Lauren Windle always wanted to avoid fast fashion and stand against the chemicals, landfill and slave labour that are built into the industry. But “conscious” shopping seemed like it was only available to the super wealthy, until she made some key changes.
It’s early October and I’ve already turned on my heating. I wanted to ride it out as long as possible but who was I kidding? I just hate to be cold. With the mounting cost of energy, this means that I will be facing a whopping great big bill this winter. I, like many others, am bracing myself for its impact.
In times like this, when money is tight, there are certain practices that are ditched. We avoid treating ourselves to bits and bobs, we’re more careful to go to the supermarket with a list rather than our usual empty stomach and haphazard freestyling and we’re probably priced out of anything organic/sustainable/eco-friendly. And I’m not alone in feeling this way, more than a third of Brits believe that being sustainable is unaffordable.
As Christians, who know that we are stewards of God’s earth (Numbers 35:33-34), it can be tough to feel that we can’t afford to be sustainable. The advice that stuck with me is to remember that you can’t do everything, but you can do something. For some people that’s avoiding cling film at home and using recyclable foil or those beeswax sheets instead. For others it’s doing more walking and leaving the car at home.
I started Googling sustainable fashion brands and found very few that I liked and when I did, they came with huge price tags.
For me, I wanted to ditch fast fashion. The pull of having low-cost clothes in any shape, size or colour imaginable delivered to my door the following day, had had me in its grasp for too long. I wanted to wave goodbye to BooHoo, Miss Guided, Shein and all of that ilk. I started Googling sustainable fashion brands and found very few that I liked. And when I did, they came with huge price tags.
I remember a friend saying: “Well maybe a dress should cost £200. When it’s being made by people who are paid a fair wage and using environmentally-friendly materials.” She may be right, but that would price many of us out of wearing clothes full stop. So I change tact and at the start of Janurary 2021, I vowed not to buy any new clothes. I started scowering the rails of charity shops and I mastered Depop. It means I’m not adding to the demand for continuous new clothes and it also means I’m not paying full price for anything.
I vowed not to buy any new clothes. I started scowering the rails of charity shops and I mastered Depop.
I have to wait longer for the most current ranges to be available on secondhand websites and I have to plan ahead and order anything for a special event two weeks in advance to make sure I have it in time. But I like that I’m not expecting to have everything in an instant. It takes time and I’m alright with that. Plus I get the benefit of a smug internal glow anytime someone asks me where my outfit is from - and you can’t put a price on that.