The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, and yet it is also one of the most popular industries. In fact, the average person buys 60% more clothing items than they did 20 years ago, and fashion is now a $1.2 trillion dollar industry.
However, there is a growing movement of sustainable fashion, which is fashion that is produced in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. Sustainable fashion takes into account the entire lifecycle of a garment, from the sourcing of the materials to the disposal of the garment.
There are many ways that you as a consumer can be more sustainable when it comes to your fashion choices. Here are some tips:
1. Use Clothes That Use Sustainable Materials
As a fashion consumer, you can make a difference by supporting brands and retailers that use sustainable materials. Sustainable materials are those that have been sourced in an environmentally friendly way and will have a minimal negative impact on the environment when they are disposed of.
Some sustainable materials that are commonly used in fashion include organic cotton, bamboo, wool, linen, and Hemp. These materials are all biodegradable, meaning they will break down naturally over time without causing harm to the environment. Not only are they environment-friendly, but they are also wearer-friendly too.
If you haven’t tried putting on bamboo socks yet, you are missing the comfort and warmth it provides. Socks made from bamboo are just as comfortable as cotton socks. Plus, they have thermoregulating properties that keep feet warm, and they have moisture-wicking properties and antibacterial properties that prevent odor. The same benefits can be gained from clothing made of bamboo fabric.
Supporting brands that use sustainable materials is a great way to be a more sustainable fashion consumer. Not only will you be helping to protect the environment, but you’ll also be supporting businesses that are making an effort to be more sustainable.
2. Shop Second-Hand
Buying second-hand clothes is a great way to be a more sustainable fashion consumer. Not only do you save clothes from going to landfills, but you also save money and support good causes. There are plenty of places to buy second-hand clothes, including charity shops, vintage stores, and online marketplaces. You can often find good quality clothes for a fraction of the price of new items.
When shopping second-hand, it is important to remember that you are not just buying a piece of clothing – you are also supporting a cause. Buying from charity shops supports charities and their work, while buying from vintage stores helps to preserve history and keep clothes in use for longer.
3. Rent Clothes
Renting clothes is another great way to be more sustainable, as it means that you are only using a garment for a short period of time before returning it. This is a great option if you want to wear a designer dress for a special occasion, but don’t want to spend the money to buy it outright.
There are many companies that offer clothing rental services, such as Rent the Runway and Le Tote.
4. Buy From Sustainable Brands
If you do want to buy new clothes, make sure to buy from sustainable brands. Sustainable brands are those that produce their clothing in an environmentally and socially responsible way. This means that they use sustainable materials, have fair labor practices, and have a low carbon footprint.
It’s not only better for the environment, but it’s often better for your wallet as well. Sustainable clothing is made to last longer, which means you’ll save money in the long run. And, sustainable fashion brands are often more transparent about their supply chain and manufacturing processes, so you can feel good knowing exactly where your clothes come from.
5. Repair Your Clothes
When your clothes start to wear out, don’t throw them away – repair them! There are many simple repairs that you can do at home, such as sewing on a new button or patching a hole. If you’re not sure how to do a repair, there are plenty of tutorials online.
Not only is repairing your clothes more sustainable than buying new clothes, but it can also save you money.
6. Donate Or Recycle Your Clothes
When you’re finished with a piece of clothing, don’t just throw it away – donate it or recycle it. There are many organizations that will take your unwanted clothes and either sell them to raise money, or recycle the materials to make new clothes.
Some great options for donating or recycling your clothes include The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and H&M’s garment collecting program.
By following these tips, you can be a more sustainable fashion consumer and help make a positive impact on the environment.