What is the real cost of cheap clothing?

f word to live by fashion fast fashion fwordstoliveby Jun 17, 2022

If you or your children purchase cheap clothing online or in stores, you need to be aware of fast fashion and what it does to us.

Fast fashion is very much like fast food. Convenient and cheap. And the negative effects fast food has on our health is what fast fashion is doing to our health and planet.

Fast fashion is inexpensive, low-quality clothing and accessories, produced rapidly. It is made to be discarded. They fall apart after a few uses. This has changed consumer shopping habits and is negatively impacting people and the environment. Right now, there are mountains of unsold “fast-fashion” retailers piling up clothing in the Chilean Desert.

How do you know if you are purchasing fast fashion? Disposable clothing giants produce fast fashion deals. The first clue is how cheap the garment is. If you are ordering it online, chances are it will smell bad, have holes in the fabric or the construction will be poor. What you can’t see are the chemicals in the fabric. These chemicals such as led or toxic “forever chemicals” have been proven to:

  • Increase obesity
  • Impair immune function
  • Causes different types of cancer
  • Causes diabetes
  • Alter hormone levels

We need to be shocked! We are covering sometimes 85% of our bodies with these chemicals. And what about toddlers playing with and chewing on plastic purses! Think about the kids cheap Halloween costumes. Toxic and dangerous to their health!

Why are companies adding these toxins and disruptors to our clothing? Price. Chemicals are cheap. And think about the poor factory workers who are making these clothes. Let’s be real – the majority are women and they are underpaid. 

So, what do we need to do? First, slow down and think about where clothing is coming from. I sell cabi clothing and yes, it is made in other countries. But cabi has also talked to us about the clothing factories and how they are monitored. Cabi clothing is timeless and lasts forever. As I write this, I am wearing a pair of cabi jean shorts that I have had in my wardrobe for at least five years. That is sustainable fashion.  Cabi is far from fast fashion.

Here are my 7 tips for building a sustainable wardrobe:

  1. Shop with a stylist. I have been a certified image professional for 16 years. I wish I knew the amount of money I have helped women save by making smart purchases of quality clothing.
  2. Purchase the best quality you can afford. Look for good quality and timeless designs. It might be more expensive up front but it saves you money over time. Better quality allows you to hang on to your clothing longer which also saves our oceans, planet and health.
  3. There comes a time when we no longer want an article of clothing. Either our style has changed or we changed our hair color and it no longer works for us. Donate your clothing to a non-profit such as Dress for Success. You have loved it long enough, now let someone else love on it.
  4. If clothing becomes too big because you’ve lost weight - Congratulations!!!! What a great problem to have! It is easy to have the items you love altered unless it is more than two dress sizes. More than two dress sizes would be like making a new garment and would be costly. Donate it to a non-profit and purchase something new. You deserve to reward yourself.
  5. Think before you buy. Know what you really need. Take an inventory of your closet and stick with your list of needs. 
  6. Buy less and purchase essentials that mix and match. Think of the 80/20 rule. 80% of your clothing should be basics and 20% trends. 
  7. Wear clothing that doesn’t need to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is hard on clothing and hard on the environment.

Sustainable fashion isn’t shapeless or unflattering hippie clothes. Green living style and fashion is right in front of you. You need to look for it. Designers are utilizing innovative designs and natural fibers. It’s very exciting and right at our fingertips. 

I’m always happy to help you with a personal shopping appointment. Happy Shopping!