Rags to Riches: Ditch Fast Fashion and Earn Cash From Your Clothes
Today, we want fast likes, fast friends, and fast coffee. Turns out, we want our clothes fast, too. Meet fast fashion: imitation couture garments available instantly and at a fraction of the price. The problem is, fast fashion comes at a high cost. Most women today are trading quality for quantity and someone, in a factory somewhere, is being paid an unfair wage for your runway rip-off. The majority of factory workers are underage and underpaid; most making a mere $3 a day. Not exactly what we’d call fair wages. I’d say it’s time for a fashion revolution.
“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere is paying.” — Lucy Siegle
Low-quality apparel means clothing deteriorates more quickly. While your closet may be sardined with skirts, crammed with capris, and mashed with maxis, you’re likely wearing only 20 percent of those threads, according to Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer of California Closets.
Not only is this waste taking a toll on Earth’s resources, 85 percent of the clothing people dispose of ends up in landfills, totaling 14.3 million tons of textile waste. Add nearly 2.8 billion tons per year of additional carbon dioxide generated by 2030, and it appears that the fashion industry has a serious wardrobe malfunction that would make Janet Jackson blush. Add this to the fact that cotton-producing countries are facing water shortages that are only becoming more severe.
Rent. Wear. Return.
If purchasing clothing isn’t your thing, you can always rent and return it. With brands like Rent the Runway’s Unlimited program, you can pay $159 a month for unlimited designer clothing rentals, which includes dry-cleaning and insurance. Le Tote offers a similar service starting at just $59 a month with a stylist to help create your look. You can wear high-end designer duds with the option of buying anything you like.
Buying quality clothes over fast fashion maximizes resources and reduces waste. Remember, you vote for the kind of world you want each time you make a purchase. Heed the words of Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”