Facts about fast fashion and how you can get involved in 7 ways
We're back with another fast fashion Action Pack! This time, we'll focus on its planetary impacts.
Here’s what we’ll cover step-by-step:
Cute history lesson: when we launched Changeletter, fast fashion was our FIRST topic! As a treat, below is one of the very first graphics our designer, Malena, ever made for Soapbox. She's the best.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
Fast fashion created a system of overconsumption and overproduction that makes the fashion industry on the largest polluters in the world. This fact-packed article from the World Economic Forum covers the most significant impacts fast fashion has on the planet.
You'll learn that:
With the rise of trends and clothes becoming cheaper, fast fashion perpetuates a cycle of consumption and production that continues to harm our planet.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
Recycling plastic waste into clothing can seem like a good solution...until you wash those clothes. In fact, there are unintended consequences.
You'll learn that:
We must come up with robust, systemic solutions instead of constantly duct-taping over our problems. We literally have to take a hard look at our dirty laundry.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
Here's 7 actions to support sustainable fashion!
1. Buy less. 💚
The #30Wears campaign challenges you to ask yourself, before you buy a new piece of clothing, "Will I wear this at least 30 times?" No need to spend $$$ on "slow fashion" if you can make your current items last!
2. Buy natural. 👚
Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are made from polyester. Which is made from plastic. Which is made from oil. Which is petroleum. Which is a fossil fuel.
3. Buy secondhand. 🔁
ThredUp makes it really easy to buy secondhand online! Save money and save clothes from landfills.
4. Wash less. 🐢
About a THIRD of ocean plastics pollution comes from clothes washing (those pesky synthetics). If you're indoors all day, do you really need to wash your jeans after every use?
5. Wash better. 💙
You can use natural detergents/fabric softeners like Dropps and get a laundry filter. This Lint LUV-R is $145 USD and one of the most effective solutions. If you're short on cash, you can try a microplastic-filtering mesh bag like Guppyfriend. It catches less microfibers, but we still think it's a good start for throwing in your synthetic swag.
6. Donate effectively.
We always call a few women's shelters/homeless shelters in my area to see if they're accepting clothing donations. We want to make sure the clothes we donate are actually used (instead of something like Goodwill). We've also gifted on Buy Nothing!
7. Dispose consciously. 👟
If the stuff you're Goodwill-ing isn't in good condition, there's a chance it may get landfilled. Instead, if you have clothing in subprime condition, drop it off at a Levi's store, use Ridwell, or give your shoes at Soles4Souls. If those aren't a thing in your country, try this.
If you're looking for sustainable brands to shop from, here's a price-organized list from The Good Trade. We didn't want to encourage consumption in our Action Packs, but it's handy to have around when you need something new.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
A few of you have mentioned that you're overwhelmed by this fashion content. After all, you may own clothes from these brands (same) and profit at the cost of our planet seems unstoppable. We're here to tell you that as consumers, we are absolutely making a difference.
The following provides key takeaways from Hothouse Solutions, one of our favorite sustainability newsletters. We really enjoyed the Hothouse fashion article because of how well the writers contextualized the problem AND the solution.
You'll learn that:
Seriously, this article is so good. It made us think about the bigger picture of fashion and it makes us optimistic that we can fight for individual and structural changes together. After all, that's what Soapbox is here for.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!
Get our free bite-sized climate action plans before you go!