Opinion: Bath’s Jessica Rood on fast fashion

Fashion photo from The Strawberry Line Times magazine

Without a doubt it is known that people all over the world know what fashion is, by definition fashion is ‘a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour.’ But what if we took this idea of the latest too far?
We are constantly shown images of fast fashion whether that be on our favourite model, walking the ‘look’ of the season or in the street, with a a shop promoting a one time wear statement outfit for your party!
However when you see these and think oooh I might buy that! Are you considering what would happen when you don’t like it anymore? Or if it didn’t fit and you missed the return date? These are the serious questions we should start considering with every purchase.
What do we see that influences us? In a world with micro trends; a phenomenon caused by the world of social media, influencer culture and consumer targeting; are we really left with no hope? This is when we turn to individual sustainability, this is the idea of focusing on style, purchase and after thought.
The first thing to establish is what do you enjoy wearing?, what suits you? and what basics do you always need? This idea of wearing what you need feeds in to the idea of capsule wardrobes, a harder thing to do, but sustainable nonetheless.
Shopping, a loved activity through the years, and not one that is going out of fashion! I won’t sit here and say “all shops are bad! Only wear what you own!” because that’s not the case. Shopping is sustainable if you make it so. For an example, something that has gained much more attention recently is shopping in charity shops, these shops are second hand wonders, where you can buy anything from an evening gown to a Hawaiian shirt! These shops are filled to the brim with many things that have come back in modern day fashion. These cycles can do so much for second hand shops as they’re able to repurpose say a dress that was cool in 1995 and in 2022 , a bonus of course; the money you spend goes to a good place.
You loved and now need to lose; but where does it go? For starters these are already second hand or pre loved items that’ve been rejuvenated so where can we sell them?
Now once again charity shops are a great idea to give back. Online buy and sell sites such as depop, vinted and even eBay. Local jumble sales also work great and even shops that have a give in clothes to get money back scheme such as H&M , New look and M&S (there are plenty more it really depends on location).
Ultimately the effect of fast fashion is becoming even more detrimental on our planet. These little swaps can be so helpful to a more sustainable lifestyle, even if it’s a gradual process just to go into charity shop or sustainable business and just find a piece you like can be a step in the right direction.
We all can do our part so next time someone says “nice skirt! Where did you get it?” You may respond with a great story about how you gave this old skirt a new life! And that always helps with a conversation starter right?

About the writer: Jessica Rood is a student at Royal High School Bath and has written for the school’s website on a number of subjects. Read her piece on sustainability at https://www.royalhighbath.gdst.net/news/sustainability-day