Do Your Clothes Have an Expiration Date?

Have you ever opened your closet and thought, “I have too many clothes”? Only people who have a clear understanding of what’s happening in fashion can separate what is worth taking home from what should stay on the rack. In recent years, major companies like Target, Forever 21, Top Shop, and Zara have made a lasting impact on how you shop with what’s called “fast fashion”.

We all want more for less, but sometimes more is just more: A $15 shirt can end up in our Dumpster in just three weeks. Why? Because fast fashion industry ads consistently communicate that you should feel guilty about the clothes you currently own.

Every week, fast fashion retailers release new outfits with the intention of convincing you that your current wardrobe is “garbage”. Who wants to wear garbage anyway? The fast fashion industry says to you, “You don’t need to wear used clothes, because new will be here tomorrow! Just go on a quick shopping spree during your lunch break and snag that ‘buy-one-get-one-half-price’ (BOGO) deal!” Sounds good to me!

Long gone are the days of wearing mom’s hand-me-downs. In a society where style is changeable and easily swapped, we throw away clothes as if they have an expiration date. These shopping habits are killing the environment. The clothes we dispose of each month are killing our trees, poisoning our water, and suffocating our vegetation. Is it not OK to own the same pair of jeans for three years?

We consume fashion at such a fast pace that we forget that all of it is going down the drain. Perhaps one day soon our clothing tags will no longer read “Made in China” but instead “Best Used by Summer 2017”.

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