The frequency at which I see bloggers, YouTubers and influencers promoting fast fashion labels is beyond nauseating. That, in addition to my own research, turned me away from the fast fashion industry big time. Although I do not claim to be perfect (I still own a number of things from fast fashion giants such as Zara), I am making a huge effort to greatly reduce my consumption.
Of course it is amazing when you find an affordable piece that happens to be exactly what you want, but we should all strive to consume consciously, i.e., buy less, but buy better. There is never a reason to blindly follow trends you don’t even like, buy something just because it’s on sale, stay all day in clothes that are ill-fitting and uncomfortable because they were made haphazardly or have a closet full of falling-apart pieces you never wear–all of which can be super stressful! To guide us in the right direction, I gathered some of the biggest names in fast fashion and paired them with ethical alternatives offering thoughtful, quality designs that make us feel good inside and out.
Instead of Fashion Nova, try Backbite.
When it comes to edgy pieces fit for a rockstar, such as jumpsuits, bodysuits and hot pants, Backbite is the go-to source. This Los Angeles-based, online-only retailer also has an impressive collection of unique vintage t’s and killer (cruelty-free) animal prints.
Instead of Tiger Mist/Princess Polly/I Am Gia, try Daisy.
It is hard to resist fun, trendy styles on these Australian-based sites. Is it just me, or do girls down under have the coolest style?
But these rapidly growing fast fashion retailers are known for copycatting up-and-coming labels such as Daisy (aka @daisydaisy.tv). An Opening Ceremony favorite, Daisy is known for slinky lace-up dresses and corset-inspired tops that put an ubersexy spin on traditional styles. The pastel colors and clean neutrals look amazing on all skin tones and body types, while giving everyone the option to personalize their Daisy looks.
Instead of Zara, try Rosemilk.
Whether you are looking for dreamy, nostalgic pieces for your next vacay or something classic to wear to your next job interview, Rosemilk has you covered (quite literally)! Although the selection is limited–they are a new business–it does not feel that way because everything is so gorgeous. Their styles are the perfect blend of masculine and feminine, and comfort is never sacrificed.
Instead of Aerie, try Hot As Hell.
Looking for beautiful lingerie or sexy swim that will make you feel feminine and help you stand out from the crowd? In Hot As Hell‘s range you will look just as good as the name suggests. 😉
Instead of Forever 21, try REVICE.
I guarantee that you will find your new favorite show-stopping jeans that fit like a glove and boost your confidence on REVICE‘s site.
Instead of Revolve, try Are You Am I.
So, not everything on Revolve is technically fast fashion; it is more of an online department store (with a pretty awesome denim selection, might I add). Although most styles on this site come with a somewhat hefty price tag, the speed at which Revolve stocks new pieces is dizzying; for that reason I am grouping this retailer in the fast fashion category.
At Are You Am I, however, you will score the best basics for everyday wear, plus the perfect party dress for any event! The quality fabrics ensure these pieces will last forever. The simplified design promises they will never go out of style. And the chic aesthetic means you will want to live in them all year long.
Instead of Urban Outfitters, try Reformation.
Reformation is a one-stop shop for office-appropriate fashion that is still *ahem* fashionable; think of it as UO for grown-ups. Although most styles at Ref tend to be on the conservative side (at least for my taste), everything has a modern, effortless feel–perfect for recreating the highly coveted French girl style, athleisure-obsessed American style or anything in between!