Making fast fashion last longer

One of the most prevalent fashion movements at the moment is boycotting fast fashion – however it’s important to recognise that many people don’t have affordable alternatives. For example, as students we’re on a limited budget, and can’t always afford to buy clothes from more ethical sources. Alongside this, plus size and disabled people may not be able to shop elsewhere due to sizing and accessibility issues.

One way we can combat fast fashion is by making it last longer than the companies intend us to. In this article I’m going to cover a few techniques you can use to get the most out of your clothes.

How you wash your clothes effects their longevity

If you want your clothes to last a bit longer, start by taking a look at how you wash them. I usually go into autopilot when doing my washing and but everything on the same setting, but by utilising the other functions of the washing machine I’ve managed to increase the lifespan of a lot of my clothes.
If you have something with lace trims or embroidery, consider putting it on a delicates wash, this is much more gentle for the fabric.

You can also consider using better quality fabric softeners and powder to ensure your clothes are getting a thorough clean, while not damaging the fabric.

Learn to sew

If you can’t already, learning to sew is vital in making fast fashion go the extra mile. Learning to repair the holes in your trousers, patching the rips on your jackets, and strengthening the seams of your jeans will help your clothes last a lot longer.

Sewing is also useful for if your clothing size changes, you can alter your own clothing to make it fit again! You can make clothing bigger by adding panels of fabric to the sides, and you can make them smaller by unpicking the seams and sewing them a little smaller.


If you have a hole directly in the middle of a t shirt, you might not want to sew it up as it’ll be quite visible. One great way around this is by embroidering over the tear to cover it and add something cute and unique to your clothes.

If you can’t embroider, or don’t have the time to learn, you can buy pre-made embroidered patches (I suggest looking on Etsy as you’re likely to find something you like) and sew them on over the rip too

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