fast fashion

How to Get Out of Fast Fashion

Nowadays, fast fashion is a real problem. To explain it a little bit, fast fashion is the way we produce cheap clothes with cheap labour in workshops based in poor country. Another aspect is that fact that we constantly have new collections in our stores.

We now have 52 seasons each year when it comes to fashion. This is made to make us feel like we are always out of fashion. Our dumping grounds grow bigger with all of our clothes that are still good to wear, just not fashionable anymore. This contributes to massive pollution and it is what we call fast fashion.

Since I’ve been working with a fashion designer based in Montreal and producing in the province of Quebec, I became well aware of this cause which now has a place in my heart. So, here are a few tips and tricks on how to get out of fast fashion. Hopefully, these will make a small difference when it comes to excessive consumption of clothing.

Read the Labels

Before anything, it is very important to know where your clothes are from and how they’re made. With that in mind, I go towards clothing that are made localy, but if they’re made in China, for example, I make sure that the fabric and seams are durable. (Pro Tip: a mix of synthetic and natural fibre makes the most durable fabric!)

made in china

Stay Away from Fast Fashion Trend

Since almost 5 years, I stay away from trends or anything that is popular at the moment. When you follow these, we get bored way faster of our clothes because the become out of fashion and we wear them less. (Pro Tip: If you still like a trend after a few months, it might be a good idea to get it because it won’t be a trend anymore and you are sure you really want it. Plus, you can get it on sale!)

fashion

Restrict your Wardrobe

I’m not saying here that you should only have 7 outfits, one for everyday of the week. I’m just saying here it might be a good idea to restrict the quantity of clothes you own to only your favourite items. It makes it way easier to get dressed in the morning and when you go shopping, you know exactly what you have and what you need.

clothes

Buy Basics

Getting dressed with basics is not basic at all! When you put together a few simple monochrome items that fit well, you end up with a very original outfit. Plus, with a lot of basics, you can do a lot of mix and match! Also, in general, we tend to shop for more durable basics which are better quality so that we can wear them for a long time.

basic

Buy Better Quality

Personally, when I shop for a piece of clothing that is better quality, I am not afraid to put more money in it because it is worth it. I know my money will be well invested because I will be able to keep that item for a long time. Also, I don’t own a lot of jewelry. I’d rather have classic pieces of good quality that I know will stay in good shape for a long time and that will go well with my outfits.

cher

Give / Buy Secondhand

After all this, it might happen that one item of clothing doesn’t make you happy anymore and it’s ok. The thing to do in this case is to give it to someone who really wants it! Also, I like to shop in secondhand stores myself, it’s good for my student budget and it gives a second life to clothes. Of course if I had the chance to, I would buy all my clothes made local, but at least when I shop in thrift stores, I know I’m not encouraging the fast fashion industry.

friperie

So, here are my few tricks on how to get out of fast fashion! It might not change the world, but I believe that small everyday actions help. As a consumer, our vote really does count and who knows, maybe one day we’ll go back to a more ethical way of getting dressed!


Laurence is a young woman from the region of Beauce near Quebec city who happened to move to Montreal when she was 19 years-old. After a few ups and downs, she quickly adapted to her new life of poor student in communications at UQÀM. To describe her, we can say that she is a good mix between…

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  • Purchase For Purpose

    This post is informative, simple, and easy to follow. It’s alarming the way the big fast fashion companies have shifted the way we consume clothes and accessories.
    Laurence highlighted the shift from traditional fashion calendars to the contemporary cycle of 52 seasons each year. Brands such as Zara, H&M and Topshop are leading the dangerous way of trend focused cheap clothes and new fast clothes. Because of this increased consumption, Laurence notes that that our waste has grown bigger then every before.
    All isn’t lost for the damaging societal and environmental effect from our shopping habits. With these 6 tips on how to get out of fast fashion, Laurence provides us with a few tricks to incorporate when buying, wearing, and disposing of clothes.
    AP