Shopping Greener | 7 Ways to Give Up Fast Fashion

An incredibly fierce competitor in the markets, fast fashion brands have challenged well-established companies as a result of their effective marketing and soaring profits. These companies and their success come at a high cost which is why many choose to avoid these as much as possible. Below are some greener alternatives that will allow you to look fantastic while maintaining a clean conscience!

1.Minimize fast fashion shopping

Not exactly an alternative but certainly one of the easiest ways to make a difference: Purchase less fast fashion.

It’s difficult to resist fast fashion brands when the affordable prices on the latest trends are so alluring. And sometimes, out of necessity or financial constraints, it is the only way to go. It’s understandable but it is still possible to make a change by purchasing less items from these stores and considering other alternatives such as on this list.

2. Support small businesses

First time I visited Melrose Avenue, I was on cloud nine. It might have been from all the secondhand weed smoke or maybe it was from all the stores I have never heard of in my entire life. Needless to say, I fell in love.

Grunge. Streetwear. Vintage. Punk. Designer. It was all there and the realization struck that I have only scratched a laughably tiny surface of all the clothing boutiques in SoCal.

Learn about local businesses around your area and take time to stop at that one boutique you drive by on the way home. You will never know what they sell unless you visit. And if you do end up purchasing something, then you just helped make someone’s dream potentially come true.

2b. And online too

Rent is expensive. Period. It’s why some smaller stores do not have the luxury of setting up their own physical shop. In less than two decades, online shopping has quickly evolved from sketchy to an acceptable and trusted form of purchasing clothing. And once again, there are so many stores out there you’ve probably never heard of.

The best part is, there are no limits virtually. You can shop from UK stores or even Japan depending if the store ships internationally of course. Shipping rates could end up costing a little more for foreigners however most websites will offer free shipping upon reaching a certain total on your shopping cart.

Another big one to consider is Etsy!


Everything is either handmade or vintage. These are not mere suggestions but rather requirements that the site enforces upon the individual sellers. As a result, you will often find very unique items throughout the site and all of your purchases will be helping someone’s passion come alive.

3. Vintage

Probably one of my favorites, vintage stores carry all the trends and must-haves from previous decades. You’ll find racks of flannels from the 90s grunge movement or even psychedelic prints from the early 70s. Price ranges will vary depending on the store but in most cases, you will find that they are very affordable because of the clothing’s old age.

Fashion will repeat itself. Always. Therefore, it’s a fantastic idea to browse store selections and see if anything catches your eye even if it seems a little outdated. Vintage shops are key to finding stand-out items you would not find in your local mall.

4. Thrift

Similar to vintage stores, thrift shops contain a hodgepodge of donated clothing that are all marked at insanely low prices. Finding brand new, unworn clothing and on lucky occasions, designer brands, are rare but not unheard of.

Patience is an absolute must while thrifting. Clothing is often unorganized and sometimes the perfect find won’t be the right size. While it can be cumbersome, it is a must-try for those who love shopping and saving money.

5.Higher-end purchase

Higher end can mean designer clothing but it is not limited to the stores on Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue. It can be the difference between buying jeans at Forever 21 or Diesel in which the latter brings a better quality to the table.

Many cannot afford to purchase higher end and that’s okay—if you can, then hey, let’s be friends—however, sometimes saving up for the higher end brands will end up saving you lots of money in the long run.

A $10,000 Givenchy jacket is certainly not the most sound investment. But spending $300 on a wool coat that will keep you warm for many years seems like a splendid idea. The coat will last longer and the richer fabrics will keep you warmer all winter long. More money upfront, but in the long term, the coat will inevitably pay itself.

6. Upcycle

A favorite for many crafters and creatives, upcycling is the process of turning an old, neglected piece from your closet into something you’ll want to wear again. Common examples are cutting an old tee into a muscle shirt, or even turning a pair of old jeans into shorts. 

Pinterest and Youtube are gold mines for tutorials and upcycling is most beneficial since it avoids buying more and maximizes the use of clothing you already have.


7. Shop less overall

Yes, typing that out sent me into an existential crisis.

Over time, consumer ideals have shifted over from quality to quantity; people crave to own more and more and are rarely self-satisfied with what they have. This leads to a lifestyle of excess and is detrimental to bank accounts and shopping habits.

Every clothing purchase should serve some function or necessity. A dress shirt for work or a jacket for winter are all viable reasons to shell out money. On the other hand, having impulsive shopping sprees should be strictly limited or you will wind up with more than you actually need.

Comment below other suggestions I may have missed! And if you haven’t already, subscribe to Valley Boi down below!

-Valley Boi

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