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How to Repurpose Fast Fashion

4 Easy Ways to Repurpose Fast Fashion at Home

EXPIRED 07/24/2021Photographer: Eric HelgasProduct Credit: Pucci skirt, Joseph turtleneck, Phillip Lim boots, Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals, Reike Nen sandals, Jennifer Behr hair pinRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No print or advertising allowed.

Growing up, I loved anything and everything that had to do with affordable trends. As a teen, the mall was my hangout spot with friends. We often bought from fast fashion brands without thinking much of it. I used to buy outfits simply because the items were cute and within my shoestring budget. Then, thanks to online shopping, I started to buy fast fashion without even going into a store. I was buying options for temporary convenience instead of long-term wear. The prices were hard to beat.

That thinking slowly melted away with time. I learned that fast fashion is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis and also exploits vulnerable people. One documentary later and I was curious. Several hours of researching later and I was upset. Why did I never know how bad fast fashion was for both people and the planet? That question sent me on an adventure to explore the ways that I could revamp my closet and give life back into my previous fast fashion purchases. There's no reason to feel stuck with a previous bad choice. That's why I'm all about ways to repurpose and recycle. From making the styles more relevant to creating cute wipes to use around the house; it's all about finding new use from old items. Luckily, a large majority of fast fashion companies are starting to change their ways, but that doesn't mean that consumers can't help lead the way to greener and more fair clothing practices. Here's how to do your part at home:

Reselling

For the lightly used items and the never used items, I recommend making a few dollars. It's always a great feeling to have a little extra cash on hand; helping to save the environment is an added responsible bonus. Sites like Depop can help sell your fashion winners that deserve another loving home. Reselling clothing items also promotes cleaner shopping habits so that's a win for the planet.

Regifting

Usually, there are more than one item that's escaped being worn, shoved deep within the dark blackhole that's called my closet. Some items even have the tags still left on. I like to regift unused items in order to cut down on the waste. It also helps save a little bit of money!

Restyling

Shirts that are hyper-trendy tend to fall out of style within a few fashion cycles. A great way to keep older fast fashion items current is to reinvent them into a more relevant style. For example, this black shirt has strings attached to the bottom that no longer hold or effectively tighten after a few too many wears. Now, I adjusted the strings and tied them in such a fashion that the old shirt looks like a fun and fresh cropped shirt. Perfect for a walk on the pier.

Before:

Before of Fast Fashion Shirt


After:

After of repurposed shirt
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/Camille Cabrera

Second Life Items


There comes a time when restyling or regifting an item no longer sounds like a great idea. Maybe the item is frayed or torn or just has too many small holes. That's when it's time to bring that clothing item into its final life cycle stage. In my home, we like to use old pieces of clothing as rags. We cut them up into miscellaneous sizes and use the cotton items to help clean just about everything. It helps reduce waste and avoids unnecessarily purchasing rags and cloths.

Cleaning Rags



Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/Camille Cabrera

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Eric Helgas
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