How Can We Avoid Fast Fashion? Tips for Shopping Sustainably

Thursday, 12 September 2019

organic basics packaging

It’s been a busy couple of months, and I have somehow neglected posting on this blog for quite some time! I’ve been through quite a few different personal changes since I last posted. Handing in my notice at my current digital marketing job and booking flights to go travelling with my boyfriend around South East Asia being two of the most exciting changes! We fly off at the end of October and are busy preparing for the moment that we touch down in Thailand. We’ve not booked a return flight home yet, so the future is open, and I feel incredible happy with where it’s headed!

Although I’m sure going forward that I’ll have plenty of South East Asia content to post on this blog, that’s not what I wanted to focus on in this blog post. Instead, I want to talk about a sustainable brand which I’ve been really loving lately. It’s one which you may recognise from their effortlessly cool simplistic branding, or which you might have seen doing the rounds on your Instagram feed. Today I want to talk about the sustainable underwear and basics brand, Organic Basics.

organic basics underwear on bed

girl wearing organic basics sustainable underwear

Who Are Organic Basics?


Organic Basics are, in my eyes, a model clothing retailer. Selling good quality, ethically made underwear, sportswear and other miscellaneous items such as bamboo toothbrushes, all Organic Basics’ products are simple yet designed to last. For an underwear company, their items are on the slight pricey side and may not be for everyone. Their ethos is that their clothing is 'basically better made', meaning you pay for the sustainable production process and for the knowledge that the items will last longer than cheaper alternatives.

The real selling point of Organic Basics for me is that they’re one of many forward thinking companies of late who are offsetting their carbon emissions with every purchase. By funding a windfarm in Turkey, Organic Basics offset 100 kilos of CO2 for every order placed, helping to restore the balance of any emissions put out in the production process. Imagine the outcome if every fast fashion giant out there began doing the same?!

Organic Basics first caught my attention a few months ago when they sent me an email calling out the fashion industry as, in their words, ‘a dirty bastard’. Being no stranger to the usual ‘babes, we’d love to work with you!’ tone of PR emails, this one was a welcome change, and a sentiment which recently I’ve been starting to agree with. This claim is essentially Organic Basics’ entire ethos. Fast fashion is destroying our planet. Huge companies are polluting our world by mass producing clothes which are made from cheap materials and will only be on trend for a few months before new trends come in. This is where Organic Basics want to see a change in the industry. And it’s a change which I’m here for.

Because the team at Organic Basics aren’t wrong, and the more that you read into this seemingly harmless industry, the scarier it seems. I’ve worked for fashion retailers (probably one of the biggest culprits, in fact: ASOS). I’ve bought into trends on Instagram and purchased clothes which I’ve quickly got bored of once the fad passed. I’ve worn coats for one winter before feeling like I needed a new one the following year. Fast fashion is lucrative and it’s easy to fall into its trap, but it’s also easy to make small changes and decrease how much you’re buying into the fad.

organic basics sustainable packaging

girl wearing sustainable underwear

What can be done about fast fashion?


Fast fashion is the second biggest polluter in the world, second only to oil – how scary is that?! It’s an industry which is responsible for high carbon emissions, wastewater production and huge amounts of waste ending up in landfill. Not to mention, buying into fast fashion also has high social costs, with many workers being forced to work very long hours for extremely low pay, notably much less than the final cost of the garment. 1 billion items are produced per year by the fast fashion industry – and how many of those items are ending up in landfill just a few months later?

It’s scary having to think about everything. In recent years, there’s a callout culture around absolutely anything. What you’re eating, where you’re shopping, what you’re wearing, what you’re putting on your face, what you’re cleaning with. It can feel impossible to do it all. And it IS impossible to do it all. Our society has been shaped in a way that everything is meant to be easy. And the easiest options are often the ones which cut corners and have impacts on the planet and our environment. But there are ways to make a difference without having to make too many changes to your routine.

Shopping in charity shops every now and then, browsing Depop instead of ASOS occasionally, buying vintage from kilo sales rather than vintage ‘style’ from the high street. Buying clothes which you like rather than the latest trend you see on Instagram. Not buying clothes just for photos. Donating your clothes or selling them on when you grow out of them or want to try a new style. There are countless ways to make a small difference. They’re changes which we should all be trying to make, if we have the capacity and funds to do so.

I have worked with companies mentioned in this post on a gifting basis, however I was not asked to write an article and all opinions are my own.

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