6 fast fashion shopping habits to ditch immediately
As an avid clothes lover myself I know how hard it is to stray away from certain shopping habits, and in the new age of sustainable fashion, a lot of people struggle to part with their favourite fast fashion retailers like Pretty Little Thing, Missguided and I Saw It First to name a few. They also find it difficult to part with shopping habits both on the high street and online.
In this blog post I will lay out the most common fast fashion shopping habits and how to minimise or hopefully ditch completely for a long lasting and sustainable wardrobe and lifestyle.
1. Buying something just because its "trendy"
We've all fallen into this trap before, including myself. Recently I was tempted into buying some black platform Chelsea boots that are plastered all over my Instagram feed at the moment, therefore I was pulled into buying them, however, something stopped me. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to press the little 'proceed to checkout' button as I was thinking, "do I really need another pair of black boots I mean they'll probably be out of fashion this time next year, just like that hoard of Blair Waldorf inspired headbands collecting dust in the back of my wardrobe from A/W 2019".
To become a more sustainable shopper you need to start thinking long term about the purchases you decide to make. So the next time you really want to buy a trendy item think to yourself if you will wear it this time next year? Is it the kind of item that you can definitely see yourself pulling out of your wardrobe every time that season comes around? If not, save your pennies and put it towards an item of clothing you will treat as an investment, like a classic designer bag or shoes that you will be able to style with multiple outfits regardless of trends and seasons. You will find a lot more satisfaction in this than a trend piece.
2. Buying loads in store because there's "so much choice"
Some high street shops can be very overwhelming and exciting when you walk into them, for me and many others its definitely Zara, with its high fashion aesthetic but high street prices, no wonder why people feel there is so much choice in store.
When a shop has so much choice (in store and online, especially with ASOS), shoppers end up buying a lot more then they intend to as they pile up clothes into their baskets.
In future we need to be clear with what we really want to buy and not be pulled in by the endless choices a shop may offer. This leads onto the next fast fashion shopping habit nicely...
3. Shopping without purpose
When we browse we are more likely to end up buying something we don't really need because we may go shopping if we're sad and buy something for a temporary spark of happiness, or we may be bored and shop to fill the time. Either way is a very toxic habit to get in to.
A good example of this is going to the supermarket when you're hungry. We all know that you will most likely end up with loads of food that you wont even eat because its an impulse buy; the same applies for clothes shopping. When you are browsing, you're not really looking for anything in particular, therefore you feel satisfied with anything you buy for a very short term release of dopamine.
In no way am I telling you to give up browsing completely, browsing can actually be a good way of collecting inspiration for future purchases that will be thought out and not 'in the moment' impulse buys. But if you do want to reduce how often you browse you can use your time in a more productive way, this could be doing something you love or spending time with your family and friends.
4. Buying because of discounts and sales
Many fast fashion retailers use marketing and advertising as a form of propaganda, and when you think of propaganda most people's minds think of WW2 and those posters that were used to make men feel guilty if they hadn't signed up to fight in the war. The same could also apply in modern day marketing (but obviously in a more subtle way).
If you look at the homepages of both Missguided and Misspap for example, you can see the endless amounts of discounts they offer to pull you in as soon as you go on their websites.
A lot of fast fashion retailers often use pressure tactics such as "Don't miss out", "Ends midnight" and "24 hours only" to make you feel like you only have a limited time to have this amazing opportunity and if you don't buy something you will feel serious FOMO and like you aren't 'on trend'.
Sales are another huge problem when it comes to becoming a more sustainable shopper, every year we are drawn in by the Boxing day sales, January sales and not to mention the day dedicated to shopping for less, the dreaded Black Friday. Most fast fashion brands also offer sales all year round too. On days like Black Friday we tend to be greedy when shopping, all trying to bag the best deals, we need to take a step back, a deep breath and evaluate if we really want all these things that we are going to buy, or if its just us getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of Black Friday.
5. Buying for one occasion
If you read my last blog post you will know all about why buying an outfit for one occasion is an awful habit to have if you are wanting to become a more sustainable individual.
The "I need a new dress for the weekend" situation is so toxic! We fear judgement from others because we don't want to repeat an outfit twice maybe because we wore it for an Instagram pic or we don't want to be seen in it twice.
One solution to this problem is styling it in a way that you didn't style it before if you are scared someone will notice (they most likely won't), I personally love when people repeat their outfits as it shows they have a constant style and know it looks good on them, so why shouldn't they wear it again?!
If you are going to buy for one occasion, say you've been invited to a wedding, buy a dress or outfit that you know you will be able to wear again to a similar event or be able to style in many ways (e.g. a little black dress never goes a miss).
6. Celebs, influencers and haul culture
I asked on my Instagram story who everyone's biggest celebrity/influencer style inspirations were, the most common ones were:
The majority of the answers were influencers, and after looking through their Instagram accounts many of them promoted fast fashion brands.
By definition, an influencer's job is to promote a brand's product and therefore 'influence' their audience to buy said product. This could be sponsored or not; sometimes even just posing in a product from a brand regardless of whether they were sent it or paid by that brand, can still boost sales of that product significantly.
What many influencers and celebrities have that the average person doesn't, is endless amounts clothes for a new outfit on their feed all the time. A lot of influencers and youtubers alike have popularised 'haul culture' - a type of video in which an influencer will show off a large number of clothes that they have obtained within a small amount of time. Sometimes this is in collaboration with a brand, this is a very popular marketing technique for fast fashion retailers such as Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal, in hopes of reaching out to a younger, more social media savvy audience.
On the outside, this content seems pretty innocent, however, if you delve in deeper you can really see how unsustainable, materialistic and down right unfair this is.
Not only is it promoting bulk buying (a big no-no in the sustainable fashion world) but also displays an unfair expectation that everyone should be buying this amount of clothes every week or month, and moreover have the budget to do so.
As Molly Mae is an ambassador for PLT she brings a huge traction of shoppers to the website with her trendy, model off-duty style that so many love and want to recreate. Her 4.8 million Instagram followers are drawn into her clothing lines with PLT further promoting fast fashion to such a wide range of people.
Influencers are aware of how impactful they can be when influencing people's shopping choices and habits, however, they really need to reassess how often they are promoting fast fashion brands and perhaps start championing sustainable fashion brands instead.
Thank you for reading, please share your thoughts in the comments or dm me on Instagram @styleclicheblog