Everyone’s talking about sustainability, so here’s what I do to reduce my fashion footprint…

Dad printed shirt
Next printed silk shirt

The hot topic – sustainability and fast fashion

Unless you’re on a digital detox, you’ve probably seen a LOT of Twitter threads and Insta Stories discussing the impact of fast fashion on our fragile environment, how influencer/bloggers feed into the problem and why we should all be making a bit more effort to not f*ck up the planet with our frivolous Primark hauls and online bargain hunting. 

Now, I think it’s pretty clear I am most definitely a Primark hauler, a loyal ASOS shopper and a very easily swayed fashion fan who actively enjoys tearing open parcels of clothes and hurriedly trying them on. I love buying new things, I love getting dressed in the mornings, I LOVE that feeling you get when you’re rocking a new outfit and are feeling 10/10.

But…that’s not where my love of fashion stops. Sure, I’m sure there are a large group of people out there who constantly buy then discard their clothes after one wear, but I am not that gal. 

Tower Bridge photoshoot
New Look cord skirt

Reducing the consequences of fast fashion 

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’ve always been ‘woke’ when it comes to the impact of the fashion industry on our environment and sustainability. It’s something that my eyes have been opened to recently, but it’s also something I think I’ve subconsciously always tried to reduce the impact of. My generation grew up with a great sense of responsibility for the environment and how our actions impact it. I was given endless lessons on littering, oil spills, toxic fumes and the deteriorating ozone layer while I was at school. I’m that person who would rather stick pins in my eyes than drop a piece of litter (in fact, if there isn’t a bin available I’ll take my rubbish home and dispose of it there). I recycle, I reuse, I try to not cause more harm than I need to. 

And that has leaked into the way I enjoy clothes. My first job was in a charity shop and I used to LOVE it because it was basically a fashion playground. Worn in Gucci brogues, dresses with the tags still in, I spent basically ALL of my money there and I absolutely loved it. My current most favourite pair of jeans are one that I picked up in a thrift shop on a visit to Nashville five years ago. 

I keep hold of timeless pieces and wear them until holes appear. The trend-based pieces I buy always go to a charity shop in good knick. As much as I do enjoy thrifting, sometimes I want to buy new and I want to treat myself to some pretty pieces from New Look or Primark. So when I do that, I try to make sure I’ll keep what I’m buying for years, and if I don’t it goes to a new home. 

The other thing I kind of love doing is shopping my family’s wardrobes. Jumpers my brothers no longer want are perfectly oversized and cosy on me and my dad has some absolute gems in his wardrobe that I can’t help giving a new home when he stops wearing them (one of which is the shirt I’m wearing right here!)

I think it’s important we are all aware of our impact on the environment, and do our bit for sustainability. But that doesn’t mean turning our backs on fast fashion. Some of us simply can’t afford to buy better (lol, living in London is expensive AF) and we still want to be able to enjoy the excitement of the fashion industry. So if, like me, that’s you I think it’s on us to make sure we use what we buy for as long as they last, or pass them onto another home if we no longer want them.

I would love to know, what do you do for sustainability? Are you conscious about reducing your own fashion footprint? 

Photography by Fifi