10 Rules for a Fast Fashion Detox

May 31, 2016
10 Rules for a Fast Fashion Detox

I am officially undergoing a fast fashion detox. It’s been a long time coming as I’ve steadily meandered my way towards a more sustainable wardrobe. However, for all my second hand shopping and DIYing, the odd high street purchase just kept creeping its way in. Just here and there, but it was enough to make me feel guilty and hypocritical. So I declared no more (to myself, it was all very undramatic) and thus I find myself on a fast fashion detox.

As detoxes go, it’s been mostly painless. I haven’t had to shell out £££s to a facebook juice cleanse guru, I’ve had no hunger pangs and fast fashion isn’t just going to pile back on as soon as I finish the course. I feel like this metaphor has gone awry, so let’s commence with the rules.


1. Delete the ASOS app. Do it now. Binning the ASOS app felt like deleting a bad boyfriend’s phone number. It was just sitting there on my phone; a constant temptation. I was at the mercy of fast fashion’s wily charms. Delete that shit. It only wants you for your money.

2. Unsubscribe to store emails. What’s more tempting than new shoes? New shoes that have 20% off. It’s funny how you only realise you ‘need’ something once you’ve set eyes on it.

3. Tell a friend. Unlike the aforementioned juice cleanses, this particular detox can be undertaken without daily facebook posts and and photo updates of your midriff, but declaring your intentions to someone makes you accountable which is helpful when breaking any habit. If they’re a good friend they’ll steer you in the opposite direction when you’re staring longingly at the Topshop window display. Perhaps even in the direction of a pizza. Speaking strictly in South Park terms, you need an accountabilibuddy.

4. Download Depop. A rebound is a tried and tested method of getting over someone, so let Depop be your rebound after the difficult break up that was you and ASOS. But beware, fast fashion retailers lurk among its murky depths, so stick to second hand and vintage accounts only.

5. Be prepared for all your favourite shops to simultaneously drop incredible collections. Much like when shopping with an empty bank account, everything you can’t have becomes all the more tantalising. Zara, for instance, have had the audacity to release a pair of the dreamiest, brightest trousers I ever did see but I. will. not. cave.

6. You don’t have to embrace ‘vintage style’. More of a comforting thought than a rule but shopping vintage doesn’t mean looking vintage. As evidenced by my recent post, you don’t have to buy new to look current.

7. Only window shop if you have unbreakable willpower. I occasionally like to window shop without any intention of parting with any cash but it’s a dangerous game. Don’t tempt yourself without a) your accountabilibuddy to swat your sweaty palms away from that top that doesn’t really count because it’s only cheap, b) absolutely zero money or methods of payment about your person or c) willpower of steel.

8. Broaden your horizons. Take the opportunity to find new labels which meet your moral and ethical standards.

9. Find your style. Opting out of fast fashion allows you, in many ways, to opt out of the relentless onslaught of trends. Give your style some breathing space and find out what you really love. Maybe cold shoulder tops and culottes aren’t really your thing after all.

10. Don’t believe the hype. Despite what shops and magazines would have us believe, you don’t need a new outfit for every occasion. If you’re lucky enough to have the jam-packed social schedule shops presume you have, resist the urge to let them use it as an opportunity to sell you something. Of course, sometimes we really do need something new (wellies for a muddy festival, a wetsuit for an underwater wedding…) but wearing a pre-loved dress definitely won’t ruin your holiday/wedding/festival/party.

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