Jan 3rd

Will 2023 be the Year we Ditch Fast Fashion?

by Florenne Earle Ledger

2022 was, shall we say, a whirlwind for the fashion world- lowlights include Shein becoming the most popular clothing brand and fast fashion giants scrambling to open ‘sustainable’ marketplaces in a bid to look concerned about the climate. But it wasn’t all bad. Amongst the chaos was some serious action that led to real change.

We’re here to summarise the major developments in the sustainable fashion scene and channel our inner fortune teller to look into the future of what’s to come this year.

So, will 2023 be the year we ditch fast fashion?

How far Have we Come?

Remember when Depop was only used for branded clothes or unique vintage items? People would only bother selling things that were in pristine condition and usually branded. Now, you can find a whole host of items on Depop and Vinted, anything goes. With TikTok popularising anything and everything, resale apps have become a free for all (especially with the introduction of the ‘make an offer’ feature). Honestly, we are here for it.

H&M was sued twice after clothing sustainability regulations were hardened. The European Commission is planning to introduce new standards for the quality of clothes, covering longevity, repairs and how easily items can be recycled. Also, The Shein documentary educated millions of us on the reality of the production process (spoiler alert: it was even worse than we thought). Slowly, we’re beginning to say no to fast fashion and ask for better, even if we still have a long way to go until slow fashion is fully mainstream, we’re getting there.

Sophie Benson wrote an insightful roundup of how sustainable fashion fared in 2022. Thanks to her, we learned that Senate Bill 62, better known as the Garment Worker Protection Act, was introduced on the 1st of January 2022. This enables workers to get paid hourly rather than by the number of garments they make, which usually means they have to work overtime to meet targets and earn next to nothing.

All over the world garment workers were striking, everywhere from Cambodia, Eswatini, Myanmar, Bangladesh, to Haiti. The Levis #PayUp campaign also took centre stage in the sustainable fashion sphere.

And of course, the owner of Patagonia also (seemingly) gave all his profits to charity. There was talk of this being performative tax avoidance, but we can’t pretend we’re not happy to see CEOs taking steps like this. Whatever the reason, it will encourage others to consider how they could sacrifice profit for the planet and get good publicity as an added bonus.

So, a lot happened. What does that mean for this year? Will 2023 be the year we ditch fast fashion?

2023 Predictions

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We're not claiming to be trend forecasters, but our tarot cards are reading death (of fast fashion). We’re predicting more action, more strikes and more upheaval to enforce change. The slow fashion movement is gathering momentum and we are excited to see what course of action it will take in this year.

Growth of Second Hand Market

Hopefully, the second-hand fashion market will continue to grow as other countries join the UK in dropping the stigma against charity shop clothing. There is an increasing number of people in Spain shopping from charity shops due to the cost of living crisis. We don’t love increasing prices, but there is a minor positive that people are discovering the beauty of slow fashion, but we wish this didn’t come at the expense of people’s quality of life.

Rental Boom

@xjessichapmanx We are the IRL #rentaswag ! #rentalclothes #rentalclothes #secondhandfashion #secondhandstore #secondhandshop #DoritosTriangleTryout #fyp #oklahoma #oklahomatok #shopoklahoma #smallbusinessowner #smallbusinesstiktok #thriftstorefashion #thriftstorefinds ♬ love galore x see u again - Tasha

We hope rental continues to take off and people realise the importance of adjusting their shopping habits. But rental isn’t staying the same, she’s got new plans for 2023. Rental services where you pay a monthly fee and can rent as much as you want from the store are opening! This is the future of rental and sustainable fashion as we know it. We can’t say to see more of these rental schemes pop up throughout 2023.

Everything is Trending

More complex and diverse styles will continue to dominate as TikTok popularises anything and everything. Finding a personal and unique style is where it’s at for 2023. Knowing what you like and what pieces suit you is the key to shopping sustainably for long-term wardrobe investments you’ll love forever.

With everything being in style, it’s important not to get swept away and buy new items just to take part in micro trends that aren’t really your style. That’s why knowing your own style and dressing to please yourself is the only way to truly ditch fast fashion this year.

Finding Your Personal Style

Here’s some of our fav tips when it comes to finding your personal style…

  1. Celebrity culture is dying and micro influences are more popular than ever. There’s no better time to not dress like your Instagram feed or FYP. Walk into a shop and think about what you actually like and what pieces you are drawn to. Forget what you’ve seen online and enjoy discovering your own taste. Grab what takes your fancy and head into the dressing room to see for yourself.
  2. If you’re on a fashion journey discovering a new persona, try renting different items rather than buying. Transitional periods in fashion are normal, but, if you can, it’s best to avoid buying clothes unless you know you really like them or they will end up either in landfill or sitting in the back of your closet collecting dust. Rental lets you experiment and find joy in different styles without costing the earth!
  3. We’re ditching fast fashion and the male gaze. It’s hard to unlearn, but don’t feel the need to dress to impress men, dress to impress yourself. Media is constantly selling us styles suited to the male gaze, so much so we now have to put in effort to consider what makes us feel good, not what men want to see us wear.
  4. Ignore trends. We’re calling it, trends are officially out of fashion. TikTok had so many minor trends that major trends became more like umbrella trends made up of smaller different styles. Finding your personal style lets you pick and choose what parts of trends you want to participate in and add them to your wardrobe, rather than getting on board with the whole shebang.

So, all in all, yes 2023 is the year we’re ditching fast fashion! Join us and download the Whering app to help kickstart your slow fashion journey!

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