Being stuck indoors for the past 18 months has meant many of us haven’t had to think too much about what we look like. The uncertainty of this pandemic and cycles of lockdowns brought a pause for thought in many areas of our consumerist society. This is particularly true of our fast fashion buying habits, which have contributed to 11 million items of clothing being sent to landfill sites every week. However, with it being summer and the knowledge that restrictions are being lifted, everyone wants to look good. In many ways, this was the perfect opportunity to slow our continuous consumption by breaking the fast fashion cycle and shifting our habits to becoming more ethical babes. But what does that look like and could it last?
The summer of 2020 forced a global reckoning led by the Black Lives Matter movement, with environmental injustices also being at the forefront of this agenda – particularly considering how these injustices affect minoritised communities the most. Despite this awareness, our habit of buying cheaper products, especially clothing, remained persistent. However, it would be unfair to completely shift the responsibility of buying habits onto consumers when our habits are carefully engineered by low-priced products, advertising that creates the desire for new ‘in’ clothing products, unstable market demands, influencers, the normalisation of quick and convenient service and a multitude of payment options.