HOW TO SHOP SUSTAINABLY – When you are living a very busy life

To live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly life, we first need to educate ourselves on what changes we can make and which of our habits are the worst from an environmental perspective. But a lot of people don’t have the time to spend hours researching these things and need short, fast and easy guides on how to make better choices. Parents especially have less time to change to better habits that will be part of making the future for their children better.

So here is a guide on how you can shop what you need more sustainably.

Second Hand shopping online

Location: Not only does online thrifting allow more people to shop sustainably due to lack of time, but also bringing the option to those who do not have physical second hand-stores close to where they live.

Please do keep in mind to try to shop from within your own country, or as close to you as possible to keep the emissions for transportation down.

Search engine: A lot of the apps and websites where you can buy pre-loved items make it easier to find specific things you’re looking for, compared to wandering around in the physical stores trying to find x, y, z. Through the search option, you can search for specific brands, items and sizes. Especially the part of being able to search for sizes makes it easier and more inclusive for people with larger sizes, as most of what is sold in vintage and thrift shops are sizes S-L.

Notification options: If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can in some apps and websites choose to get notifications if an item is added that match your search word. This saves you time so that you don’t have to check for it every single day, but can rely on the notification to let you know.

Follow people with similar taste, size and hobbies: In some apps, like TISE and DEPOP, you can follow specific people making items put out for sale by those people being displayed for you. That way you can create almost like an app that shows you the items of your interests, size and style.

Sustainable and ethical stores

While shopping for items that are already on this earth, to lessen the need fo using new resources, buying pre-owned or upcycled items is not for everyone. Perhaps you are looking for a specific kind of item and you just can’t find it on any of the online thrifting options.

There are stores who’ve made it easy for you to save you time from researching for all brands who use sustainably sourced materials and who used ethical practices for their workers. These stores, which you can find both online and in some cities, have done all of that work for you as they only stock items from brands who make the cut.

As there are many readers here from Sweden, I’ll mention a couple of these physical store options for you here. That way you can try the clothes on before purchasing. These all do have online shops as well for those who do not live in any of those cities.

Stockholm has Ecosphere and Adisgladis for example, and in Gothenburg you have Thrive.

How to find ethical and sustainable brands

  1. You can go to some of these stores who sell only from ethical and sustainable brands, look at their list of what brands they are selling and go onto the websites of those specific brands and see all of their items, as the retailers with many brand only chose a few of the clothings from each brand.
  2. Check out the website and app GOOD ON YOU where they amongst other things, research on different brands and rate them on 3 points – Environmental Impact, Labour Conditions and Animal Welfare. For brands that have been rated badly, they often offer “Good Swap” by showing brands with similar style of clothing but by brands who’ve been rated good.
  3. Follow ethical fashion-gurus on social media. They often mention brands that are good, and call out Greenwashing when deserved. Some people I recommend following for ethical fashion is:

Aja Barber: InstagramPatreon

Verena Erin/My Green Closet: InstagramYoutube

Kristen Leo: InstagramYoutube

Venetia Falconer: Instagram Youtube

For more posts about Fast Fashion check these out:


PLASTIC CLOTHING – Pros, cons and how to deal with micro plastic pollution

CLOTHING: Which materials are the best and worst? – A sustainable fashion material guide

NOT BUYING NEW CLOTHES? Here’s what you can do instead


This post was written by our blogger Evelina Utterdahl. You can read more about her here

What is Fast Fashion

fast fashion environment climate change

Have you ever heard the term Fast Fashion or Slow Fashion?

Do you know what it means?

Not everyone might be aware of what Fast Fashion is, or on what scale it is destroying the planet with its pollution and massive use of new resources. So let’s take it step-by-step.

This is the first of a series of blog posts here about Fast Fashion and how to move away from it towards more sustainable and ethical options.

In this post I will go through what Fast Fashion is and how bad it is

Then I will make posts where I dig deeper into the different alternatives as well as bringing up some of the challenges of Slow Fashion.

So let us begin.

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast Fashion is a term used to describe how low cost brands quickly produce clothes inspired by new trends and put them in stores for customers to access for a low cost.

To keep customers coming back and spending more money, there are two main factors.

  1. They create new products and trends every week now compared to the 2 seasons SS/AW that used to be the standard.
  2. The quality of the clothes are often very low quality, making them break or look bad after a few washes. Since the prices are so low, it is also cheaper to buy new clothes than to fix the low quality ones you already have. Which is why Fast Fashion is also sometimes referred to as ‘Disposable Fashion’.

So another aspect of Fast Fashion is that the clothes not only moves fast from runway to the possession of consumers, but also to landfill.

Photo by: Caroline Franksjö

Why is Fast Fashion bad for the environment?

The environmental impact, as with all things produced starts at the source of the resources and materials to the afterlife when the piece is going to landfill.

From growing cotton that needs an immense amount of water and the pesticides used to keep bugs away from the plants, to the harmful chemicals needed to turn bamboo into fabric, to the poisonous dyeing techniques to the millions of barrels of oil that are used to make polyester each year as well as releasing microplastics into the water when washed.

“The apparel industry accounts for 10 percent of global carbon emissions and remains the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil. Fast fashion items are often worn less than 5 times, kept for roughly 35 days, and produce over 400 percent more carbon emissions per item per year than garments worn 50 times and kept for a full year.”

Some fast facts:

  • A pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car aprox. 130km.
  • It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for two-and-a-half years.
  • Textiles account for 34,8% of global microplastic pollution.
  • A garment is worn just 4 times on average.
  • 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treating and dyeing of textiles.
  • It’s estimated that we make 400 billion mᒾ of textiles annually. 60 billion mᒾ is cutting room floor waste.                       
  • Less than 1% of collected clothing is truly recycled into fresh textiles.
  • Clothing consumption produces 1,5 tonnes CO₂ x household x year.

Ethical aspect of fast fashion

There are 75 million people working to make our clothes, 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 35.

The majority of these people live in poverty, being paid less than a living wage while also often exposed to verbal and physical abuse and working in unsafe conditions.

In Bangladesh which is one of the most common places for garment factories for Fast Fashion brands, a living wage is around $340/month but the average clothes maker makes only $68 per month. A fifth of an income needed to provide a decent standard of living and for a full-time worker to have enough money to live above the federal poverty level.

Not to be confused with minimum wage. This setup often puts the workers in a poverty trap from which is basically impossible to get out of.

And let us not forget the health risks for those working in the fields with toxic pesticides or with carcinogenic dyes or treatments like for example chromium which can cause lung cancer, stomach ulcers and anaemia.

The lands around the factories also get poisoned and those who are affected by that are often those who work there. The Daily Mail revealed tanneries in Dhaka dumping 22,000 litres of toxic waste into the Buriganga – every day.

Deaths in the fast fashion industry is unfortunately not a rare occasion.

Rana Plaza Collapse

On 24 April 2013, the garment factory Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster and the deadliest garment-factory incident in history.

There were 5 garment factories in the building all manufacturing clothing for 31 big global brands.

The majority of these multibillion dollar companies were extremely resilient to together donate a total of $30 million for the victim’s families. An amount that took 2 years to reach. Comparing that to the €300 million pledge for the rebuilding of Notre Dame by two fashion billionaires within a day of the fire makes one ashamed of humanity.

Some of the clothings brands that are still to have donated any money to the ones who suffered from the disaster are Carrefour(French), NKD(German), J.C. Penny(American) and PWT(Danish).

Source: rijans Flickr CC

So how do we stop this?

First of all, we stop funding the companies doing this. We need to stop buying products by the brands responsible for this inhumane model of business.

I know this might seem bleak and seem hopeless, but there are more than plenty option to how we can solve this.

Some of the topics I will dig deeper into in this series is:

  • Second hand
  • Renting
  • Mending and repairing
  • Upcycling
  • Materials
  • Accessibility

This and much more to come the following weeks.

If you want to learn more while you wait for the next posts, I recommend you to watch the eye-opening documentary The True Cost. It’s available on Netflix or to download on their website

Photo by: Caroline Franksjö

For more posts about Fast Fashion check these out:

PLASTIC CLOTHING – Pros, cons and how to deal with micro plastic pollution

CLOTHING: Which materials are the best and worst? – A sustainable fashion material guide

NOT BUYING NEW CLOTHES? Here’s what you can do instead


HOW TO SHOP SUSTAINABLY – When you are living a very busy life

This post was written by our blogger Evelina Utterdahl. You can read more about her here



Fashion Revolution

Podcast “Slow Fashion” by Johanna Nilsson

World Resources Institute

Rana Plaza Agreement

The Daily Mail