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In a recent article on treehugger.com, the author argued that “Fast fashion will never be sustainable, no matter what companies say”.

It’s impossible to produce ethical, eco-friendly clothing at the quantity and rate that fast fashion demands while maintaining genuinely high and environmentally sustainable standards.

This is obviously contradicting the sustainable and eco-friendly lines created by H&M, Puma, Adidas, Zara and others, with the article stating that these efforts are essentially greenwashing. The very premise of fast fashion focuses on large volumes at really low prices, which means that there are many challenges large brands face before they can make a real sustainable impact. The author argues for consumers to make the following changes, in order to support a more ethical fashion industry:

– Support smaller companies, since they are likely to have an easier time tracking the source of their product that companies with high volume.

– Shop at private businesses or buy from a seamstress or tailor.

– Seek out pieces that are made locally or domestically.

– If possible, buy high quality items; they’re more likely to last, and you’re more likely to take care of them.

– Buy clothing and footwear that is repairable.

– Buy second-hand from a thrift store, as those items have proven their durability.

– Make do with less clothing. Resist the urge for novelty and keep the same clothes as long as possible.

– Do a clothing swap with friends instead of shopping.

It is increasingly important and difficult for consumers to identify which companies are trying to minimize their footprint and improve their supply chains, and which are “hopping on the eco-friendly bandwagon only to look better”. If we can successfully do so, we can revolutionize the way we consume.