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July 2, 2015

The 30-Year-Old Sweatshirt: Why Fashion should be Made to Last.

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It’s not a crime to wear the same outfit time after time.

It’s the only way to take a stand against the culture of throwaway fashion that is becoming so prevalent.

It may sound preachy but, as consumers, I believe it is our responsibility to know where our clothes are made. The millions who slave away in places like China, Bangladesh and India, churning out goods for big fashion corporations, are often so badly underpaid that they are unable to afford basic living expenses.

It is not just unethical working conditions that are the problem with the modern fast fashion trend. Even if you are indifferent to what goes on thousands of miles away from you, it is also you, the consumer, who suffers as a result. As recently as 2012, Greenpeace released their report titled “Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up”, which revealed many facilities making cheap clothing for the major high street fashion players were using hazardous chemicals.

And then there’s the impact on the environment. Continuing to manufacture clothes that are worn only a few times is a huge waste of natural resources. As consumers, if we choose to throw away our clothes after one season that has a big impact on our carbon and water footprints.

I was recently invited onto BBC Radio 4’s Today program to discuss sustainable fashion. What got me there? Princess Anne’s choice of outfit to Royal Ascot. Whilst it was lovely to have such a high profile platform from which to support eco fashion, I do feel these issues should be taken a lot more seriously—they are often ignored by most.

When an item of clothing suits you well, a shirt in a color that flatters you or impeccably cut trousers that fit you perfectly, there is no harm in re-wearing it. Some of the world’s biggest fashion icons are synonymous with particular items of clothing that they wore again and again.

In other words, saying no to fast fashion won’t only benefit the world and our natural resources; it will benefit your sense of style, too.

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Relephant Reads:

6 Things you Didn’t know about Fast Fashion.

John Oliver takes Fast Fashion Down.

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Author: Tom Cridland

Editor: Alli Sarazen

Photo: Jackie Bucci/Flickr

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Tom Cridland