Zara, H&M and Forever 21 are some of the most popular shopping spots for North Americans today. This is because these stores offer on trend pieces that will not break the bank. Although, most people are unaware of the negative footprint a purchase from these stores leaves on the economy and environment. By doing simple math it is easy to calculate that the items worth at cost is about half of what you are paying. A 50 percent mark-up is very common for all merchandise sold in retail. The cost price encompasses every element of the manufacturing and transportation process. If an item is being manufactured in Bangladesh to sell in North America it is hard to believe that a price as low as $10 could account for entire the manufacturing process including paying the seamstress.
Many people do not know how to avoid fast fashion while still dressing how they want to and not spending more money. There are a lot of good options when trying to eliminate fast fashion. Buying less and buying of quality is the best option I have found as it has helped me save money while building a wardrobe of pieces that will last. Shopping at thrift stores and buying vintage is a good option to find unique pieces at extremely cheap prices. Majority of the merchandise at thrift and vintage stores is better quality and cheaper than the merchandise sold at fast fashion stores. Another benefit to shopping at thrift and vintage stores is recycling used clothing. The amount of clothing that is thrown away every year is surprising being that there are many ways to donate and resell clothing. If everyone utilized the clothing that is already made and recycled what he or she want to get rid of the amount of wasted clothing would decrease drastically.
If people started buying of quality and less frequently we could support designers and companies who manufacture their clothing in fair ways. This would also help us eliminate the fast fashion sector of the industry which causes environmental damage along with paying workers unfair wages. It would also help the economy by supporting manufacturers who are in our country and not overseas. It is actually very easy to balance your spending if you buy stuff you love instead of stuff you like. The clothing you invest in will last much longer than the mock versions sold at Zara or H&M for extremely low prices. When you need a new garment the best option is to buy recycled or vintage clothing because it does no harm to the environment and will be able to add to your wardrobe without wasting money.
Making the transition to building your wardrobe and avoiding fast fashion does not have to be overnight. You can keep the clothing you have already purchased from fast fashion stores but just have the goal of shopping at thrift, vintage and higher end stores majority of the time. It is surprising how fast you can build a solid wardrobe by keeping track of where and how your money is being spent.