Fast Fashion; what is it and how are you contributing? Basically fast fashion is exactly what it sounds like; it’s the term to describe the make of particular goods or items that are made quickly and pretty cheaply, and not at our expense. Fast fashion products are produced overseas and normally involve harsh working conditions for the women and children that work there. Fast fashion is far cheaper when shopping for fashion forward items, but the people working behind the scenes suffer far more than we can imagine. Instead of resorting to these sources that are not only humanely wrong, but are low quality, look around you! Get inspiration from your area. Even if you feel like options are limited in the quest for new clothes, have faith. All it takes is some initiative. So whether you’re a college student living on that broke-college life budget, or don’t want to spend copious amounts of money on new outfits, I have a few solutions for you.
Coming to UNH I wasn’t very knowledgeable of the area and its surroundings, and didn’t shop anywhere besides at the mall (Charlotte Russe). Partly because it was all I knew, and also because it was dirt-cheap! Little did I know that right across the street is a store that holds great deals on anything from candle stick holders, to Louis Vuitton purses. Savers! As I explored this unknown territory, I wondered how many others were taking advantage of all the cool and used finds that Savers and other stores in the area had to offer!
If you’re not familiar with the towns around Durham, Portsmouth is the perfect place to start your search for a sustainable, perfectly affordable outfit. It’s a great little town located 15 minutes from campus that has some eclectic and unique stores. They have great options for second-hand clothing that won’t break the bank and will be sure to keep your style fashionably forward. 2nd Time Around (https://www.facebook.com/STAPortsmouth) has some great pieces that are sure to last longer than any item from Forever21 would. While they do carry pricier designer brands such as Alice + Olivia, and Dooney and Bourke, you can purchase these items at a fraction of the original price. Check them out on their Facebook or through their Yelp page.
So we’ve talked about Savers, which is the ultimate place to get bang for your buck, but there is also the Salvation Army store in Portsmouth. Reviews on Yelp call it one of the BEST thrift stores around, and go on about how amazing their selection is. They also write how clean and organized it is, which are key traits that make shopping in second-hand feel stores feel like a better environment. http://www.yelp.com/biz/salvation-army-family-store-portsmouth
Next up is a store again located in Portsmouth called Wear House. Their pieces range from high to affordable, but they always have great quality items and super cool finds. One women loved it so much, she took to Yelp to explain, “Yes, you can spend “a lot” and walk out with Prada, etc- but you can also score some pretty sweet pieces for under $20. Wearhouse is a definite must for any shopping trip down market st.” – Holly G. South Brunswick, M.E. http://www.yelp.com/biz/wear-house-portsmouth?osq=Consignment
Now, if you can’t make it over to Portsmouth for whatever reason, there is a place called Monkey’s Treasure’s in Dover that may have something you’re looking for. They are advertised as inexpensive and are known for carrying children’s clothes, women’s garments, as well as men’s. The only downside if you’re looking to consign clothes, is they pay you in store credit. Nonetheless this is another good place to look if you’re in the area and are on a budget! http://www.yelp.com/biz/monkey-treasures-dover
Finally, last but not least, check out this downtown Durham spot that is not only a thrift shop, but is an economic and environmentally friendly spot! Echo thrift shop provides ‘gently’ used clothing available for men, women, and children, for very reasonable prices. Twenty five percent of all Echo’s proceeds go to organizations and individuals in need. This is a perfect local spot that truly knows what it means to re-use, recycle, and do good. Check them out at the Community Church of Durham, open weekly 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/Echothriftshop/ http://ccdurham.org/echo-community-thrift-shop/
As students, it can be easy to find ourselves online shopping and saving money as we’re doing it, but there are more sustainable ways we shop. All you need is either a friend with a car, or your UNH student I.D. and the Wildcat Bus schedule, and you can find yourself at most of these places within 20 minutes! We collectively can make a difference with a little bit of research and the good will to be well!