Scoring a sweet deal on an inexpensive shirt feels really good. But when you learn what happens when you're done with that cheap top, you'll feel anything but.
You know how the cycle goes: You buy a piece of clothing from an inexpensive chain retailer and wear the item a few times. But before you even realize, the shirt falls quickly out of your fashion rotation. Eventually, whether it takes months or years, you toss the top to make more room.
The act seems harmless -- after all, purging your drawers and spring cleaning is key -- but it has a serious effect on the planet and its people. Did you know Americans alone send 10 million tons of clothing to the dump each year? As Grist's video above details, fast fashion may not charge consumers much, but its cost is enormous on the environment and people who work under bad labor conditions or for less than appropriate wages.
There are some really simple ways to break the unethical habit of consuming fast fashion. Buying fewer items that are more durable, timeless and made in fair conditions will actually save you money in the long run. It'll also reduce the stress we all feel when picking out an outfit: With fewer choices but more clothes that "spark joy," as organizing wizard Marie Kondo puts it, it's nearly guaranteed that you'll be wearing something you feel great in.
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