Nov 20, 2017

Changing my behaviour with Stefanie London

About 6 months ago I decided to overhaul how I "consume" clothing. This is something that has been building for a while, like a niggling thought about something I knew wasn’t right in my life. There are plenty of facts and figures on the way that we over-consume fashion these days, but this article is a good start: or here:

The upshot is that back in the 50's the average woman owned about 9 outfits. From the above articles, people have an "average of 16 items only worn once and 11 still with the tags on" in their closets.

The increase in consumption has much to do with fast fashion and the low cost of garment production by fast fashion companies. Why spend $100 on one top when you can get 5 or 6 for the same price at H&M, right?

The problem is, the cost cutting not only effects the quality of the garment (meaning they degrade quicker) but the wages and working conditions for people making the garments as well as the environment (watch this The True Cost on Netflix for more info on this. Ne prepared, having a box of tissues handy.)

What am I doing about it?
1.     I've put myself on a temporary fast fashion ban. No H&M, no GAP, no Old Navy etc. It's been just under three months so far. Ideally, I'd like to go a whole year. I've realized that I actually need a lot less clothing than I'd previously thought.
2.     Taking better care of the clothing I own, learning how to mend things instead of replacing them.
3.     Shopping more carefully and thoughtfully when I do buy something new. I’m trying to choose more sustainable fashion brands or at least buying an item of high quality that I know I will use lots and will last me longer than one season.
4.     I am now learning to sew and knit. This definitely isn't me saying we should all make out own clothing, but to me it was a natural part of changing my habits.

The easiest thing you can do to lessen your fast fashion impact is to simply buy less, buy thoughtfully and buy better

quality. I feel that this is one of those things where small behaviour changes across larger groups of people will have massive impact. Try “shopping your closet” by creating new pairings of items you already own, or making a promise to finally get those jeans hemmed so you can wear them out instead of leaving them unloved in your closet.

Is this something you’ve thought about? How have your shopping habits changed over the years?


  1. I can't say this is something I've consciously thought about, but since finishing uni, I've naturally gravitated more towards things that cost a little more but will last longer.
    I'm leaning towards making more ethical decisions on what I'm consuming - food, body/beauty products, skincare, clothes etc. It can be difficult balancing that gut instinct to save money with the desires to do good.
    Love the way that wool looks knitted up

    1. It is tough and I hate that so many people have an "all or nothing" mentality. I don't think that's helpful, and will turn people off making great smaller changes that can lead to bigger improvements in the long run.

    2. Exactly - at the moment, I figure I'll do what I can and don't stress about what I can't.
      The other thing I try to remember is that it may not seem like a lot to me but if lots of people do that one little thing it can add up

  2. WOW Stefanie that is a really good post and plan I am not a shipper at all and I don't have a lot of clothes but I do feel for the workers in countries that are working so hard for very little money to gives cheap clothing from the big retail outlets here in Oz there was a thing on one of the current affairs shows the other evening that was requesting that the shops add about 10c per item and this would make a big difference to the workers and I am all for that.

    Love the things that you have been making I used to knit a lot once but haven't for a while.

    have Fun


    1. 10c to us seems like nothing but I imagine that would add up very quickly from the sheer volume of clothing these shops push through. I'm glad more people are talking about it!