I volunteer at a Second-Hand Clothes Charity Shop for a month now. They received more or less 15 people every day bringing their donations of clothes, shoes, books, toys, kitchen items and jewelries.

I found it helpful, especially those who want to donate their pre-loved, or extra clothes on a Clothes Banks.  You can just dump your clothes, shoes, bags, linen, socks or coats.  What happened to the donated items? They are collected by recycling partners, sold in other countries.

Otherwise, you can bring it to a nearby charity shop where they sell it to an affordable price for a cause.

We love fashion and we all need clothes, but do you know in 2016, polyester production for clothing emitted 282 billion tons of carbon dioxide, triple that of cotton while synthetic textiles like polyester shed tiny pieces of plastic with every wash and wear.  These plastic particles, called microplastics, pollute the oceans, freshwater and land and pose a danger to the animals that consume them (https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2022-fashion-industry-environmental-impact/?leadSource=uverify%20wall).

Have you heard of Fast Fashion? Is an inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. 

Fast fashion describes low-priced but stylish clothing that moves quickly from design to retail stores to meet trends, with new collections being introduced continuously. Innovations in supply chain management among retailers make fast fashion possible. Zara and H&M are two giants in the fast fashion field.

Fast fashion’s negative impact includes its use of cheap, toxic textile dyes—making the fashion industry the one of the largest polluters of clean water, right up there with agriculture. (https://goodonyou.eco/what-is-fast-fashion)

After I heard about Fast Fashion, watch about it on YouTube and read some articles, I have wasted a lot of clothes and have shared responsibility of polluting our environment.

Few things I’ve learned over the past years:  

a. I wear for myself not for others – There is nothing wrong of wearing the same dress when you go to church or attending an event. What matter is you are confident and you represent yourself well. 

b. I learned to buy less – less is enough. Less teaches you to save money and space. Buying and wearing a second-hand clothes help reduce the demand for new clothes.

c. I avoid buying souvenirs on a travel.  My photos, the places I visited, experienced and people I met are enough for me to bring back home.  Your travelled stories are the best souvenirs you can share with your family and friends.

d. I avoid sale shopping and unsubscribe to online store.  Sale doesn’t mean you should buy or it is good value. Do not feel of missing out.

e. I learned not to attach my feelings to clothes, shoes and bags. But if we need to buy, we buy quality items that we can use for the long term.

Looking back, I realized I’ve mis-spent my money on things I didn’t need. That I consume too much clothes, shoes and bags.  Now, I figure out what’s really important to me. If something that is “must have” or “nice to own” be mindful and ask yourself, do you really need it?

photo credit canva

Originally published at  World Pulse https://www.worldpulse.org/story/fast-fashion-51558 on September 16, 2022.