A NOTE ON fair fashion: YOU CAN get the look YOU want for less
I've always loved vintage clothing and thrifting, but last year I made the decision to completely avoid fast fashion, buy only second hand, and support ethical retailers. The fashion and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world and it takes a startling amount of resources to grow, produce and ship clothing. In North America we purchase and discard four times the amount of clothing that we did just 20 years ago.
The reason we throw out so many clothing items is because of the cheap price tag and low quality of fast fashion items. Not to mention the intentional quick trend turnarounds perpetuated by the fashion industry. Landfills are filled with billions of pounds of discarded clothing each year, and there are serious repercussions for the people who produce the clothing including unsafe working conditions, low wages and child labour.
There are two types of fashion consumers: those who stick to the basic, classic staple pieces and those who love to wear something new and trendy. Although there's items in my closet that I’ve worn consistently for years, I also tend to enjoy switching it up and wear trendy pieces once in a while. I usually stop by a vintage or thrift shop two or three times a month and I rarely leave empty handed.
The items are better quality than those at chain stores and they're cheaper too. There's also a large and growing number of ethical companies that produce sustainable and fair clothing. This often comes with a slightly higher price tag but the products are of higher quality and made to last. Some of my favourites include Reformation, Everlane, Vaute and Zady as well as Canadian labels Fig and Miik.