Going back 30 years, clothes shopping would be something you did occasionally. Clothes were a lot more expensive and a lot less accessible. If you wanted a new outfit, you would wait until the weekend and head into town to go through the collections of two or three high street shops. Fast forward to the present day, and with just a few taps on our smartphones, we're bombarded with an endless array of options from countless retailers, many of whom are perpetuating the fast fashion phenomenon.

But what exactly is fast fashion? 

Fast fashion can be defined as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends”. Essentially, due to modern technology, an increase in consumerism, and people wanting the latest styles as soon as they appear on the runway, clothes have become cheaper and faster to produce and buy. However, that’s the problem: what is popular and trendy today may be out of style in the space of a week, leading to a continuous cycle of consumption and disposal within the fashion industry.

What is this doing to the environment? 

So what happens to the clothes you bought that are no longer “in trend”?

Around 92 million tons of clothes are dumped in landfills every year around the world, a shocking amount of which are brand new items, tags still attached. When you shop at large fashion retailers, it’s often more expensive for them to repackage and redistribute your returned items, meaning they end up getting thrown away. Beyond the amount of waste created by the fashion industry, the production of garments also takes a huge toll on the environment. The fashion industry ranks as the second-largest contributor to water consumption and pollution, with nearly 60% of materials used in production being made of plastic.

What does Belu Life do to make sure we aren't contributing to the problem?

At Belu Life, we’re committed to breaking the cycle of fast fashion. Most of the fabric that we use in our pieces is made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon, produced from waste such as fishing nets or carpets which have undergone a radical regeneration process to recover as much nylon from them as possible. By using ECONYL® regenerated nylon in our range, we have diverted 724.3 kilos of waste from landfills. By using high quality fabric we ensure that our clothes are made to last meaning you won’t need to buy new pieces often. Finally, we prioritise ethical production practices, personally visiting our factories in Portugal to ensure they are a clean and safe working environment for their employees.

So what can you do to change your fashion habits and prevent the fast fashion industry from growing even larger?

1. Shop more sustainably 

Make a point of not shopping at brands that prioritise profit over sustainability and ethics. Do your research when it comes to buying clothes. Any sustainable brand will be transparent and accountable about their products, with all the information readily available on their websites. If you’re doing something right, you’ll be shouting about it!

2. Buy second hand 

Buying second-hand clothes doesn't necessarily mean going to charity shops anymore. There are hundreds of great vintage/preloved online shops as well as popular apps such as Vinted and Depop.

3. Buy less

Spend your money investing in fewer, higher quality pieces of clothing that will stand the test of time. Although shopping sustainably comes with a higher price tag, the longevity and superior quality of the clothes make them a worthwhile investment that will, in the long run, save you money.

Final thoughts

By reevaluating our fashion habits and embracing a more sustainable outlook, we can collectively work towards reducing the impact that this industry is having on our planet.

Join us at Belu Life in redefining fashion habits!

February 15, 2024 — Bethan Trussell