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22 tips for 2022: Ditch fast fashion by choosing clothes that will outlast trends

A grid showing 30 identical black T-shirts on a checkerboard of yellow, light blue and purple  rectangles.
Becky Harlan/NPR

Before you hit "purchase" on that trendy new top, pause and try this simple test: Ask yourself if you'd wear that item 30 times or more.

Symphony Clarke, known as the Thrift Guru, notes that a lot of her peers feel pressure to keep up with trends. Some even feel like they can't post a picture in the same outfit twice. "That's the lifespan of their clothing. Once a picture is taken, it's done," she says.

The 30-wear test can help you change your mindset and buy with the notion that what you purchase should stay with you — which will ultimately benefit your wallet and offset the broader costs of fast fashion to the environment and the people making clothes.

Next time you find yourself wanting to jump on a fashion trend, go fold some laundry and imagine all the times you'd pull those "dry clean only" pants out of your closet before hitting "proceed to checkout." If it's fewer than 30 times, you might want to click "remove from cart."


Here are more tips on how to cultivate a sustainable closet.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Elise Hu and produced by Fiona Geiran.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.