The term “sustainable fashion” is one that is bandied about a lot these days. But what exactly does sustainable fashion actually mean? Sustainable fashion prioritizes clothes which has been manufactured ethically, that is eco-friendly, taking into account the needs of the people who make it. Now more than ever, the fashion world is placing more and more emphasis on sustainability in order to safeguard the environment.
While fashion brands have a role to play, when it boils down to us the final users, there is uncertainty when choosing what to buy as more brands and customers make greener choices. So, here’s everything you need to know to make sure your wardrobe is as sustainable as possible going forward.
Learn for yourself
To become a more conscious shopper, research is essential. There are more options than ever, making it simple to choose sustainable brands to purchase from. Start by learning more about a couple of the brands you enjoy, then progressively broaden your knowledge to select from a variety of labels.
Greenwashing involves companies making false environmental claims to promote perceived environmental impact. Brands use vague, misleading claims to claim they’re more eco-friendly. Look beyond buzzwords like “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” “conscious,” and “responsible” to see if they have detailed policies to back their claims.
Buy Secondhand and Vintage
Secondhand and vintage goods are becoming more widely available thanks to fashion retail sites such as Depop, The RealReal, and Vestiaire Collective. These things have a longer lifespan, have a lower environmental impact, and are one-of-a-kind. These picks are inspired by celebrities such as Rihanna and Bella Hadid.
Spend more on quality than quantity.
But we just said to buy Secondhand and vintage wear; this doesn’t mean buying items of lower quality. Take celebrities Rihanna and Bella Hadid, for example; their vintage wardrobe boasts a wide variety of top-notch pieces. However, if we are to buy brand new clothes, planning and investing in high-quality, sustainable items rather than lots of cheaper can save money and reduce our carbon footprint. Although it may be more expensive initially, it will last longer and require fewer seasonal purchases. By purchasing a few high-quality items annually, you can significantly reduce your overall environmental impact.
Avoid Statement Pieces
This brings us to the 30 Wears Challenge, which was established in 2015 by Eco-Age co-founder Livia Firth and journalist Lucy Seigle and has served as a guideline for acquiring new items. In present times, the 30-wear guideline might not be enough to create a wardrobe that will last for all time, though, as sustainability becomes more crucial. Instead of focusing entirely on one thing that will quickly lose appeal, put your attention on pieces that can be worn again, such as versatile pieces that can be dressed in many ways, creating a sustainable environment and wardrobe.
Invest in sustainable fashion brands
Investing in sustainable brands in the fashion industry can help create a greener space. Sustainable designers like Ahluwalia, Connor Ives, and Collina Strada use upcycled textiles in their designs. Narrow your search for specific items like activewear, swimwear, or denim, and focus on sustainable brands like Girlfriend Collective, Indigo Luna, Stay Wild, Fisch, and Outland Denim.
Embrace The Rental Market/Circular Economy
Renting clothes for summer events is becoming more convenient than buying new ones. By lowering the amount of unwanted clothing thrown out each year, the circular economy concept seeks to decrease waste and maximize resources. We can help create a more sustainable future by supporting sustainable consumption and waste reduction through sharing wardrobes and participating in the circular economy. Less clothing is discarded and less pollution is produced when using rental platforms rather than buying new.
Take Kate Middleton who wore a green Solace London dress that she borrowed from Hurr to the second annual Earthshot Prize in Boston, which was founded by Prince William and Sir David Attenborough.
Know your materials
Understanding the impact of materials is crucial for sustainable purchases. Avoid virgin synthetics like polyester, which are derived from fossil fuels and take years to break down. Organic cotton uses less water and doesn’t use harmful pesticides. Look for certifications from the Global Organic Textile Standard, the Leather Working Group, and the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure materials have a lower impact on the planet. Recycled materials have a lower impact than virgin materials, but consider whether they can be recycled again.
Learn Quick And Easy Sewing Tricks (or find a good tailor)
When something breaks or rips, don’t throw it away. Learn to repair clothes and accessories or hire a professional to do it. Be more sustainable with fashion by finding a reliable tailor and using alterations app Sojo. This app connects users to local seamsters or tailoring businesses and delivers items for alteration or repair via bicycle. Remember that giving clothes to charity or recycling doesn’t guarantee they’re re-sold or recycled, as they often end up in landfills.
Be mindful of vegan fashion choices
Just as animal-derived materials like as leather and wool raise environmental and ethical problems, vegan substitutes, which are frequently created from synthetics such as PVC, can be hazardous to the environment as well. Plant-based alternatives may contain synthetics as well, but they may improve over time.
Ask more about your clothes
Look for brands that reveal production facility details as well as income and working conditions policies. Furthermore, to assess a brand’s commitment to reducing environmental impact, check if they have scientific targets. By Signing up to the Science Based Targets Initiative, like Gucci and Burberry, they require goals aligned with the Paris Agreement for CO2 emissions reduction.
Indulge in Capsule Wardrobe Planing
Change your splurge habits by investing your savings in everyday items, like jeans. Instead of spending on wedding dresses or shoes, focus on daily wear and make a commitment to buy one pair for the foreseeable future. This will result in a high-quality, sustainable wardrobe.
Give away your old clothes.
Giving your used clothing to a deserving charity encourages others to buy it and supports sustainability. Because each transaction results in a gift, a one-in, one-out rule would be advantageous.
Take care of your clothes to make it last longer.
To reduce environmental impact, extend the life of clothes by not over washing, repairing them instead of throwing them out, and avoiding landfill clogging. This not only reduces CO2 emissions and water consumption but also promotes a longer lifespan for your garments. You can
- Invest in high-quality clothes and linens to extend their lifespan.
- Take proper care of clothes, such as cashmere and denim, to reduce replacements.
- Use a steamer, either handheld or standing— an efficient and gentle alternative to ironing, leaving clothes smooth, fresh, and wrinkle-free.
- Additionally, a fabric shaver can de-bobble and prolong the life of knitted garments.
The circular fashion industry aims to create a system where garments can be reused, recycled, or returned to the earth, if biodegradable or compostable. While the industry is still developing, considering how clothes can contribute to sustainability is crucial.