Most college students are on tight budgets and don’t have a lot of time to work on their wardrobe outside of all the time devoted to work, classes and extracurriculars. When you find out about a themed event, college students often turn to fast fashion brands like Shein and Zara for their cheap prices and quick delivery times. The problem is, these companies produce clothing so quickly that their workers are forced to work in extremely unethical conditions. Fast fashion is also harmful to the environment due to the high usage of water during the production process and poor quality material. The pieces are often thrown out and make their way to landfills and oceans once the trends end.
Due to the environmental and unethical impacts of fast fashion, I am trying to integrate sustainable fashion into my wardrobe. Sustainable fashion includes clothing that is designed, manufactured and distributed in environmentally friendly ways. For me, this involves purchasing products from more ethical stores. I also plan to participate in more swaps, shares and rentals. At UW-Madison, Re-Wear It is a student organization that “encourages conscious consumerism and sustainable fashion.” They hold monthly clothing swaps where students can bring pieces of clothing they no longer want and trade them for pieces brought by fellow students. I plan to attend one soon and recommend this to my fellow Badgers! Getting involved in clothing swaps is not only more sustainable, but can help you find a community of like-minded people with the same goals —Chloe Lipton