Why conscious consumerism is the answer to fast fashion’s high cost

fast fashion Shein

Are you a shopaholic plus a fast fashion lover?

Jialat. But it’s not hard to understand why.

Fast fashion is convenient and cheap, but what you don’t see is the environmental damage and all the hidden costs it brings.

For example, it uses up resources faster, causes pollution, and lower quality clothes will make you replace them more often. That’s more money spent, mind you.

But don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to save money without having to sacrifice much on fashion. And that’s via… conscious consumerism—buying with intention and buying for longevity.

Got questions? I’ve got answers in this article.

The real cost of fast fashion

Most of us love short-term gains, and that’s why we love fast fashion.

But do you know that by indulging in fast fashion, you’re adding fire to the fuel? 

Why do I say that?

Simply because the fashion industry contributes to a ton of environmental pollution—10% of total emissions are from fashion production and 85% of textiles go either to the landfill or get burned!

Also, it takes a lot of resources to produce clothes, not to mention the greenhouse gases it creates.

So the next time you shop, take some time to think about how much resources and energy are wasted to feed fast fashion lovers like yourself.

Its impact on the environment

And if you’re still not convinced how horrifying fast fashion is, let me explain further.

It’s responsible for more carbon emissions than air and sea transport combined! And let’s not forget the dyeing process—it is the 2nd largest polluter in terms of water. And even the cotton it uses requires insecticides which are harmful to farmers.

So if you’re a conscious fashionista, why don’t you invest in more quality pieces? Maybe buy less, but buy better?

Working conditions in fast fashion factories
fast fashion factory

Image Credits: wired.com

More often than not, we don’t think much about the “behind the scenes,” do we?

But imagine you’re the one working in a factory with little to no ventilation at all, sitting there and breathing in all the toxic stuff and fiber dust.

Wages are low and hours are long, with insane work targets to meet since it’s “fast” fashion.

So don’t be sucked in just by the low prices, think about who is paying the price.

How to do your part in conscious consumerism

If you’re new to the term “conscious consumerism,” the first thing you can do is research the company’s ethics and sustainability policies before you make a purchase.

You can also opt to buy second-hand or upcycled goods to reduce textile waste and support small businesses. In fact, many of the best fashion buys are from second-hand stores!

Opt for quality over quantity

Fast fashion can be satisfying since trends come and go but it comes with its hidden costs. For instance, lower quality.

Because of their poor quality, the clothes may tear or wear out fast. So even if it’s cheaper than the more atas stuff, you will need to shop every few months to replace your fashion stash.

So why not invest in high-quality pieces that can last for years? Not only will you be saving money in the long run, but you will also be saving precious time from not having to shop that often.

Support ethical and sustainable fashion brands

Even though such brands may be more costly than those fast fashion ones, they use sustainable fabric and follow ethical production processes.

This means it’s not just good for the environment and people working in it, but also saves your money in the long run.

These local slow fashion brands promote conscious consumerism to encourage people to make smarter spending decisions.

With this, you can invest in quality pieces that last longer and sustainably reduce your overall expenditure. Quite worth it, right?

Here are some local-based brands you can check out:

Sui is a conscious clothing brand with operations in Singapore and India. Its mission is to raise awareness of ethical clothing that is adaptable, has no adverse impact, is relevant, and treats its manufacturers like family.


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Outfyt is a brand that helps ladies work out with the utmost confidence possible. Their ethical and sustainable philosophy is inspired by the Scandinavian culture’s deep regard for the environment and all of its inhabitants. The team has a strong appreciation for the outdoors and nature as a whole, which is why they are so committed to sustainability.

This brand makes sure each item endures the test of time and actively seeks out opportunities to employ sustainable materials without sacrificing both aesthetics and functionality. This entails utilizing environmentally friendly materials, using less virgin plastics, working with trustworthy suppliers, and more.

Source Collections wants to alter the way things are done to something that is less polluting, more effective, and more considerate of life. One step and one decision at a time, they seek to reduce the negative effects that their products have on the environment and society.

A group of advocates of secondhand fashion runs The Reoutfitter Shop. Beginning in 2021, the store offers gently used designer, premium, cult, and vintage-label clothing and accessories. In addition to looking amazing, having fun, and most importantly, doing good for the earth, they want their customers to buy better brands and less fast fashion.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to save real money while shopping, it’s time to start considering the hidden costs of fast fashion. By advocating conscious consumerism and investing in sustainably-made clothing, you can save a load of money, be more environmentally friendly, and have fun doing it. Shop smarter and shop better—it’s time to get conscious.