Clothes are a vital part of everyday life in America and each year we spend an average of $1,803 on clothing and tailoring. For those maintaining a budget, fast fashion has become an invaluable way to keep costs low while enjoying the latest trends.

However, fast fashion has a lot to answer for when it comes to climate change and waste. In fact, every year it is solely responsible for 10% of the planet’s carbon emissions. Because of this, a lot of people are looking for alternatives to fast fashion.

Want to know how to find sustainable alternatives to fast fashion that won’t cost you (or the rest of us!) the earth? Then you’re in the right place!

Read on to find out seven things you can do to find alternatives to fast fashion brands.

  1. Shop for Second Hand Clothes

Shopping for second-hand clothes is one of the most popular affordable alternatives to fast fashion around. And now there are more places than ever to find what you’re looking for.

Local thrift stores and charity shops are great places to browse for second-hand clothes and save money. This means you can still enjoy all the fun of a shopping trip without spending too much.

Or, if you’re looking for something specific, why not go online or hit second-hand sale apps? These are great places to hunt for certain pieces that you want to complete an outfit!

  1. Find Ethically Produced Clothing Brands

Thanks to the rise in interest in the environmental impact of fashion, there are now a lot more ethical labels available.

Unfortunately, some of these brands charge you for the privilege of being environmentally-friendly. However, others are aware that making affordable, planet-friendly is the best way to fight fast fashion. These include:

  • Thought’s Fairtrade range
  • Veryan
  • Everlane
  • Organic Basics
  • Baukjen
  • Linen Fox
  • Pala Eyewear

These brands all offer you great alternatives to fast fashion from wardrobe staples to the latest trends.

  1. Do Clothing Shares

Clothing shares are a great way to create variety in your wardrobe without spending a penny. These can be formal or informal arrangements in which you agree you share your wardrobe with one or a group of friends.

Before you embark on a clothing share it’s a good idea to set some ground rules. These might include:

  • Establishing how long an item can be borrowed for.
  • Agreeing that it will be washed and returned in the condition that it is borrowed in.
  • Agreeing that, if an item does get damaged while being borrowed, the person responsible will repair or replace it.
  • Accepting that some items in each person’s wardrobes might be off-limit for personal reasons.

Of course, these rely on you being able to trust the people you share your wardrobe with and on you all being the same size. But once you’ve taken care of these factors, the world is your oyster! All you need to do is put out the call asking for a particular item and look through the photos that people send back.

  1. Use the 30 Wear Test

It can be tricky to keep a lid on buying at times. After all, we are constantly bombarded with information encouraging us to buy the latest items!

This is where the ’30 Wear’ test can be really helpful at curbing your fast fashion craving and saving you some money to boot. The test works by asking yourself a simple question before you buy anything. “Do I envisage myself wearing this item at least thirty times before getting rid of it?”

If you can honestly answer “yes”, then it won’t be a wasteful purchase.

This can really help you to avoid impulse purchases. It’s also a great way of keeping within your budget. After all, a $50 shirt is a lot better value if you are going to wear it thirty times rather than just once or twice!

  1. Look for Vegan or Recyclable Footwear

When we think about an alternative to fast fashion, we often focus on the clothes. However, finding ethical footwear is just as important.

Of course, no one is expecting you to buy all your shoes second-hand. This is where a lot of people draw the line. Thankfully, vegan footwear companies are around creating stylish shoes from ethically-sourced materials.

Some companies opt for vegan-friendly materials, which use less water and energy to create. Others opt for recycled and recyclable materials. This means they produce less waste during production and once you’ve worn them through.

  1. Look for Local Brands

There are loads of benefits to buying from local, independent brands.

This requires a little more research into where certain brands source their materials from. However, stores that source their materials locally are immediately being more environmentally-friendly.

On top of this, using local materials saves retailers on international shipping fees. This means that their clothing should be more reasonably-priced compared to businesses that import materials from overseas.

  1. Donate or Sell Your Old Clothes

Saying goodbye to fast fashion yourself is all well and good. But the more people who do it, the better, and you can help by giving back the clothes you no longer wear. After all, the more variety there is to buy second hand, the better!

You can donate your clothes to local charity or thrift stores if you want to get rid of them quickly. When doing this, make sure you check the guidelines of the store you want to donate to first.

However, there are loads of great websites to help you make some money out of your old clothes. Sites like Depop, Shopify, and eBay connect you with other people looking for the best alternatives to fast fashion.

Revamp Your Wardrobe With Alternatives to Fast Fashion

There are now loads of great alternatives to fast fashion available that won’t break the bank. This means you can revamp your wardrobe without hurting the planet. So what are you waiting for?

For more amazing fashion inspiration, keep scrolling!