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77 Thought-Provoking Quotes About Ethical, Sustainable and Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion

In this article, I’ve put together my favorite thought-provoking brilliant quotes from celebrities and fast fashion designers who have decided to put sustainability firmly on the agenda.

This is a brave and bold move, as the fashion industry is the second-largest pollutant after Oil & Gas and doesn’t like criticism.

However, we are running out of time and resources, so it is up to us as individuals and organizations to “be the change we want to see.”

Through the power of quotes, I hope that we can enlighten, educate, and inspire others, and by doing so, influence change within the world.

Remember that every little action counts, and you never know the true power of the ripple effect. So if there’s a quote you like, please share it with a friend or share it on social media.

And with all that being said, let’s dive into the quotes!

Fast Fashion Quotes

“I love a good charity shop, especially when I’m traveling. When I’m going to cold places, I take nothing — just underwear. On my way from the airport, I ask the driver to take me to a good charity shop, and I buy boots, socks, trousers, jumpers, sweaters, hats, and scarves — usually for £30 … On the way back to the airport, I have it all in a big bag and drop it off at another charity shop.”

Helen Mirren

“As the sustainable fashion movement is growing, so do our options to choose from.” 

Csilla Herbszt

“Demand quality not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.”

Orsola de Castro

“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.”

Karl Lagerfeld

“Clothes aren’t going to change the World. The Women who wear them will.”

Anne Klein

“There is no leather without a dead animal.” 

Csilla Herbszt

“The most environmentally friendly product is the one you didn’t buy.”

– Joshua Becker


The fashion industry is responsible for 10 % of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. At this pace, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50 % by 2030.

“If you pay a little more, we can live a little better.”

Sharti Atka, a garment worker from Bangladesh

“Compassion is the new fashion.”


“It really unsettles me that something being ‘ethically made’ is a bonus or optional extra. Should it not be the bare minimum that those who make the items that sustain and/or shape us as humans are respected and safe?

Mikaela Loach

“Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear.”

-Elizabeth L. Cline

“There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.”

– Annie Leonard

“Realize the political power of your money and spend it with the brands you know are treating their workers and the environment in the best possible way.”

Lily Cole

“Fashion can be a universal player in protecting the planet.”

Pharrell Williams



If demographic and lifestyle patterns continue as they are now, global apparel consumption will rise from 62 million metric tons in 2019 to 102 million tons in 10 years. 

“Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”

Livia Firth

“Second-hand is the new organic. When we buy preloved clothes, we do not add chemicals or production stress to the environment. Everything else is various shades of greenwashing.”

Jane Milburn

“Cheap fashion is really far from that. It may be cheap in terms of the financial cost, but very expensive when it comes to the environment and the cost of human life.”

Sass Brown

“Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth.

Environmental Audit Committee

“Becoming more mindful about clothing means looking at every fiber, at every seed and every dye, and seeing how to make it better. We don’t want sustainability to be our edge; we want it to be universal.”

Eileen Fisher

“Some people will tell you that once you wear an outfit or take photos in it, you shouldn’t be seen wearing it again, but I completely disagree… If something looks good on you, why not enjoy it instead of buying into hyper-consumerism that leads to pollution.” 

Michelle Chavez

“The really great thing about my shoe store is that there’s not one dead animal in it.”

Stella McCartney

Sustainable Garment-min


Of the total fiber input used for clothing, 87 % is incinerated or disposed of in a landfill. 

“Shop less, think more.”

Vivienne Westwood

“Cheap consumer products are sold to us as some grand achievement of globalization, but they’ve come at the price of middle-class jobs, craftsmanship, and stable communities.”

Elizabeth L. Cline

“The designer today should not help to produce more – he has to help produce fewer and better things. There is a beauty, aesthetic, and philosophy of the less.” 

Philippe Starck

“As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”

Emma Watson 

“Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion”


“As the sustainable fashion movement is growing, so do our options to choose from.” 

Csilla Herbszt

“Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear.” 

Elizabeth L. Cline

Wear Vintage-min


Around 20 % of wastewater worldwide comes from fabric dyeing and treatment.

“Demand quality not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.”

Orsola de Castro

“Consumer demand can revolutionize the way fashion works as an industry. If everyone started to question the way we consume, we would see a radically different fashion paradigm.”

Carry Somers

“Ethical is the new normal.”


“Good design is a sustainable design.”

Imran Amed

“It is better to have fewer things of quality than too much expendable junk.”

Rachel Zoe

“Sustainable Fashion is not a trend but the future.”

Antonia Böhlke

“We’re at a climate crisis, and sorry, but I’m not going to applaud a company that sells millions of items a day just because they introduced a tiny collection with sustainable materials. We’ve passed that years ago….” 

Csilla Herbszt

Slave Labor-min


Foundations like Ellen MacArthur and initiatives such as the recently formed UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, in which the World Bank’s Connect4Climate program and other organizations participate, are calling for a new textile economy.

“One day, we’ll wake up, and Green will not be the new black; it will be the new invisible. Meaning, no longer will sustainable be the exception.”

Summer Rayne Oakes

“Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

Vivienne Westwood

“We don’t have to pollute, exploit, and over-consume to look stylish.”

Csilla Herbszt

“Only buy clothes that you plan to keep forever. It’s important to see trends for what they are: a game.”

Carine Roitfeld

“I get highs, to be totally honest, in second-hand shops. My hunting instinct, I expect, really kicks in.”


“The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.” 

Alicia Keys

“Everyone can do simple things that make a difference, and every little bit does count.”

Stella McCartney

Living With Less-min


Many low-cost clothing stores offer new designs every week. In 2000, 50 billion new garments were made; nearly 20 years later, that figure has doubled, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The dizzying pace of apparel manufacturing has also accelerated consumption: the average person today buys 60 % more clothing than in 2000, the data show

“When an industry doesn’t care about how people are treated, no consideration of sustainability is possible. You can’t just care about the environment and forget about the fair and ethical treatment of people.”

Simone Cipriani

“As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that do not bleed. That is why I avoid all animal skins.”

Stella McCartney

“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.

Mahatma Gandhi 

“If we want to move towards a low-polluting, sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases.”

David Suzuki

“Consume less; share better.”

 Hervé Kempf

“If we design for the landfill, if we produce clothes that are effectively disposable, we will all start to treat them like litter.

 – Lucy Siegle

“I want to bring a message which is veganism, and that there doesn’t have to be torture in fabulous fashion. You can be stylish, and sustainable all at the same time.”

Miley Cyrus

Coffee - with text-min


Every year, half a million tons of plastic microfibers are dumped into the ocean, equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles.

(Microfibers cannot be extracted from the water, and they can spread throughout the food chain).

“In our rich consumers’ civilization, we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions.”

Max Lerner

“We have been told a story that casts us in the role of consumers, people who merely take in products that were made far away. The reality is that as human beings, we make choices, and the choices we make around what we wear are having profound implications for our planet as well as for some of our most vulnerable fellow human beings.”

Andrew Morgan

“As with other social and political statements through commercial art, eco-fashion is a reaction to social and ecological conditions.”

Sass Brown

“It is not what you wear that defines who you are but who you are that defines what you wear.”

– Bea Johnson

“Buy what you need, love what you have.”


“Be the agent of change.”

Emma Watson

“Shopping second-hand is not only a great way to have new clothes in your wardrobe for an affordable price, but it also gives the clothes a second chance to shine.”


Transparent Clothes-min


According to figures from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it takes 3,781 liters of water to make a pair of jeans, from cotton production to the delivery of the final product to the store. That equates to the emission of around 33.4 kilograms of carbon equivalent.

“It’s time to slow down and consider the true cost of choosing quantity over quality.”

Kate Fletcher

“No more fashion victims!”

Katharine Hamnett

“What is ethical fashion? It’s a confusing term. Sometimes it’s easier to define by what it isn’t – and unfortunately, that is most of what can be found on the high street. Unethical fashion means very, very little transparency, accountability, and knowledge of the supply chain.

It means demands of very quick lead times and production turnaround. It means producers played off against each other. It means a wage that doesn’t even afford the worker an adequate salary for two meals a day.”

Safia Minney

“Purchasing is always a moral act.”

Pope Francis

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you express by the way you dress, and the way you live.” 

Gianni Versace

“Every time you spend money, You’re casting a vote for the kind of World You Want.”

Anna Lappé

“Fashion is about self-expression, not status.”

Yoon Ahn

13 Years Of Drinking-min


Every year the fashion industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water — enough to meet the consumption needs of five million people.

“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying.”

Lucy Siegle

“Ethical and sustainable fashion is not a product. It’s a practice. Everyone is invited to participate. There’s no obligation to buy. And you can get started right now. Today.”

Elizabeth L. Cline

“Exploiting workers is not fashionable.”


“Slow clothing is a philosophy. It is a way of thinking about, choosing, and wearing clothes to ensure they bring meaning, value, and joy to every day.”

Jane Milburn

“Become an active citizen through your wardrobe.”

Livia Firth

“Simplicity Women and men alike often have reservations about paring down their wardrobes for fear of losing options or outfit combinations. Ironically, the same individuals often simultaneously complain about having a closet full of nothing to wear. I have come to learn that decluttering unexpectedly makes options clear and easy.”

-Bea Johnson, Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste

The Fashion Industry Should Reinvent Itself!

In Summary

Quotes are intended to intrigue the mind and provide a thought-provoking experience for the recipient.

I hope that the fast fashion quotes listed here have fulfilled that brief and have provided lots of brain nourishment and points for healthy debate and discussion.


A proud father of two boys, an amateur actor, and a green living enthusiast, Mark has been sharing hints, tips, and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019.

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