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

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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…

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