The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions. Events like Cop27 highlighted rising environmental issues that should be addressed by both governments and companies worldwide. Its apparent that if you care about the environment you’ll need to take issues into your own hands and change the way you purchase clothing. This article will show you how to be trendy and sustainable whilst staying on budget.
"As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy"
- Emma Watson
1. Reject Fast Paced Trends & Only Buy what you Love
Fast fashion trends are used by companies to create continuous profits, exploiting workers and the environment by manipulating consumers into believing that they need the newest trend to be cool. Tip 1 is all about rejecting fast paced fashion trends, purchasing and repeatedly wearing clothes that make you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks.
2. Purchase Good Quality Garments
Tip 2 is crucial, buying good quality clothing that’s made well, lasting the wearer years if looked after properly. 100% Natural materials like cotton, silk and linen can be produced sustainably, washed hundreds of times and then recycled at the end of its lifetime.
3. Buy from Ethically Sourced, Sustainable Fashion Brands
Finding ethically sourced and sustainable fashion brands that don’t break the bank can be hard. However brands like Lucy & Yak, Hissy Fit, Honest Basics and Plant Faced Clothing are all brands that produce size inclusive, consciously made clothing for prices ranging from £15-£80. Most importantly these brands are all fashionable, colourful and full of character.
4. Buy Second Hand or Vintage
Buying second hand and vintage clothing is one of the easiest ways to be sustainable. Often garments are heavily discounted making it a very affordable way to buy unique pieces. The down side of this tip is there often aren’t many size options and repeated pieces are hard to find.
5. Rent from Brands or Swap Clothes with Friends
Renting individual garments or seasonal wardrobes is becoming more available from brands like Loanhood and By Rotation. It means you can wear designer and trendy clothes for different occasions without committing to the full price. Clothing rental platforms can sometimes be relatively high cost, however swapping clothes with friends or going to swap shops can introduce new clothes into your wardrobe at low cost and reduce environmental waste.
6. Mend Clothes, make them Last Longer
Mending and upcycling clothes you already own will always be the most sustainable option, making each piece unique and adding years to its life. Fixing clothes is affordable and beginner friendly with online videos and instructions easily accessible.
7. Make your own Clothes
Making your own clothes can be as simple or as complicated as you like, creating unique garments tailored to your specific size, fabric and style choice. Online platforms provide lots of tutorials for beginners, opening up a new hobby and only costing the fabric and time taken to produce.
8. Circular Fashion, Donate Clothes you don’t Wear to Charity
De-cluttering allows you to focus on the clothing you love and wear repeatedly. Donating unused clothes to charity will clear wardrobe space and generates money for good causes. This circular fashion module allows others to purchase your clothing giving garments a second life.
9. Used Textile & Garment Recycle Programs
Many brands, non-profits and governments worldwide provide used textile and garment recycle programs. This enables clothing to be either upcycled or turned into different garments. Items not suitable for further use are disposed of in a sustainable way, saving them from landfill.
10. Sell Clothing on Platforms like Depop, Vinted or eBay
One of the best ways to be a sustainable consumer is to resell your unwanted clothing on second hand platforms like Depop, Vinted or eBay. The tenth tip earns you money back from your previous purchases but also gives the garment a new life.
Using just one of these tips in your consumption pattern could make a huge difference. Rejecting fast fashion and prioritising the future of the environment without compromising style or price is the way to keep fashion industry creative without exploiting the planet and its workers.