What Is Disposable Fashion?

What is disposable fashion? Have you ever bought something and thought to yourself, “This is so cheap, even if I wear it just once it was worth the cost”? It’s called disposable fashion and it is taking a toll on us. Watch today’s video for some easy tips you can follow to help make a difference. (Click image below to watch video.)

 

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What Is Disposable Fashion?

Maybe this is a concept you have heard of, or maybe you have never heard of it before, but what is disposable fashion? Disposable fashion is everywhere. It is an item that we purchase thinking that this is so cheap that even if I only wear it one time, it pays for itself. Disposable fashion is produced on a low quality / low cost / high volume scale.

I remember when these retailers first started popping up. It was great to be in high school and be able to go to the mall and find things I could actually afford that were cute! Fast forward to college and after college (when you are broke and burdened with student loan debt) and disposable fashion meant you could afford to keep up with the trends.

At first glance, it seems like a really wonderful concept. You’re spending $6-$8 at a time on a shirt. You could get a dress for $20 and spend $10-$15 for a pair of jeans or pants. So what if it started getting holes in it? You wore it once or twice, it didn’t cost that much anyway, so pass it on or throw it away. It has served its purpose with you and you can always go get more because it is so cheap right?!

The more I read and research on this, the more I am starting to realize that as this disposable clothing trend continues, we are going to have to find new ways to keep up with it. And I don’t mean wearing and using more clothes, I mean finding places to put the mass amount of textiles produced. Here are a few statistics:

  • We have seen a 400% increase in the amount of clothing consumed per year in the last couple decades
  • The average American throws away nearly 70 pounds of textiles per year. It goes directly into the landfill.

We are going to have a hard time keeping up with this if it continues at the rate that it is. I don’t think it is realistic to ask you to stop shopping, but I think there are a few things that we can all do to help make a lessen our environmental impact:

  • Swap, don’t shop. Check our website or Facebook page for upcoming clothing swaps in your area or click on the “side hustle” tab on our website to find out how to start your own.
  • Buy secondhand or thrift. Extend the lifespan of items that have already been produced by shopping thrift stores in your area
  • Repurpose textiles. Turn old shirts into pillows, or rags into rugs. Search Pinterest for ideas on how to repurpose old textiles and prevent them from going into the landfill.

So, now that you know what you can do to begin making a difference, check out more Trendy Trade videos to see what to expect at upcoming events, get comfortable with the idea of a clothing swap and see the great things that you can walk away with!

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What is Fast Fashion?

What is fast fashion? The fashion industry used to have two seasons a year — one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter. Now, there are 52 seasons a year! Can you keep up? Here are four tips to dealing with fast fashion in a sustainable and ethical way. (Click the image below to watch video.)

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With today being the first of a new season, (happy spring!) how many fashion seasons do you think there are in a year? 2? 4? 52?

I heard this fact recently and it blew me away. The fashion industry used to have two seasons a year — one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter. Now, there are 52 seasons a year! That means basically one fashion season a week.

If you are a shopaholic, maybe that is good news for you! But if you are like me, that leaves you feeling incredibly overwhelmed. It’s just something that seems impossible to keep up with.

What is Fast Fashion?

By the time you buy something and wear it, it’s already outdated – who can keep up with that? It’s called “fast fashion” – and it’s the industry’s way of keeping you constantly shopping, buying things and making purchases.

The problem with this is that in order for us to consume (purchase) the clothing as quickly as it comes out, it needs to be at a price that is affordable. So we are seeing low prices on clothing so that everyone can keep up with it.

Here is the thing that we don’t see: the low prices on clothing comes at a high price. If the clothing is being manufactured and sold at a low price and is still profitable, then what is the cost of the material and the labor associated with putting the garments together?

It’s something to think about and if you want to dig into this deeper, there are a couple really good resources I would encourage you to check out:

  • Factory45 supports fashion designers that want to produce high-quality, ethically sourced garments
  • Fashion Revolution is an organization that has made it their mission to encourage transparency in the production of fashion and improve the conditions that laborers work under

Tips to Dealing with Fast Fashion

In the meantime, what are some things that we can do to look for another option to fast fashion? If you are like me and you don’t want to make an attempt at keeping up with it, here is what you can do:

  • Buy good quality, long lasting, sustainable garments. Look for companies that are transparent and ethical with their material and labor sourcing. You may pay more for this now, but it will last longer. And it will also promote healthy working conditions for laborers and the planet.
  • Dress for your own style, rather than trying to keep up with the trends. Check out our video on 3 Tips to Reclaim Your Style if you need a little help.
  • Educate yourself on the sourcing of material and labor conditions. Fashion Revolution is a great organization that promotes transparency in the fashion industry and is committed to improving labor conditions for workers. Follow them on social media.
  • Follow and promote sustainable practices such as clothing swaps. Trendy Trade is in several cities on the West Coast and growing. We would invite you to check out our list of events and join us at an upcoming clothing swap near you.

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Minimalism and Sustainability in Fashion Clothing Swaps

Minimalism and sustainability in fashion are concepts built-in to Trendy Trade Clothing Swap Events. In this video, we’ll explain how you can help be more socially responsible and lessen your environmental impact. (Click image below to watch video.)

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Although clothing swaps don’t directly center around the idea of sustainability and minimalism, a huge concept behind why we do what we do is helping women make the most of what they have; which in a small way is minimalistic and sustainable.

Recently, I watched a documentary on Minimalism and it really opened my eyes to the amount of waste that is generated by this consumeristic society that has been evolving for decades—not just the waste of the product itself, but the waste that floods this planet as a byproduct of production. The documentary goes into a lot more detail about it and I would highly recommend catching it if you’re curious — You can catch it on Netflix or Amazon and it’s called Minimalism.

I have always considered myself a frugal person, it was just how I was raised and think I live more simply than most, but the documentary got me thinking about what I can do to further live a minimalistic and simple life, even more than I try to do now.

It got me thinking about how much stuff I bring in to my life, STILL — unnecessarily — and how I can truly be aware of what comes in that needs to and what comes in that doesn’t.

Today, I want to share three ways that a clothing swap is minimalistic and sustainable and encourage you to be brave and be willing to give clothing swaps a try.

Minimalism and Sustainability in Fashion Clothing Swaps

CLOTHING SWAPS OFFER A FREE ROTATING WARDROBE

You could literally replace your entire wardrobe at each and every swap without ever buying a thing! In this way, it makes the transition to minimalistic concepts like capsule wardrobes more enjoyable because you are getting access to many more items without ever having to actually purchase them. Just pay your upfront fee for swapping, but there is no per cost item at a clothing swap.

LESSEN OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

By using items that already exist, you are avoiding contributing to unnecessary increases in production, which pollutes our planet. One thing that I learned in the documentary is that because of increased production, there is already an unsafe balance of pollutants in the air that we breathe. Think about where we will be in 5 years, 10 years, 50 years if this continues. By trading items at a clothing swap that are still in great shape and someone else can use, we are lessening the environmental impact by getting full use out of what has already been produced, instead of going out and buying something new.

ARE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

This falls along the same lines as thrifting and buying secondhand or consignment items. In this way, we are not only using items that already exist instead of purchasing, but we are also supporting a culture, like the thrifting culture, that encourages reuse of items. The bonus here is that many of these types of organizations, like our Trendy Trade Clothing Swaps, also work to benefit great causes, such a women in need.

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READY TO FLIP YOUR FASHION?Click here to check availability for upcoming events in your area!