To kick-off The Plastic Planet series I have invited Ava to discuss a topic we are both passionate about: fast fashion. Through Ava I have learned a lot about this industry and stopped buying fast fashion all together. Please take a look at Ava’s Instagram and YouTube once you have finished reading this post – she constantly updates her socials with information on this subject. Before we get started, what even is fast fashion?
Hi guys – my name is Ava and I feel so honoured to have been asked to write the first post for The Plastic Planet Series! Although this isn’t technically to do with plastic, I’m going to be writing about the fast fashion industry and the implications it has on both the environment and the people actually creating the clothing.
I actually made a super in-depth YouTube video about this so if you do want to learn more then you can feel free to check it out hehe: http://youtube.com/avasantaana
Some Facts + Stats About Fast Fashion
1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions are produced by the global fashion industry each year
The clothing industry is the second largest polluting industry
It is estimated that 60,000,000 people work in the fashion industry worldwide
85% of textiles are sent to landfills which is around 21 billion tonnes per year
The lowest paid garment workers in the world are paid 3$ per day
Fashion is the most labour-dependent industry on earth
On average, the garment workers are working 96 hours a week
Garment workers are the 2nd highest at-risk product category for modern slavery
I feel like these figures really speak for themselves, but it is so clear that something needs to change now!
Fast Fashion Brands To Avoid
When I first began my slow fashion journey, I was really unsure of what brands I should and shouldn’t be buying from. I have chosen some of the worst for this list, but there are so so many more and I would really recommend the website/app ‘Good On You’ which has a directory ranking basically every brand on their sustainability policies.
I gave up buying fast fashion around this time last year. After watching some videos and documentaries about the reality of this industry, I knew it was something that I no longer wanted to be investing my money in. Although it was definitely hard at first, I have discovered some sustainable brands that I love and I am proud to say that I have become a lot more conscious of my purchases.
My Favourite Sustainable + Ethical Brands
Depop – my absolute fave place to shop! Buying secondhand is so underrated because you can get some really cool stuff for cheap prices because it has already been worn. I love buying vintage clothes from Depop and the overall shopping experience on the app is really nice and easy, could not recommend it enough.
Charity Stores – charity stores can be really hit or miss, but you can find some amazing stuff in them for absolute bargains!
Organic Basics – this was the first sustainable brand I bought clothes from. I won’t lie, it is expensive but you are definitely paying for quality. Their factories ensure that their workplace is free of child labor and forced labor, their workers are surrounded in a safe working space, paid a living wage, offered employee perks like free lunch and childcare and are treated with respect at all times.
The Hundred Club – this is a UK based small business that only creates 100 of each item of clothing to combat waste. I love their designs and I think they are very on-trend whilst also being high quality
Lucy and Yak – they have the absolute cutest clothes and are also very very high quality at a relatively affordable price (and everything is made of organic cotton too) Their tailors are paid 4 times the state minimum wage, their factories are powered by solar panels on the roof and I love how transparent they are about the whole process of creating the clothing
TALA – this is a sustainable activewear brand, which is amazing because it is so hard to buy fitness clothing sustainably. It is run by Grace Beverley (who I completely want to be) and I think it’s amazing that she has created a brand that focuses on empowering people of everybody type, whilst also being good for the environment. Their items are created from sustainable materials and whilst they are slightly on the pricier side, I think it is definitely worth it.
Thank you so so much to everyone who has taken some time to read this! I really hope it made you reflect on your own purchases and awakened you to some of the realities of the fashion industry.
Would you like to know more about fast fashion?
Stay tuned for next week’s post written by the lovely Millie Button. It’s going to be another fast fashion related post. I will conclude this mini-series with my own thoughts on the fashion industry – then we shall return to plastic-based posts. However this subject is still going to be pending on my mind!
If you have something to say about fast fashion, drop me an email to be featured.
You never see my passion for climate change on my blog. However, I don’t want to keep those two parts of my life separate any longer. It seems wasteful to not use my platform to promote positive change in the environment. That is why, today, I am announcing The Plastic Plan(et).
Concentrating mainly on plastic waste, this project is going to be a weekly series where I chat about all things environmental and encourage you to take action. There will be tips, advice and all-sorts in an easy-to-read format so you can commit to change right away! Despite the name suggesting plastic, I will also be inviting fashion bloggers to come and write about sustainability within modelling, fast-fashion and the many silent battles the media doesn’t portray. Hopefully this will fuel you to create similar posts, and get The Plastic Plan(et) trending.
Please, if you are to write a post about climate change, pingback to my recent post so I can see it! This isn’t just a month-long series, this is continuing well into the future.
The climate change posts have their allotted spot on a Friday. If you have anything to share, any guest posts you would like to write about this topic, email me! I really want this to be a community effort rather than solely my personal stance on the issue. Having different perspectives is how we connect with one another! So get writing.
Christmas is the most wasteful season in the year but making a small change will make a huge difference. Listed in this post are some good habits that you can try to implement. They will help to reduce your waste in this time of climate crisis but they also won’t be noticeable in your day-to-day life!
Use brown paper to wrap your presents
The commercial wrapping paper is made from non-recyclable materials such as plastic among other things. It is really hard to recycle and often goes straight to landfill. To avoid this you can use brown paper! I much prefer the aesthetic of brown paper anyways because it adds a rustic effect and it can be personalised! You can draw and decorate it if you have time (which congratulations if you do)
Carefully unwrap presents so that you can reuse the wrapping paper
If the brown paper doesn’t work for you (I know that as a child I wouldn’t be best pleased with plain brown!) then you can always reuse paper from previous years. Our family has a small stash of wrapping paper that has already been used once.
Don’t send cards with glitter on them
I didn’t realise how many cards have glitter on them! If you put into action any of these tips then please make it this one. Glitter is non-biodegradable which means that the whole card won’t be able to be recycled. At the rate trees are being cut down it’s essential that we decrease the demand for paper buy recycling what we already have!
Don’t send cards to people you barely know
Linking to the previous advice – don’t send cards to people you barely know! If I was to receive a card from my great-uncle’s girlfriend’s son I wouldn’t really care about it. Only send cards to people you know and if they are close family then make it! It’s so special to receive a card that you know someone had spent time making. No big, fancy card can beat it!
Shop locally/at independent stores
Knowing where your presents come from adds a reassurance that you don’t get when you buy at retail parks. Supporting your local economy is a really important investment and will return is different forms such better public services and more books in the library!
It’s really important to reduce waste at Christmas but the season is already stressful enough. I hope that these tips are easily achievable and don’t add any weight on your shoulders! Sometimes I can sit down and feel peaceful though throughout most of the week it’s a rush of school, theatre, blogging, social events, cooking, cleaning and the anticipation of the weekend. There is clarity but there isn’t much relaxation!
How are you going to spend Christmas? Do you find that the effort you go to pre-Christmas is ever rewarded?
The environment is in fast decline and the media is constantly telling us ‘do something about it’ ‘little changes make big differences’ etc. Let’s throw ourselves in the deep end as share with you 10 things that I am doing for the benefit of the environment. You can do them too, but I do not recommend changing your unhealthy habits over night. Integrate one at a time to feel less overwhelmed!
In The Bathroom
Swap to an electronic or bamboo toothbrush. Dentists advice us to change our toothbrush every 2 months which is totally unsustainable. Most toothbrushes last up to 4 months before the bristles become harmful! I have a bamboo toothbrush. I am not aware how much these cost (I received it as a gift) but I imagine they are more expensive that the regular plastic one. An electronic toothbrush is also an intelligent swap because instead of changing the whole body of the toothbrush when you need to, you are only changing the head.
Use soap in bars. Not only do bars not have plastic in them (some do, so try and find a plastic-free one) they cost less and also waste less! The amount of chemicals in bottled soap is not good to keep washing down the drain. Simple (the skincare brand) offers their facial washes in bar form. I find this useful because my skin is so sensitive and using a regular hand wash would not look pretty!
Keep to the basics. One soap for hands and body, one for your face (if you require an alternative for sensitive skin), one bottle of shampoo (or bar, but I couldn’t make the change because LUSH were the only brand I could find and their shampoo bars made my hair super greasy). Unless you have been gifted products, you really only need one of everything!
In The Kitchen
This is place where most of your plastic waste and general waste comes from. It would be excellent if loose fruit and veg cost the same as packaged but sadly it doesn’t. Without spending too much money, here’s how to help the environment in your kitchen!
Buy fruit and vegetables when they’re in season. Think about the amount of wasted crops there are when producing strawberries in winter. So many plants will die and this all goes to waste!
Buy locally or grow your own. Fo those of you that do not have the privilege of a garden, try going to the market to buy your vegetables and bread. It means that there are less carbon emissions in transporting goods from one place to another. Work with what you have locally! Grow your own herbs and vegetables if you can. I am very lucky to have a garden, and we grow potatoes and green beans which is a meal in itself! My wonderful Granny has hens which is where our eggs come from.
Cook your own meals. It is cheaper and producing less waste. McDonalds wastes so much lettuce and burger mince in the effort to create a perfect meal. If you did it yourself, you would be using all of what you have! I recommend meal-planning if you are busy in the week, or cooking a shepherd’s pie that would last a few meals. You don’t have to completely abolish eating out, but limit it to once a week or something like that.
See what products you do not have to buy in plastic. Our nation’s snacking habits are the cause for a lot of plastic waste. Chocolate bars are always individually wrapped. Crisps come in plastic bags. We do not need the above items, but we think we do. It’s a massive lifestyle change to cut these out so you don’t have to. Try your best to have less on them. I rarely have crisps now, and I often buy them in a large bag instead of the individually wrapped portion sizes! It was a small habit I integrated and it is good for the bank balance, health and environment.
No disposable lunches! Tupperware or bags are perfect for sandwiches. If you have to bring lunch to work, school or college then do so in a box. I currently use tupperware (my lunchbox has lasted two years and it is still fine) though you could have a lunch bag and wrap your food in greaseproof paper –but please use it again!
Metal or hard plastic water bottle. Stop buying the convenient, single-use bottles! A metal water bottle will last a lifetime if you take care of it. Be a VSCO girl or whatever and keep your water bottle with you. I know that lots of shops now offer a refill point so use it! I have never bought myself a bottle of water and I encourage my family not to as well. Don’t find the prices of metal ones overwhelming either! The Chilli brand charge £40.00 per bottle. This is unnecessary payment and mine was only £16:99 (it still is a lot but you won’t find much cheaper). Hard plastic bottles are just short of £5:00 but I find these leak easily.
Less meat. This is the hardest for most people but animal farming constitutes to 14.5% of our overall carbon emissions. I went pescatarian just over a year ago and now I am completely vegetarian! I know that some people don’t want to give up meat altogether, but try to have a few meals a week that do not to contain meat. For example: you could have a ham sandwich at lunchtime, but pasta and fried veg in the evening. It’s makes such a big difference.
In The Wardrobe
Stop online shopping being a regular event and try to buy from suppliers in your own country. Shipping costs so much fuel that we are running out of so we really need to cut down on the rate we buy clothes in particular. You may have heard of fast fashion (I recommend you research it if you don’t know) and it is so common that it makes me sick. I’m not going to talk about what I own, but I do have lots of second hand items and the things I buy straight from the store are swimming costumes, plain t-shirts and leggings. Everything else (thanks to a best friend that is four years older than me) is second-hand. You do not need a different outfit each day.
Buy in-store. If you are to buy anything new, go in-store shopping because your clothes don’t have to come packaged the annoying and non-recyclable plastic bags. In-store shopping can be time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be if you go in with a list of specific items!
Sell or donate what you no longer wear. It’s as simple as it sounds! I prefer to donate but selling is a good way to make a little bit of money.
Bring in a new item? Get rid of an old one. This would hopefully mean that you are sticking to the same amount of clothes and your wardrobe is not massively expanding.
If you have read to the end of this post then I hope you take into account some of my advice! It is crucial that we make a change to our throw-away culture and also make more sustainable choices. Convenience is the only barrier. When we tackle that one, we have done it!
Have you ever tried vegetarianism? What changes are you making for the benefit of the environment and our future?
Thank you all so much for reading and have a great day!