Quarantine Kicked My Addiction to Fast Fashion

Working from home in sweatpants made me consider how my shopping habit was harming the environment

Kelsey Gilchrist
Climate Conscious


Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

I can remember the first time I felt it — the itch to shop. It was in fifth grade, when my friend Kaitlin strolled onto the playground in a brand new pink floral rain jacket and matching hoodie. Everyone ooo’d and ahhh’d and admired the set, which was the height of elementary school fashion.

I spotted the same jacket in a store window when my mom and I were at the mall the next week. To my delight, I saw that it came in orange too, and I suddenly wanted it more than anything. I begged my mom to buy it for me, reminding her that I needed a new rain jacket anyway, and this one came with a hoodie, so really it was a great deal!

In reality, I wanted it so people would look at me the way they looked at Kaitlin that day. I was sure that if I just had this one jacket, I would suddenly appear cooler and more interesting and fun.

My mom finally caved and bought me the coat. But what I soon discovered was that feeling — that guttural need to acquire a new trendy outfit — didn’t go away when I got the jacket I wanted. If anything, it grew. Each time I brought home a new shopping haul, there was always another trend to chase. By high…