I don’t know one person who doesn’t own at least 3-4 pairs of jeans. Not to mention cotton tops, dresses, jackets and shoes.
It’s the most popular fabric in the world, but not many people know, that to produce only 1kg of cotton, between 10 000 to 22 500 liters of water is needed (depending on source of information). So beloved cotton has a big impact on Environment, and it’s not a good one, unfortunately. Cotton cultivation causes many problems as pollution, usage of pesticides, and most shocking and devastating – Aral Sea, 4th the largest lake in the world, shrinking ‘thanks to’ cotton cultivation in that area. Thankfully big steps were made and restoration project came to life – big part of North Aral Sea is coming back to life, but we wouldn’t have that problem, if prevented.
I am a big fan of natural sources, and even now, when I have more knowledge about cotton, it’s still one of my favorite, easiest accessible and comfortable fabrics to wear. Without a doubt, cotton overtook fashion, but it doesn’t mean you, as a costumer, can’t make a difference! There IS plenty you can do!
As a costumer, you have a right to know everything about the product you wish to purchase. If more people ask, for example, if that pair of jeans is made of organic cotton, it will create a clear signal to producers. Ask, research the company and the product, read the labels or chatt/write an e-mail to costumer service. Demand creates supply!
Owning 1 good quality product, that serves you ages is ALWAYS better that 5 products of the same use, but in poor condition, thrown away after 20 uses. I own many pairs of jeans, but all of them are different (cause do you really need another pair of light blue mum jeans, but this time ripped 2cm higher on the left tight?), and I bought them with intention of owning them for longer than one season. And yes, most of them are fast fashion, I still own and wear the same pair of mum jeans from Topshop bought in 2014, and I’m not willing to stop!
If you really-really just can’t look at this denim jacket anymore, or it can’t fit you anymore, as all of us change with time (not only inside), you could always make a little effort and download apps like Depop or Vinted, take a picture of it, and post it! There is a big chance someone likes it and wants to buy it. You may also find something you like and even exchange! Your wallet is happy, you have more space in your wardrobe (possibly for something you really wanted for a looong time) and you have another ‘little’ green input!
VISIT SECOND HANDS!
I used to be ashamed as a kid to visit second hands, as probably most of us, but now, thankfully, for the sake of Mother Earth, it’s getting really popular and appreciated by more and more conscious society (unlike when I was a child), and has been appreciated by your wallet, as you could always, then as much as now, find some amazing pieces in budget friendly price! If it’s out of your comfort zone or you don’t have much of experience, you could always ask your friends to come with you, as it may turn out as a fun afternoon! You may laugh about me mentioning experience in regards to second-hand shops, but believe me – you will need to come with the strategy, as the amount of clothes may overwhelm. The best working for me is focusing on labels, then checking the style and condition, not bothering with mens and women section (I don’t do that even during shopping in stores that are not second hand) and having the thought at the back of your head that this day you may not find anything special for yourself and it shouldn’t make you less eager to explore the next times.
The classics are always a good reason to spend a little extra money on a better quality, but you need to remember that some trends, which last for a while and disappear, can, and usually do come back! Just look at the flared/wide leg jeans or denim jackets! They’re back stronger than ever, but 100% more original and authentic, when digged out from the bottom of your mothers wardrobe or second-hand! Investing in unique, pieces that you will wear with love for years is much better than mass execution of X-th pair of jeans you don’t really need at the till of fast fashion store (you pick which one). When loved and cared for and kept properly, could serve well you or your children and grandchildren in times of another rise of popularity of that piece!