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Oregon Family Magazine

Get Out of the 'Fast Fashion' Lane this Holiday Season

11/02/2022 ● By Dan Hiestand
What exactly is fast fashion? It’s a term that has gained notoriety in recent years.

According to Merriam-Webster, fast fashion is “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.”

As you might guess, “quickly” and “cheaply” are not ideal if you are looking to be sustainable this holiday season. For every T-shirt or pair of jeans, precious natural resources (such as cotton and water) are consumed, and supply chain ethics (including labor conditions) are often tossed aside. 

In fact, the clothing and textile industry is responsible for approximately 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, 215 trillion liters of water use, and ultra-low wages for workers.

The good news? As consumers, we don’t have to participate in the madness. So, what can you do? 

Here’s my advice: Pick something—even just one thing—you can do starting today regarding your fashion and textile habits. A few of my favorites, off the top of my head, are below.


  • Look to buy or borrow used items first (ideally locally sourced) and then—and only then—buy something new.
  • If you must buy new, spend more on products built to last instead of cheaply manufactured fads. Higher-quality items will be more easily passed down for resale and reuse.


  • Open your mind to possibilities you previously didn’t consider as feasible. For me, that was used shoes. I thought the notion of wearing previously worn shoes was gross. But then, I did it, and I haven’t looked back. Whereas underwear…yeah, that might be my border.


  • Learn to repair your stuff or pay for repairs. I know this is pretty pathetic, but I own about five pairs of pants and shorts that don’t have buttons. Thank goodness for belts is all I have to say.

Bonus: it’s strangely fun to source your wardrobe with only used stuff. It’s also (typically) less expensive than buying new. A win-win that allows you to spend your money on important stuff, like holiday cookies. 

Just make sure to leave a few size 11s for me, okay?