Fair Fashion

Why Ditching Trends Will Kill Fast Fashion


That’s me, above, rocking a 6-year-old striped dress and an Upstate hand-dyed open-sided tunic. 

One of the main drivers of the incredibly wasteful (some would say killer) fast-fashion business has been trends. I mean, if you are unconscious of the social and environmental impacts of supercheap clothes and just want to keep up with what’s new and hot, the simplest solution is to buy a couple haul’s worth of cheap, not-made-to-last clothes each season and toss them when the trends change.

But interestingly, we are now entering an era (fashion insiders would say that it has been going on for a few seasons now) where trends just don’t dominate like they used to. We are more free than ever to figure out what works for us, our lifestyles, and our bodies.

And that means that fast fashion is no longer necessary.

I’ve always been a slave to 70s cuts (they suit my personality, and my shape), but when I was younger, I had to wait for the “boho” look to come and go, and I can’t tell you how bummed I was when skinny pants became the thing. But now you can log onto almost any fashion site and find both skinny jeans and bellbottoms for sale right next to each other!


This ditching of trends means we can start investing in great pieces that flatter us year in and year out (or better yet, get our clothes tailored! I predict perfect fitting clothes will be the new black in coming years.) And support businesses who are making clothes ethically.

We don’t need fast fashion, and its earth-poisoning, people-abusing ways if we get to dress in the way that’s best suited to who we are instead of following trends that mean you wear something once and toss it.

This is especially true because we’re no longer limited to clothes on offer at the local mall or downtown, so our style isn’t limited in that way, either. Now you find such an incredible variety of wares online, from mainstream fashion retailers to higher-end fashion shops, to boutiques that fit every fancy.


For example, I love my clothes ethical, edgy, and not super-girly but classically feminine, so I love Beklina (above), Kaight, and A Boy Named Sue and I do the majority of my shopping online at those shops, stopping by every month or so to see what’s new.


Eshakti offers customized clothing, so if you like a dress, you can get the shorter version of it, or one with capped sleeves so you can wear it to work. Freaking brilliant, and they offer a genuine range of sizes.


Speaking of which, if you’re plus-sized, you have virtual shops that offer genuinely cool clothes like Modcloth, ASOS Curve, and Ideeli .


There is literally something for everyone. Want to share quirky, made-in-san-francisco clothes with your guy? Betabrand offers tons of crossover pieces; I share the above Mary-Go-Round pants with my partner and we BOTH get compliments.

And forget it if you like vintage pieces; I could spend days trolling my favorite vintage shops on Etsy–growing up I only had my grandma’s closet and my local Salvation Army.

My wardrobe is actually something I now LOVE; because I only buy pieces that I adore, because many of my clothes are 5 or more years old, and I know exactly how to work them, and because I no longer have to deal with trends.

It makes it SO much easier to get dressed in the morning when you actually like your clothes, they suit who you are, they fit, and you aren’t following trends.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.