Have you heard of the term Fast Fashion? Fast Fashion is an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing that emphasizes making fashion trends cheaply and quickly available to consumers. It’s pretty much clothing that is more often than not made unethically. Materials are compromised. Labor is exploited. The effects these processes have on the environment are also not taken into consideration. Working conditions are unbelievably terrible and inhumane in far too many factories. Worst of all, Fast Fashion does not care about the people on either end of the transaction: us as the consumers and the people making the clothing. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article I wrote on it.

If you’re considering moving away from Fast Fashion, an easy way to start is to turn to secondhand clothing! Another way is to invest in Slow Fashion brands but this can cost a little more to start off with so for the sake of this post let’s focus on secondhand buying! Buying secondhand means that you help eliminate the wasteful process that goes into making that certain piece (if you were to have purchased it new). In addition, you help decrease the demand for the production of that new item. Secondhand shopping means you decrease waste by giving a second life to an item that could have easily ended up in a landfill.

In order to be successful, and get the most out of your thrifting and secondhand adventures, I recommend using the following tips:

Make a List

Whenever you find yourself wearing an outfit and feel like it could use a certain “something”, write it down! Feel like you need a certain “staple” piece? Write it down! Keeping this list will help you keep your eyes open and focused whenever you’re out shopping for secondhand clothes. And listen, I get it! Convenience is above everything else at times but conditioning ourselves to plan ahead can save so much money and produce outcomes that don’t negatively affect the environment.

Try it On

It’s important to try on your thrifted clothes and shoes prior to buying. Many think that because we’re shopping at a thrift store then we have to compromise basics like proper size/fit. Try it all on! You don’t want to be wasteful and end up with more clothes than what you started with all because you aren’t able to use it.

Be Openminded

By this I mean be creative! You’ll be surprised by what you can find in those “other” sections. If you’re a small in adults, try venturing out into the kids section for a large. If you’re looking for loose fitting jeans, try venturing into the men’s section for a smaller sized jean. Things that don’t fit but you absolutely love? Alter them! This may be a good time to pick up on that sewing skill you’ve been wanting to learn.

Be Patient

Secondhand shopping definitely builds patience, and boy is patience difficult to come around these days. I believe that intentionality and consciousness should drive our decisions when it comes to shopping. I’ve been building my wardrobe out little by little through only purchasing items that I absolutely need and love. Some things take longer to find but i’m okay with that so long as I continue to plan ahead.

Together we can make an impact by being more intentional about the things we purchase!