With the ever-growing market and interest in fashion with every generation, the demand for stores to replicate current catwalk trends is very high. In an industry that constantly shuns the idea of outfit repeating and recycling old trends, fast fashion became the ultimate source of clothing everywhere.
So, let’s begin with the question:
What is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is the uprising of trendy clothes that replicate current catwalk trends, with every store putting out about 4 collections a season, trends are always sold as a necessity and a need. Fast fashion is big chain stores overcrowding the market with their trendy pieces that the average person becomes bombarded with the need to buy. The mass production of clothes became a real threat to the environment and all the discarded pieces eventually find their way to the ocean. So, the question here is:
How to start conscious shopping in Cairo?
1. Shop Sustainably
Lately, there has been a rise in sustainable brands in Egypt. Shopping sustainably helps the environment by recycling plastic or old clothes to produce new and fresh one-of-a-kind pieces for each buyer. This does not only help the environment but it also helps the people who are working on these pieces feel acknowledged and appreciated. So, you can always make a point of asking if the brand uses recyclable materials or not.
2. Thrift it.
There’s a growing awareness lately when it comes to thrift shopping in Cairo. More and more online stores are reselling vintage and preloved pieces of clothing. The goal of thrifting a piece of clothing is to not buy too much, as each piece is different, but also not let these perfectly good clothes go to waste and further harm the environment.
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3. If You Don’t Want It, Donate it!
Some people take the “easier” road and throw out what they don’t need from their old clothes. However, that is the most wasteful decision anyone could make. There are many initiatives and non-profit organizations that could definitely use these clothes as donations. If you grew out your clothes, they would perfectly fit someone else out there. The easier road doesn’t serve anyone, and with one phone call, you can do so much.
4. Look for the “Conscious” Tag While Shopping
While mass production is ruining our environment at a very fast pace, some huge brands in the fashion industry are taking small steps to clear their name out of this discussion and are starting to be more sustainable. Always look for the “Conscious” or “100% Sustainable” on the piece of clothing you’re buying. In the grand scheme of the harm these brands are doing, it’s not much, but it’s definitely a step towards a more aware community.
5. Sustainable Fabric!
Natural fabrics like wool, cotton, or silk, are entirely animal and plant-based fabrics while synthetic fabrics are chemical-based and have a huge negative impact on the environment. If you’re ready to take this extra step, you can always check the tag of the clothes you’re buying and see if it has a percentage of polyester, rayon, or other synthetic fabrics.
6. Stay Informed
What counts the most is for us to make an active effort to stay educated on the matter. More knowledge means greater awareness. Change might not come immediately, but when we actively familiarize ourselves with such issues, we become more acquainted with the harm, and more comfortable with change. Stay on the lookout for more sustainable brands, get statement pieces that could stay long with you. Choose quality over quantity, and always try to support local and sustainable. It is not easy, but it’s definitely possible.
Changing our habits, especially ones where we find comfort is not easy. The real problem still lies out there with the companies that mass produce, companies that don’t care about the environment so they decide to guilt-trip the individual to change the small and ultimately less harmful habits. However, every great change begins with a step. If we collectively take active steps to be more sustainable, we might be able to spark a big change. Whatever you do, it counts. Don’t guilt-trip yourself into it and don’t let anyone do it for you, do it at your own pace and educate yourself on the matter. Conscious shopping is a step and real effort is what matters in the end.