The effects of the UK public’s fashion tastes, and a rapidly shifting market in the clothing industry, have been felt globally – whether economically, socially or even environmentally. Even so, despite domination of the high street market for many years, the fast fashion industry has shown signs of waning since as early as 2017 – and this could well be described as a good thing. Changing tastes and an increase in online platforms are squeezing the profitability out of fast fashion, rendering it a financially unsustainable industry.
While fast fashion may have been a financially sustainable way for you to keep your wardrobe up to date in the short term, more sustainable alternatives exist – and not only are they better for your wallet, but they’re better for the environment. So why should you pivot away from the high street and towards larger investments on quality clothes?
Buy Used in Confidence, and Save Money at the Same Time
The second-hand market might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fashion – on the face of it, second-hand clothes are less glitz and glamour, more dust and dirt. This couldn’t be further from the truth – especially with the increasing popularity of fashion-oriented market apps like Vinted and Depop. It’s easier than ever to find higher-quality, longer-lasting clothes on the used market – guaranteed to have a significant period of wear in them for a fraction of the price. Using used markets allows you to make better, more informed purchases and avoid overspending all at the same time.
Get a Return on Your Investment
Another great thing about the used market is that higher-quality branded items don’t lose their value as quickly as fast-fashion items of poorer quality – the only real factor being wear, as opposed to number of prior owners. This means that whether bought new or old, your higher-quality items are guaranteed to keep a decent portion of their value – allowing you to sell them and switch up your wardrobe in an inexpensive and financially literate way. An excellent real-world case study for this is the Doc Martens brand, for which there is an extremely healthy demand in second-hand markets.
Do Your Bit for the Environment
The combined emissions footprint for the fashion industry accounts for around 10% of human-sourced greenhouse gas emissions. This is a huge figure, exacerbated over years by shoppers addicted to the convenience and variety afforded by sweatshop-backed clothing companies and unable to kick the habit. Choosing to buy clothes of higher quality means they’ll last longer before sowing signs of wear – not only lowering your cost-per-wear, but also saving you the added cost of several replacements and saving the environmental cost of those replacements.
The way in which higher-quality garments are made is far more likely to be more sustainable than fast fashion – the use of more natural ingredients, the avoidance of polyesters and artisanal processes that reduce carbon output in comparison to factory production all add up to make high-quality garments more sustainable in a plurality of ways.
We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Suits Me. For more features, please pay a visit to our fashion page.