Stella McCartney has an extensive range of vegan leather bags and accessories so you can keep up that designer lifestyle without contributing to animal cruelty. Win-win if you ask me!

Top Picks – Small Alter Quilted Hobo ($1850.98 from Nordstrom) and Quilted Faux Leather Crossbody Bag ($2045.09 from Nordstrom)

 

Moschino – If the simple black tote isn’t really your style, don’t fret because quirky Italian fashion house, Moschino, have you covered with a range of great vegan pieces.

Top Picks – Magazine Faux Leather Crossbody Bag ($1640.73 from Nordstromand Bear Shopping Tote ($1291.64 from Nordstrom)

Sole Society – Sole Society are a great affordable brand with a wide range of vegan leather products. This brand specialises in those ‘I need to actually fit a bunch of stuff in this bag and look stylish’ bags. Whether you’re going to work, uni, or just want to be able to sneak your own snacks into the cinema, Sole Society have got you covered.

Top Picks – Candice Oversize Travel Tote ($112.36 from Nordstromand Glenn Faux Leather Tote ($84.26 $50.54 from Nordstrom)

 

Matt and Nat – This sustainable, eco-friendly, vegan brand is your one stop shop for bags for the busy woman (or man). From backpacks to messenger bags, diaper bags to yoga bags, these ethical masterminds have bags for every stage of life.

Top Picks – Gloria SM (Black) ($140USD from Matt and Natand Mumbai (Black) ($145USD from Matt and Nat)

 

Sample Sale Survival Guide

If you love fashion as much as we do, your bank account probably hates you, but don’t fret because sample sales are your new best friend. Sample sales are the perfect opportunity for you to get your hands on that gorgeous piece that your bank account can only dream of. Unfortunately, every other label-enthusiast in your area is probably wanting the same bargains as you!

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1. Know Your Stuff!

The bargains you’ll find at a sample sale can be truly overwhelming, so know what you’re looking for before you enter the door. This way you won’t get distracted by all of the pretty dresses and will be able to score those killer shorts before the next girl can get her hands on them.

2. Dress Smart!

Sample sales usually have ‘communal’ changing rooms – aka you’re getting your kit off next to the girl from your local coffee shop! To save time and avoid getting necessarily naked, wear thin, tight-fitting clothing like sports leggings and singlets. While you may not look stylish while shopping, you’ll get to spend more time on the racks and less time in your undies!

3. Carry Cash!

Most sample sales should have eftpos, but it’s not worth the risk. If your card declines, their machine is malfunctioning or they just don’t take eftpos, your beloved finds will be taken back to the racks and you’ll be leaving empty handed! Taking cash is the easiest way to make sure your style steals will be coming home with you, and not the next girl in line.

4. Trust Your Peers!

While some girls can be catty, most girls you’ll meet in the dressing room will be able to give you a quick ‘that looks good on you’ or a ‘no girl, put that back!’ While you may choose to ignore their advice, if you’re doubting something, ask a gal pal for her advice, she might just convince you into purchasing your new staple jacket.

5. Be Savvy!

Does your dream sweater have a missing button? Point it out to the sales assistant and you might just get an even bigger discount. This won’t always work but there’s definitely no harm in trying.

6. Spot The Difference!

Sample sales will usually include actual samples and/or excess merchandise. There isn’t a better option in our opinion, as both items have different pros and cons, but you should definitely know what you’re looking at before you buy it. Samples usually don’t have tags and will include unique pieces that never made it to production, whereas excess merchandise sales are great for grabbing those trendy seasonal pieces you couldn’t afford in store.

7. Rise and Shine!

Be at the sale early, especially if it’s a big one! While you might still be fourth or fifth in line, it’s much better than being forty-fifth! And that extra time in line will allow you to befriend some fellow crazy-fashion-ladies!

8. If You Don’t Love it, Leave it!

Sales are exciting, the discounts are amazing, but you’re not saving any money if you’re purchasing a bunch of random pieces you’ll never actually wear. This motto also works for pieces that are damaged, if you’re not actually going to fix them, don’t buy them.

 

How To Be A Stylish When You Only Have Carry-On

For the last few months, my life has been an endless cycle of catching red-eye flights across the country to be a girlfriend for a couple of days, only to be back at the airport at 5am to arrive home in time to start work by 10am. Don’t get me wrong, being able to explore new cities with my boyfriend is GREAT, but it’s f***ing expensive to say the least.

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Luckily, this frugal frequent flyer has mastered the art of the carry-on bag, which means I’m saving some serious coin on checked luggage (which adds up when you’re catching two flights per fortnight). And when I say carry-on, I usually travel with a tote bag, not a ‘this is my big Louis Vuitton travel duffle bag that fits a small child’ bag.

Makeup:

Makeup can weigh down your carry-on substantially, and when you’re jet-setting with budget airlines who actually WEIGH your carry-on to make sure it’s under 7kg, it’s crucial that you keep it simple with the cosmetics.

Rule #1: Never take full-sized products. Ask at your beauty counters for samples of your favourite eye cream, moisturiser, serum and even cleanser, they’re usually free and they save you a tonne of space when travelling.

Rule #2: Plan ahead. If you’re travelling for an event, have a clear plan of what kind of makeup look you’re going for. If it’s no biggie, aim for a simple-yet-chic glowy look with a winged liner and a bold lip. This involves minimal products, which saves you space (and you’ll look bangin’).

Rule #3: Multitask. Only pack brushes that are absolutely essential. Double points if you can use the same brush for two different products.

ee37a8c47e14cb1efa044ac9356b6d06Clothing:

Whether it’s fashion week or a family reunion, I’m never going to sacrifice style for practicality, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have both. When it comes to my wardrobe, I generally keep things pretty neutral and monochromatic (unless of course, it’s my red, flared,  ruffled pants), which makes it pretty easy to recycle the same pieces for a bunch of different looks.

Rule #1: Wear your heaviest pieces.  Planes are always cold, even in the warmer months, which means you can easily pack a couple of extra kilos if you’re prepared to wear them.Layering is your best friend when it comes to packing light (or at least the illusion of packing light). The key to being a carry-on queen is wearing a sh*t load of clothes. Got a coat? Put it on. Got a multi-tasking silk scarf? Put that on too. Can you layer two shirts? Do that shit. To put it simply, wear everything you can without looking like you’re avoiding paying for extra luggage.

Rule #2: Think out your fancy footwear. Unless you’re a boss ass bitch who wears stilettos every day, think long and hard about your shoe choices. I’m making the assumption that your trip includes some evening events where your sneakers or loafers aren’t going to cut it, so wear some boots. A pair of thin-heeled booties can be worn out for evening events but are also comfortable and stylish when you’re walking through the mall or going out for breakfast with your bae. If you can only bring one extra pair of shoes, make sure you bring a pair of heeled booties and a pair of sneakers or loafers.

Rule #3: Black is always the new black. If you’re bringing a limited amount of clothing, keep that sh*t neutral. Blacks, greys, whites, maybe a camel, khaki or denim, but that’s it. Unless you really need those red pants, leave them at home.