By Lois Wandless
Sustainable fashion sounds like a daunting concept filled with dull, boring and drab clothes. However, all is not what it seems. You’re probably thinking this means breaking up with your favourite brands and limiting your fashion choices but don’t fret yet! We’ve supplied you with seven simple steps how you can create your very own sustainable wardrobe.
- Step away from the high street: many big fast fashion brands are key culprits for using unfair factories and under developing countries within Asia. The factories producing these garments sometimes do not provide safe working conditions or fair labour standards for their employees. Buying your garments from local smaller manufacturers and British-based brands is greener than fast-fashion brands because they produce less waste and treat workers ethically.
- Question yourself: will you get a good wear from the garment? Will this garment last? Are you investing in this piece forever? The #30wears campaign encourages fashion fanatics to wear their garments at least 30 separate times and make a thoughtful decision when buying to ensure a more ethical wardrobe.
- Be picky: bright coloured dyes, synthetic materials and animal furs are all damaging our ecosystem. Toxic dyes are discharged from factories into rivers, in turn, killing animals and polluting drinking water. Synthetic materials have a high environmental impact within the production phase and are not biodegradable. Try and sway towards brands who use organic materials within their products and manufacturing process
- Rehouse your wears: whether you donate your clothes to charity, friends and family, or even selling them there will always be another home for your unwanted pieces. Giving away your clothing to a new loving home is a small yet incremental step towards becoming a green fashion guru.
- Thrifting thrill: not only do vintage shops offer some beautiful and unique pieces, they also help to rehouse unwanted garments which reduces wastage within the fashion industry. Thrift shopping reduces the environmental impact of fashion however, also supplies items that fast-fashion stores cannot compete with.
- Inform before you conform: investigate brands and question their behind-the-scenes manufacturing or quality of their garments. It can be tempting to buy 20 cheap garments over one quality more expensive piece however, it is more than likely that your cheaper garments are costing the environment. Quality over quantity is key, even high-street brands like H&M are converting to “conscious collections”.
- Sustainable is stylish: finally, designer Stella McCartney explains: “I don’t think that things have to look ugly because they’re organic; why can’t they be beautiful as well? You can’t ask a consumer to compromise. I don’t think you can say, ‘Here is this jacket that looks terrible but it’s organic, and here is a really beautiful jacket that’s cheaper but don’t buy it because it’s not organic’.”