Warning: very honest post!
This disclaimer is very important, because as many of us having started a path towards sustainable fashion, it is hard to confess the horrible truth: we all (mostly) were fast fashion addicts. And the demons of Zara, Mango, H&M etc. are still hanging in our closet.
There is nothing to be ashamed of in my opinion: as we used to live in that world we know very well what it is and we just decided to step away from cheap clothes and materials, homologated fashion, human and resources’ exploitation; why should we be ashamed of this?
Of course I am not happy when I see these pieces staring at me and they really feel like demons in my closet but hey, better stay there than polluting the world in a rubbish dump! This is very important to understand: when we are fed up of fast fashion, the biggest mistake than we can make is to throw it away! As they are mostly made of plastic and polluting fibers, throwing them away is the less sustainable choice to make.
Let me then share some of the alternatives to throwing away our fast fashion pieces:
- Just keep them! I know, we don’t like them anymore, they don’t reflect our values and sense of fashion, but we can definitely find a way to style them with other pieces that fit more our personal style. This is basically what I did in these pictures: I took my fast fashion top and culottes (I don’t like them anymore!) and styled them to fit my very own style! I mixed them with vintage pieces (the Valentino headscarf from Humana Vintage, the bag from Lady Fusetti) and handmade pieces (the bag from Anna su Misura, the Japanese handmade sandals, the bangle from a Togolese artist that I met through Mara Seyeyaram). When I look at this outfit I’m quite proud of how I turned these two hated pieces into something that is in line with my style!
- Rework them! If you have good sewing skills you can easily create new pieces from your fast fashion clothes: scarves, turbans, new clothes. You can free your imagination and upcycle them the way you like! Upcycling is very trendy at the moment but mostly it is a very sustainable way to get rid of your cheap clothes by giving them a second chance.
- If you really don’t want to see them anymore you can still donate them! To friends, family or strangers. There are a lot of charities who will take them to give them to people who need them in your country or abroad. This is a good alternative because not only you are prolonging the life of these clothes without throwing them, but you also know that with them you can help people in need.
- Sell them! If you need small money and you think that your pieces may be sold, just go for it! There are so many ways to do it: online with many apps like Vinted, Depop and Ebay where you can easily sell your stuff, or sites like greenchic or maimesso (in case you never worn them), depending on how lazy you are to take pictures, write descriptions etc. You can also sell them live: garage sales and swap parties are always a good option to get rid of these pieces. The only thing when we sell or swap is that we can only hope that those who buy them, will wear them for real and not throw them after a few wears (it’s still a concrete risk).
Which one is your favorite option? I personally make a mix of them, some pieces I keep and re-style them or re-work them (or make them re-worked by someone who has better sewing skills than mine!); other pieces I sell or donate to a couple of charities in Milan that I know.
But please, don’t throw them in the bin!