I grew up shopping in charity shops wearing my mums old jumpers and borrowing belts from my dad and treasuring these items, they had meaning. I would also shop on the high street as any teenager would but I found I had less attachment to these garments. I did as the majority of us do, buy things and never even remove the label, on average each person in the UK buys 4 garments a year that they do not wear after purchasing. There is an instant gratification with walking into a shop and grabbing something you like and having it. These purchases which have little thought and consideration behind them tend to give little satisfaction in the long term, a quick bargain is far less fulfilling long term than something which has been desired and thoughtfully purchased.
As I have said earlier for the rest of 2016 I will not be buying any fashion items from high street stores. I will be looking into the ethical and sustainability practices of many brands.
I am by no means suggesting that every single consumer should boycott big brands, but a little more conscience and awareness would go a long way. Having more of a connection with the things you buy and really knowing that you want them is important, your clothes help form your identity, the self you project into the world.
Another perk of shopping from charity shops and vintage stores is that your clothes are far more likely to be unique and interesting! I personally find it much more exciting to find an intriguing treasure than a high street buy.
I also find it important not to throw garments away with too little thought. If I can fix or change it in a way to make to give it an extra lease of life I always will. Simple alterations with easy techniques such as shortening or lengthening the hem line, changing the buttons or dying your garment to a more current colour can make a big difference to a garment.
Ultimately mending and updating clothes is not the solution to the problems created by fast fashion but small changes made to our attitudes within our throwaway culture, like have a greater attachment to your possessions, is a step in the right direction.