6 Steps to sustainable fashion
One of the less obvious areas to live a more sustainable lifestyle lies within your wardrobe. Sustainable fashion is thankfully becoming more popular and brands are facing increasing pressure to conform to more eco-friendly values.
What is sustainable fashion?
"In short, it’s an umbrella term for clothes that are created and consumed in a way that can be, quite literally, sustained, while protecting both the environment and those producing garments. That’s why cutting CO2 emissions, addressing overproduction, reducing pollution and waste, supporting biodiversity, and ensuring that garment workers are paid a fair wage and have safe working conditions, are all crucial to the sustainability matrix." says well known fashion magazine Vogue.
How can I be more sustainable in my fashion choices?
Buy less and buy better.
You'll likely have heard the phrase "buy cheap, buy twice" and it's most often the case with fashion. By investing in key, quality pieces that can be worn over and over again you not only will save money in the long run but you'll be helping the planet too by creating less landfill and reducing production demand. When choosing what to buy consider how much wear you'll actually get out of an item, if the answer is you'll wear it once or twice, ask yourself if you really need it.
Shop second hand and vintage
Vintage and second hand clothing is thankfully more accessible than ever thanks to websites such as Ebay, Debop and Vinted. Gone are the days of having to endlessly trawl charity shops to find that perfect dress, now all you need to do is type what you're looking for into a search bar and a whole range of options appear in front of your very eyes. With lots of items barely worn or even new and never worn it's the perfect way to save money too.
If you've got a big event such as a wedding or ball coming up take a look at clothing rentals. The clothes available to rent are usually really expensive pieces if you were to buy them where as when you rent you'll pay a fraction of the price. Let's face it you'll probably never wear that suit or dress again so it's perfect for finding stunning clothes that won't hurt your pocket or the planet.
Take care of your clothing
When it comes to lowering the impact of your clothing on the environment one of the best things you can do is to look after the clothes you own properly. By not over washing, washing at low temperatures and air drying as well as repairing any holes or tears where possible we can vastly reduce the amount of landfill we produce.
Microplastics are everywhere including in synthetic materials. While it's difficult to avoid these plastics and materials all together (Certain clothing e.g. gym wear still needs to stretch) washing these items can release thousands of microplastics into our waterways and oceans, harming marine life. There is a solution however, you can buy microplastic catchers such as a Guppyfriend Washing bag or a Cora Ball that you simply place in with your laundry.
Give your clothes a second chance
I for one love a good wardrobe clear out, there's something cathartic about it but be conscious of what will happen to the clothes you're casting aside. Reselling or donating are the best options but for anything that really is passed it's best you can recycle or repurpose. T-shirts make great cleaning cloths where as socks can be used to make puppets with the kids.
Other ways to be more sustainable with your fashion choices
Finally, don't forget to check out the manufacturers of the clothing you buy. A good eco-friendly company will be open and honest and display a good knowledge of their impact on the environment and ways they're trying to combat it. Avoid falling into greenwashing traps that many businesses preach, they're usually vague and misleading. Look for actually policies to back up any buzzword claims they're making.