Protect the Environment and Look Good While Doing It

By: Taylor McCann

We all know back to school clothes shopping can get expensive. Not only does it hurt our wallets, but it can also hurt the environment. Trends are here one month and gone the next, and fashion companies are constantly releasing new collections in order to keep your #OOTD on point.

But what are your latest, most trendy styles doing to the environment?

We are in the era of fast fashion– inexpensive, trendy clothes are being produced at a rapid rate and while that may seem like the perfect scenario, there are numerous environmental consequences.

This summer, I decided to combat fast fashion by giving a fresh, trendy look to old clothing items I found at Goodwill and in my closet. 

As I was decluttering my wardrobe, I thought to myself, “How can I give new life to this shirt, this dress, or these jeans from high school?” I reached out to my grandmother, who gladly offered to teach me how to sew. I spent a few of my summer days ripping seams, cutting fabric and learning the basics of alterations. I started with the basics– cutting the sleeves off of shirts to make tank tops, turning old scarves into hair ribbons and hemming shirts to look perfect with high-waisted jeans. Then, I turned an old dress into a shirt, ripped the seams out of the bottom of jeans that were too short and transformed a size 6 skirt from Goodwill into my favorite upcycle of the summer. I even painted the backs of old jean jackets with my best friend, giving them a new, hip look. 


So, why did I do this? I wanted to do my part in decreasing the environmental consequences brought on by fast fashion and save money on expensive department store clothes. In the process, I discovered a new hobby and got to spend time with my lovely grandmother.

Don’t forget, you can combat fast fashion too! Here are some tips to get started:

-Before you go shopping, clean out your closet! Ask yourself: “How can I transform this shirt, dress, skirt or pair of pants?”

-Need some inspiration? Pinterest will be your new best friend.

-Check out step-by-step YouTube videos on how to sew.

-Spread the word! Educate your friends on the consequences of fast fashion and encourage them to upcycle their clothing too. 

-Goodwill, Goodwill, Goodwill! Take a trip to your local Goodwill for inexpensive clothing. No matter how big (or ugly) the clothes may be, you can transform it into something that is sure to turn heads.


Cover photo via Pixabay, other photos by Taylor McCann

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