Skip to content

Fast fashion – and the mindsets of consumers

  • by JW

Urging shoppers to develop a more sustainable and respectful relationship with what they wear, rather than dismissing it as “cheap tat”.


Sidmouth has several clothes shops – and they offer some good quality items which could turn out to be a bit of an investment, rather than tried on today and thrown away tomorrow.

So said Serina Sandhuthe writing in the i-newspaper two years ago:

Whenever I received pocket money as a teenager, I would challenge myself to see how many new things I could buy with £40. I had the nose of a bloodhound for sales and savings, coming home with bags full of gems. In retrospect, they were bags full of crap but it didn’t matter, because it was all new crap. 

In the last year I have shortened a dress which never suited me at its original length and hung in my wardrobe for a shamefully long time, unworn. I had it done professionally, which of course cost more than threading a needle myself, but the dress hasn’t gone to waste. It’s just like having something new.

Why I’m turning my back on fast fashion

The same writer reports again in this weekend’s i-newspaper:

“During the lockdown periods, people couldn’t actually get rid of anything,” says Dr Tracy Cassidy, a reader in fashion and textiles at the University of Huddersfield.“The charity shops were closed, the local tips were closed. I think it was a bit of a wake-up call in how much we’re actually throwing away. People have been aware of sustainability for a long time but not blaming themselves for being part of that [throwaway culture]… so I think that’s starting to change.”

Dr Cassidy believes we are now “waking up”. “Everybody has been re-evaluating their lives throughout these past 12 months.”

A grassroots movement is also encouraging shoppers to treat their purchases with respect by repairing and updating the items, rather than replacing them. As reported in i, craftivist Suzi Warren organised 14 UK-wide street stitching events this week, with 26 people turning up at Bromley High Street in London to demonstrate how to fix old fashion.

Fast fashion is a trend that could be on its way out as shoppers seek sustainability after Covid pandemic

This is all about appreciating our clothes:

Slow fashion… second-hand fashion… – Vision Group for Sidmouth

But we have to be on the lookout when the clothing industry see a bandwagon to jump onto:

How to greenwash fashion – and how to spot it – Vision Group for Sidmouth

As Suzi Warren points out:

Fast fashion has become a dirty term in an era when consumerism is facing up to its environmental impact. But the problem is not just the price tags, mass production and disposable nature of the clothing – but the mindsets of consumers, according to campaigner Suzi Warren. Ms Warren is urging shoppers to develop a more sustainable and respectful relationship with what they wear, rather than dismissing it as “cheap tat”.

Craftivists host Street Stitching event for more sustainable relationship between shoppers and fast fashion

Craftivists host Street Stitching event for more sustainable relationship with fast fashion – Opera News

photo: © Provided by The i Suzi Warren is hosting the Street Stitching event on 15 June (Photo: Suzi Warren)

But she is not against us shopping for clothes or anything else – far from it – as long as we do it in the high streets which so very much need us:

I’ve been laying wreaths for shops that closed because of coronavirus | Metro News