Living sustainably should not only be something we only explore around the home, but it should also extend to our wardrobes. With so many labels claiming to be green, and a huge focus on fads and trends, it can be hard to know where to start. Here is a guide to sustainable dressing and what steps you can take to reduce your impact.
Consider your choices in materials
Rather than shopping by price or style, consider making choices based on the materials of the clothes. Organic cotton, bamboo and other materials that are more environmental have come such a long way. In fact, there is a huge movement toward bamboo women’s underwear as it is soft against the skin and quality in its durability.
Sustainable fashion really does start with materials, as environmental materials will not require the same chemical treatment and harsh dyes that are custom with unnatural materials. One thing to note is that these bamboo and organic cotton materials can often take a little longer to dry due to the fabric, so ensure you have a few extra pairs of socks and undies on hand in case they don’t dry in time!
Choose sustainable brands
When you learn who the sustainable players are in the industry, you can spend less time interrogating every single article of clothing, as you know where it is coming from and how it is made. Corporate marketing can be full of jargon, so explore what the sustainable practices are on the fashion labels’ websites and other third-party platforms. There is a huge variation of what constitutes sustainability for some brands, so make sure it’s a legitimate claim and not a brand that only uses compostable shopping bags and doesn’t take their commitment further than that.
Repair and reuse
Fast fashion can certainly be tempting when it offers all the newest trends at affordable prices, but the true cost to the earth is far more significant. Try and change your behaviour by getting into the habit of repairing clothes that need to be fixed, rather than replacing them with something cheap that is not built to last. This is also an opportunity to put your personal stamp on that piece of clothing and choose stylish and creative ways to repair your clothes.
Another core component of sustainably dressing is to reuse and repurpose items. If a jacket sleeve breaks down, perhaps you can turn it into a vest and wear it through the warmer months instead. Once you start you will not be able to help yourself and will find so many opportunities to reuse and repurpose items. Trips to the thrift store are also a lot of fun when you are looking for potential and not perfect ready-to-wear items.
Reflect and improve
The road to a sustainable life is not a perfect one, and you will be constantly reflecting on your processes and improving as you go. The last thing you want to do is throw away clothes that are not environmentally friendly or unethical, so you should protect and preserve your clothing so that it lasts the distance. Continue to assess what brands you are buying to ensure that they are the best options on the market. If the environmental brands are more expensive (which they often are) then you can do the math in working out how long fast fashion lasts compared to quality made fashion – and the cost will justify this choice.
We hope you have found some great tips to implement today and some things to think about when it comes to dressing sustainably. As sustainability continues to be a focus of our society, choosing eco-friendly brands will become easier, but make the pledge today to get started.