As an environmentalist, I firmly believe that consumption is the root of all evil. However, my love for fashion really contradicts with this belief because I always want more. So I've devised a way for me to have my cake and eat it too.
Here's the deal: I can purchase new clothing, but it's important to only purchase clothes from companies who follow a certain criteria. This criteria can be met through either sustainable and/or ethical practices. To find out, I usually check the store's info page or I send them an email asking about their practices if little information is given. I have to know everything about a company's practices before I buy from them. This is why I can really only shop at department stores that I know carry a specific brand, vintage shops, or second hand stores. Otherwise, most of my shopping is done online. The problem with second hand clothing is that I can't always find things that I'm specifically looking for. Those things that I'm usually looking for are fresh off the runway. However, my budget doesn't fall within runway prices. This is where fast-fashion stores come in really handy. Those prices are hard to beat. But then I start to think about all of the reasons why that H&M shirt is $15 compared to the $70 James Perse shirt next door. A price tag can say a lot about the quality of the product and the process in which it was made. Most of the time, the planet and/or people are harmed in the making of that low price tag. But, I continue to shop with one fast fashion company that follows a different pattern than the rest. It's an online company, based in the UK called, ASOS. But why?? Well, they have good ethics, a sustainable clothing line for women, and even a market place for vintage clothing! On top of which, they offer a wide range of sizes for all body types (plus, petite, and pregnant). With all of this in mind, I have studied their Corporate Responsibility page and I'm impressed with what I've read. Here is where they outline their social and environmental responsibilities as a fashion company. They address their carbon footprint issue as well as solutions to resolve their large emission output. Find it here. I can get down with a fast fashion company that is not only aware of the negative impacts fashion has on society and on the planet, but the fact that they address these issues is really positive as well. Although they aren't sustainable, they run an ethical business, which is the main reason why I still shop there. Does it make it right? Probably not, but sometimes fast fashion companies offer clothing that is affordable and trendy. I would much rather purchase from a fast fashion company like, ASOS than H&M or Forever 21. Find out why they suck here. Below is an outfit I've purchased entirely from, ASOS! (Minus the glasses and necklace)