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Fashion doesn’t have to be fast and wasteful

Elaine Garvey is a fashion merchandising student at the University of Georgia. She’s also president of the UGA student organization Fair Fashion, which works to promote slow fashion and raise awareness in the university community about unethical labor, pollution and waste in the fashion industry.

The standard fashion business model is referred to as Fast Fashion. Garvey explained that this model is unsustainable and focused on churning out as much clothing as possible the cheapest way possible. Many of these clothes end up in landfills.

Fair Fashion educates students about the wastefulness of fast fashion by hosting events that promote sustainable fashion practices.

A recent student pop-up market organized by Fair Fashion had close to 30 student vendors selling second-hand, vintage and handmade clothing, along with art. Buying used clothing is a great way to get new clothes without contributing to fast fashion or overconsumption, Garvey explained.

The group tries to teach students about the benefits of shopping second hand or upcycling used clothing and fabrics into something new so used clothes don’t end up taking up space in landfills.

scissors cutting cloth during an event to educated about slow fashion

A student cuts clothing scraps during a scrunchie workshop hosted by UGA’s Fair Fashion.

In another workshop, students gathered at the Lamar Dodd School of Art to learn how to make scrunchies out of used material.

“Being able to educate students about conscious consumption and inform them about how fashion has a far-reaching impact is why I’m so proud to be a part of the Fair Fashion movement,” Garvey said.