Conscious consumerism: how to convince your friends to avoid fast fashion

Baby steps…

Abiya Manzoor

Abiya Manzoor

Fashion and Features Editor


‘I have to meet a friend tomorrow, let’s go shopping for a new outfit’

Being a sustainable buyer, how do you respond to such a statement? Do you lecture them about the Earth paying for their purchase or do you just go for a ‘ Sure, I’ll go’?
It really isn’t your friends fault, we’ve all grown up in a world of seasonal sales and Black Fridays plus the addiction to social media platforms doesn’t help either.

Another response that haunts critics of fast fashion is ‘ what happens to garment makers if we give up on fast fashion’. Let’s try to respond to that.

Most of the garment factory hierarchies display a patriarchal system. The workers are mostly female while the bosses are mainly male. The females are not even aware of the extent of their exploitation, most of them being underpaid and working in the most unreasonable work environments. Skipping fast fashion allows for us to provide for them an opportunity to break free from this viscous cycle and actually provide them with thriving work opportunities.

You need to remember that a single lecture or sending YouTube links is not going to help them change their buying methods, changing minds isn’t as fast as fast fashion. You need to bring up facts and highlight the plight of people suffering because of a top they bought because it would help them pull a cute ‘lewk’.

Another method to convince them is to tell them how they don’t NEED to do anything but actually what you DON’T do is going to contribute the most. You just don’t have to buy clothes on sale, you don’t have to buy a new outfit for every event or hangout. Furthermore, sticking to the basics is also a good idea. Buying quality products and building a personal brand will help you shop less and invest in products you actually need.

Actually the best way to become a sustainable buyer is to use stuff that’s already in your closet.

If all else fails, remember ‘let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’.