Editor’s note: In an effort to help bring awareness to sustainable fashion, FAST is excited to provide our readers with a Sustainable Series that will highlight different ways everyone can make an effort toward a more environmentally friendly way of living through fashion.
Let’s face it. All the stores that we love shopping at– FreePeople, Zara, Forever21, Revolve, etc. — they are all tied up in the dark behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry. Toxic dyes are contaminating local water systems all over the world, poorly manufactured factories are a huge hazard to the people working in them, chemicals used to treat fabrics are threatening habitats — the list goes on.
My personal goal when learning about the negative impact of fast fashion was to attempt to be as sustainable as possible through the clothes I wear. Now that I have gotten the hang of thrift shops around the Los Angeles area and online sources, I thought I would throw a few outfits together using solely repurchased clothing pieces to showcase what I do to make my closet more environmentally + socially friendly. I also share some tips and tricks when it comes to thrifting or apps like Depop!
1. Most of these outfits will be incorporating fairly simple, more casual pieces such as sweatshirts. As a college student, it is important for me to be comfortable (especially walking around with UCLA’s seemingly ceaseless stairs and hills). Scouting simpler items is a really easy way to start thrifting rather than trying to find one-of-a-kind pieces.
2. Thrift shoes too! Might as well buy some of your shoes reused, especially bolder ones like these that won’t be worn on a daily basis.
3. One of the most sought-after thrift items would definitely be the perfect, vintage Levi jean. I would definitely say, don’t succumb to the overpriced vintage shops just yet– there are tons of Levi’s denim in your local thrift shops. These were only $20; in comparison to the usual markup of $60+, this was a really good deal.
4. When sifting through Depop accounts, I would recommend focusing on smaller shops that have cheaper items + more flexible policies on shipping and pricing. I don’t really look at shops run by influencers or with a lot of followers so as to avoid huge markups in prices!
5. Thrifting or purchasing reused items is another great way to follow trends that come and go, such as the recent tie-dye comeback.
6. Don’t be afraid of getting some pieces here and there that are out of your comfort zone! At the end of the day, these items won’t be a huge cost (both for your wallet and for the environment), so experimenting is definitely encouraged. Personally, I would usually never purchase something this coat or these pants, but each item was under $10, so I thought I’d give them a chance.
7. While finding high-end items is not my main goal, it is definitely a plus. I like to keep an eye on any expensive items I find at thrift stores, either to try and make it wearable for myself or to resell.
8. Goodwill is an overall staple for finding thrifted items; although, this place does require a lot of time and patience in order to find what you are looking for. I definitely recommend going during their $2 or 50% sales to save even more money!
In a time where climate change and the ethics of fast fashion are put under a microscope, it’s important as consumers to be aware of the negative effects of our actions in everyday life. Plus, the feeling of a great find that you know no one will have is worth the hunt when thrifting or scrolling on Depop.