Those Trendy Clothing Hauls Are #KillingThePlanet

Giada Nizzoli

Those Trendy Clothing Hauls Are #KillingThePlanet

If you scroll on TikTok long enough, you’re bound to bump into a clothing haul.

You know, a video of someone magically jumping from outfit to outfit only to do the same with a dozen new garments a few weeks later?

Sadly, while they might be entertaining to watch (or do), clothing hauls have terrible consequences. 

What is a clothing haul?

A clothing haul is a video where someone showcases a large number of garments they’ve bought in one go.

They’re mostly filmed by bloggers and influencers. In some cases, they’re sponsored hauls as those content creators have received these garments as a gift. It’s not unusual to see fast fashion hauls filmed by consumers too, though. 

While these videos started out on YouTube around 2018, they’ve slowly spread onto different platforms, TikTok in particular.

The hashtag #haul has over 26.7 billion views, and the most popular are those from ultra-fast fashion giant SHEIN.

4 dangerous problems with clothing hauls

Consumer showcasing a clothing haul

The main problem with fast fashion hauls is that they glorify overconsumption, and this comes with dreadful consequences.

1. Clothing hauls cause enormous amounts of waste

When clothes are sold at ridiculously low prices and marketed as something that should be changed regularly, they become disposable. 

Fast fashion generates 92 million tonnes of waste every year, and clothing hauls only contribute to this mindset and behaviour. 

2. Returning these garments isn’t actually a sustainable option…

Many creators send some of these garments back after filming a clothing haul video. However, free returns have an expensive environmental cost

From the additional courier to the fact that most returned garments can’t be sold again, they can result in double the carbon footprint.

3. … and neither is donating them!

When content creators are accused of promoting an unsustainable lifestyle with their fast fashion hauls, another typical answer is, “But I don’t bin these clothes: I donate them.”

Sadly, only 20% of donated clothes are sold again.

The majority gets either discarded (=more waste) or shipped from one middle-man to another, usually ending up in developing countries. As well as higher carbon emissions, this has a negative impact on local economies. 

4. Fast fashion hauls keep you trapped in an unhealthy and unsustainable vicious cycle

Clothing hauls reinforce the belief that you must keep buying clothes to be happy, fashionable, and “worthy”.

They also encourage you to treat them as disposable without worrying about the consequences. 

Please, stop doing and supporting #ClothingHauls!

A smaller selection of sustainable fashion clothes

Fast fashion hauls are proof that the main problem is overconsumption. 

We get it: not everyone can afford sustainable clothes. However, many people choose to keep spending hundreds of pounds on cheap items every few weeks. So, in most cases, the core problem is mindset.

Here’s what you can do to shift yours:

  • Stop seeing your clothes as disposable. Choose fewer higher-quality pieces produced sustainably and made to last (you can find the range of hundreds of ethical brands right here on Project Cece) and actually fall in love with them!
  • Curate your feed and stop supporting content creators who promote clothing hauls or fast fashion. Keep in mind that it can be hard for ethical brands to work with influencers since they have much lower margins (and, in most cases, budgets) than big fast fashion companies. Still, try and follow content creators who encourage a sustainable fashion lifestyle and actually wear their garments more than once
  • Repurpose your outfits. Instead of chasing an ephemeral dopamine hit by purchasing new items regularly, get creative remixing your existing ones in different ways

As entertaining and colouful as they might seem, clothing hauls hide a darker reality. Try to shop and wear your garments mindfully instead!

Keep yourself motivated by receiving our ethical brand inspiration and tips to make more sustainable fashion choices.

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