It’s hard to change a habit. It’s even harder when we can’t see what’s in it for us and receive no instant gratification for doing so. Our shopping habits are one such example.

Today, we overconsume cheap fashion from chains that make promises about sustainability and fail to execute. The fast-fashion industry is built on producing clothes quickly to appease trends. They’re cheap in the store because someone else pays the price. The ‘someone else’ is the seamstress (they’re most often women) and the planet.

January is a month when we set new goals for the coming year. We might want to lose weight, save money, or learn how to make sourdough. This year, I challenge you to stop buying fast fashion. But we need more people to do the same. The industry is polluting the water and taking advantage of women and men in low-wage countries with either no or very few options.

I stopped buying fast fashion some years ago. The simplest approach was to ban myself from buying clothes from fast-fashion chains. I would recommend taking a month where you don’t buy any clothes at all in January. If you already know of some situations coming up in which you might want to buy something new, plan for them now. Take a trip to your wardrobe, try everything on, see what sparks joy and wear it! For inspiration on how to wear the clothes you already own, Pinterest is a great source.

Thank you for saving the planet – and probably some money too.

Alejandra Cerda Ojensa is a Swedish sustainability blogger based in Copenhagen. She loves sustainable fashion, plant-based food, natural wines and music, and writes a column for Scan Magazine about sustainable lifestyle.

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