Being more fashion conscious...

For a long time I haven’t paid very close attention to where my clothes come from and the process each individual garment has gone through to make it to the high street. The problem with consumers now is they have no idea what detrimental long lasting effect fast fashion has on the environment. As I’ve ‘grown up’ and I have financial commitments like my car, the house, our dogs etc, I’ve been more aware of steps I need to take to make my money go further and one of the things that have changed for me in recent years is how I buy my clothes.

Consumerism is changing, a lot of us are bargain hunters and we try to get the latest trends for the lowest price, and paying less is actually meaning we’re paying more in the long term. The pieces we think are great value for money tend to last us less than a year before it’s tossed aside to make room for the latest trend. We’re always hearing in the news about the leading contributors to the ever growing issue of global warming, but did you know fashion is the second biggest polluting industry? A recent documentary by Stacey Dooley highlighted what devastating impact the industry is having on our planet, and it really opened my eyes to what needs to change.

I’m not saying I’m never going to shop on the high street ever again because a lot of the cheaper pieces I wear (like t-shirts and underwear) are from places like H&M and Topshop and they’re fine for the basics, but from now on I’ll be investing my money in more expensive items which are likely to last me a substantially longer period than items from fast fashion brands. It’s one small step for me, but if everyone started to get into the same mind set, we would start seeing positive changes to our planet.

Here are a few things to get you started:

eBay some of your old clothes, don’t throw them away: Did you know it’s estimated £140m worth of clothing ends up in landfill every year? Numbers are rising every year too! eBay and other online platforms are a great way to sell or swap clothes. Recently I sold a load of clothes and saved up to buy my winter boots! Anything you can’t sell donate to charity or give to a friend, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure and all that jazz!

Make use of the garment collecting boxes: Not everyone is convinced H&M is as sustainable as they’d like us to think, but they’re taking a step in the right direction with their garment collecting boxes in most stores, you can drop of any of your old textiles (even old bed sheets, towels etc!) and they’ll recycle it for you. Topshop have also started doing the same type of things, soon enough you'll start seeing them everywhere!

TOPSHOP's recycling boxes in their flagship store on Oxford Street

And finally, use the ‘Good on you’ app: This app is great for checking brand sustainability, it also provides great articles about all sorts of topics surround sustainability and brand ethics.