Stop Your Passion for Fast Fashion!
Learn from my mistakes and start shopping sustainably.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am an avid and probably unhealthy shopper…
Flashback to 2018, when I was a fresh adult, I would source a new, trendy outfit for every 18th or upcoming event, consequently sending me into a weekly financial battle– but the twenty-two dollars I had left for the week didn’t bother me if I had a cool outfit to show off on the weekend.
Brands I would always turn to as trusty options would be brands such as ‘ZARA’, ‘VRG GRL’, ‘Princess Polly’, ‘Beginning Boutique’, ‘H&M’, ‘Glasson’s’ and ‘Cotton On’. To name only a few…
As the weekends rolled around, I had very little idea or care about what impact I was having on our environment. I was too selfishly focused on capturing the perfect Instagram story or Snapchat in desperateness to show off my brand-new kit.
Whilst this habit of mine was a toxic trait of my own, it was also severely toxic for our environment. And it makes me genuinely guilty to look back on how detrimental this habit of mine was, all because this little narcissistic 18-year old was trying to out-do everyone’s outfit on a Saturday night.
About a year had passed,and, still obsessed with sourcing cheap and on trend outfits, I was at my retail job scrolling through VRG GRL’s newest collection. I asked my co-worker which outfit she preferred out of three dresses for an event I had coming up. Whilst I was obnoxiously obsessing over how cheap these fits were, she was standing in silence not giving me much.
This was when she asked me, “Bronte, do you know what fast fashion is and how bad it is that you’re supporting brands like this?”. At first, I thought, what is this girl on about – all I wanted was for her to help me cull out fits, so I could more easily pick my weekend outfit?
We got talking more about it as I was now genuinely intrigued, and also embarrassed at how naive I had been with my shopping habits.
That night, I went home and researched more about what fast fashion is, who the leading Australian fast fashion brands are and the impact it had on our environment. I could not believe it. I felt so dumb to think that all these negative impacts had never crossed my mind when clicking “checkout” every week.
A few weeks had passed, and I hadn’t purchased a new outfit in a while. I remember a few Princess Polly and Beginning Boutique outfits popped up that I fell in love with but decided not to buy, as I felt guilty even following these pages now.
Instead of buying new outfits, I began borrowing and lending out outfits with my friends. Still though, these outfits being worn were sources offast fashion. Instead of an outfit making me feel confident and pretty when I went out like they once did, these outfits started making me feel in one way or another, now ugly.
My habit was ugly.
This was when I realized I had to do more to put an end to this, now unattractive, obsession of mine.
One weekend, I invited my friend over and got her to help me go through my cupboard of clothes and put together a pile of my years collection of these cheap clothes. We put this embarrassingly large collection of clothes into a garbage bag and placed it into the back of my car.
We drove to the closest St Vincent De Paul Society and waved away my fast fashion obsession for good. I shook my friends hand and promised to now only invest in sustainable fashion labels.
Overtime, I began researching into brands before buying and made sure I was only spending money on sustainable items that would not go out of fashion fast. For example, I have grown a love for brands such as ‘Alemais’ for events, ‘Outland Denim’ and ‘Afends’ for everyday essentials and ‘dk Active’ for active wear. I recommend that you too scroll through these brands for when you’re next on the hunt for a fit!
It took some time to gain a collection I had previously, and I did go through states of frustration at the beginning claiming I have “nothing to wear” – my poor mother being on the other end of this petty complaint… However, it is safe to say that I am far prouder and have a lot more personal satisfaction with the wardrobe I have today!
As my quality collection grew, I created a hire page on Instagram called @brontethompsonhire, in which I ran for about a year. I created this page in the hopes of allowing others to turn to my page, instead of fast fashion brands like I once did. The page was successful and was a bonus that I was also financially benefiting from it. The page got too much with work and university commitments, so I eventually had to stop hiring my items out.
I now love shopping even more. I love investing in items or hiring good quality, sustainable items. I feel good when I wear them.
I also pay a lot more attention now to rising second hand brands that pop up on my Instagram, TikTok or Facebook pages and am proud to see others navigating their way around fashion the same way I now do.
For example, I have a friend, Lil Blucher, who runs a Vintage Dress Hire company called Mondo Hire. Her rental company is popular, timeless and sustainable. I had a chat with her a few weeks ago.
“I stock a collection of 80 unique vintage pieces with history ranging from the 1950’s to the early 2000’s”.
“Mondo Hire is a sustainable alternative to not only renting instead of buying, but renting vintage, instead of renting new”.
Lil hopes that others invest in her hire company and act sustainably around fashion.
So, here’s a little motivational pitch from me to you, to let you know that having a new outfit every weekend for an event is in fact, NOT more important than protecting our environment.
If you’re not sure what fast fashion is, read up here and thank me later! I also recommend you watch a documentary called “The True Cost”, for a wake up call about the cost your bad habits like mine could be having on the environment.
Shop wisely and I’ll write soon!
Bronte Thompson x