Should you feel guilty for shopping on the high street?

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to speak about a topic that has been on my mind quite frequently over the past few months in particular, and that is the question ‘should we feel guilty for buying into fast fashion?’.

An entirely second hand outfit for under £10!

There are so many pros and cons to excluding or reducing the amount you buy from large fast fashion companies. Of course, fashion isn’t necessarily a ‘need’ in terms of daily life besides something to cover us, yet it is what we use to express ourselves and also what we need to adjust from time to time in order to keep up with any seasonal transitions, body changes etc etc.

Speaking from my own experience, I go through phases of only buying second hand, or finding it super difficult to buy second hand. Two summers ago, I decided that for that summer I wouldn’t buy anything ‘new’, mainly due to a.) money shortage, but also b.) becoming more aware of the damages of fast fashion.

I was glad to know that I had been putting my money towards a more sustainable lifestyle whilst also donating a lot to charity in the process, however there was definitely a point where I thought ‘this is a challenge’. I noticed that buying second hand takes a lot more time to find new clothes than just looking online whilst in bed at night. You have to be regularly checking for new pieces that are in your size, fit your taste, and that you’re willing to buy.

If you have experienced feeling guilty for buying into fast fashion or potentially funding a toxic system, that guilty feeling just shows that you are conscious of what you are buying. You shouldn’t feel bad for buying a pair of jeans from a store because you know they will fit you right, or just a top that you’ve never seen anything like before. Your shopping choices should be practical and tailored to you and your lifestyle, instead of trying to squeeze into a pair of second hand jeans because you felt bad buying a new pair.

However in today’s age, it’s important to include the impact of social media on the fashion industry, meaning many people’s careers rely on buying new fashion each season. Not only that, but sometimes it’s just easier to shop from the high street than second hand. In the end it’s your money and if you know you’re going to get a lot of usage out of an item then you should have every right to buy it.

What I’m trying to express here is that it is important to be conscious of what you are buying and whether you believe it is worth investing in. Purchasing multiple new trendy pieces every month that you yourself even know that you’ll throw out in a few months time, never mind years down the line, is unhealthy for both your purse and the environment.

Be selective of what you think is missing from your wardrobe and what you actually like to wear in terms of colours or shapes or materials. Once you know what you like specifically, that process of buying multiple new things a season will narrow down but become more valuable in the long run. So no, you do not have to feel guilty for buying from a high street shop, as long as you are thinking more practically about what you’re buying, then you will be making a good impact on your own lifestyle and protecting the planet. In this case, less is more.

Thank you for reading this slightly preachy blog post, I’ve been speaking to a lot of friends recently about their contributions towards slowing down their shopping rates and I thought it would be a good topic to share! Do message me if you have anything to say on the subject.

Thanks again,

Sophie x

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