The vital resources used to make clothing, as well as the damaging practices, make fashion one of the least sustainable there is. The good news is there are actions we can take to embrace a more sustainable approach to clothing. Read on to find out more.
Say NO to fast fashion
For the longest time, fashion has been all about the next trend. Indeed, to help facilitate the sale of more clothes new items are introduced every season. However, the problem with this approach is that it encourages the system of fast fashion. Fast fashion is all about clothes that are made quickly to supply seasonal trends and it’s linked to all sorts of damaging practices including the use of unsustainable materials, and labor as well as increased pollutants and overuse of energy and water.
With that in mind, if you want to take a more sustainable approach slow fashion is a much better option. Slow fashion is all about creating items in a way that is kinder to the planet, and to the people and communities making them. Slow fashion includes using materials that are sustainably produced and manufactured and have much less of a negative impact on the environment.
To that end, before choosing your next item, or being swept along with the current trends you see online and in magazines, be sure to look out for slow fashion options.
Rent /hire / borrow
Another savvy way of making more sustainable fashion choices is to drop buying new clothes and rent or borrow them instead. Indeed, this is a particularly great option for events where you want to wear something impactful and eye-catching but will not use that item again.
The good news is that there are many clothing rental companies both online and IRL that you can choose from. Many of these providers stock high-end designer and even couture pieces, which is ideal for social media shoots, and events and means you won’t have to find room in your wardrobe for yet another piece too.
Buy clothes that will last
You can also take a more sustainable approach to fashion by mindfully choosing items that you know will last to stock your wardrobe. After all, buying items that are designed to last you will need to replace them less often and create less clothing waste.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is to create a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of great quality items that fit together to form a range of outfits. Indeed, once you have established your basic capsule you will only need to replace items as they age out.
Many people use capsule wardrobes to solve their workwear woes. Yet, this can make others wary about choosing a capsule because they think it will restrict their personal style. However, it is important to understand that the items you include are completely up to you and can be matched to any individual style you want. For example, you can choose great quality, oversized pieces from designers like about:blank to create a more relaxed and street smart, casual capsule. The good news is that their pieces are designed to last so you know you won’t have to replace them often.
You may even choose to create two capsules one for work and work for leisure time. Some people even go so far as to pick out a uniform for work a la Steve Jobs where they wear the same thing every day, and it becomes their signature style, while also being a more sustainable approach.
Dispose of old clothes in a sustainable way
Sustainability is not just a matter of buying better quality and fewer new items. It’s also about responsibly maintaining those items and disposing of them in the right way. Concerning maintaining your items, make sure that you read the care instructions carefully and wash them in the right way. Also, approaching a tailor or seamstress for repairs and alterations can help keep your older items looking and fitting like new in the long term.
When it comes to disposing of old clothes there are several options to consider. The first is whether you can donate them to a friend, family member, or to a charity where they would continue to have a useful life. However, if you have items that are unsuitable for this you can either use them (with the help of the aforementioned dressmaking professionals) to create new pieces or send them to the proper recycling plant so they don’t end up in a landfill.
Indeed, it’s worth remembering that every time a new piece of clothing is created it uses vast amounts of energy and other precious resources like water. Therefore, every time you avoid buying a new piece you will be making a more sustainable choice.