This is the time for sustainable fashion – words Al Woods
Recyclable, cruelty-free, fair trade, and organic have all become part of our shopping lingo. However, till recent years the fashion industry has largely been left out of the environmentally and ethically conscious conversations. 2019 is becoming the year that sustainable fashion is becoming more mainstream.
Tons of discarded clothing go into landfills each year and certain clothing fibers, such as oil-based polyester, don’t do the environment any favors. The practice of “fast fashion”, buying cheaply made clothes that aren’t made to last instead of pieces purchased as an investment to last for years to come, have only made the damage of the fashion industry worse. Here are some simple changes you can start making to pave the way for more sustainable and ethical fashion in your wardrobe.
Purchase for the long-term
When purchasing clothing, jewelry, or bags, purchase quality pieces that will last longer than a season or two. Would you rather spend $50 on a pair of jeans that last 1-2 years, or $150 on a pair that lasts over a decade? Consider whether or not the piece will integrate well with your current wardrobe. Sustainable fashion is almost always made with higher quality than other fashion pieces and is created to last for years to come. Timeless fashion such as jean jackets, leather, white blouses and t-shirts, or classic jewelry trends are a great place to start your sustainable collection.
Shop vintage or thrift stores
Vintage, thrift, or consignment stores are a great place to find pieces on a budget, but also keep items out of a landfill. Designer resale shops are becoming more common, and even easier to find online. Shopping second-hand keeps money flowing into the economy without damaging the environment, so take a look before buying new!
Update or Donate
I’ve you’re downsizing, or going KonMari and only keeping the pieces that “spark joy”, consider donating, consigning, or selling your clothes instead of throwing them away. Quality pieces could be donated to programs that help other women find outfits for job interview or just for everyday wear. If you’ve got pieces that you love but are slightly damaged or don’t fit just right, consider having them altered to fit or fixed up to wear like new again instead of throwing them away. Zippers, hemlines, tears, and buttons are all able to be mended by a good alterations person.
Buy handmade or local
Farmers markets, flea markets, or craft shows are create places to support local artisans, and find unique pieces for your wardrobe. Handmade pieces often are priced well and put money back into your local community.
One of the best ways to support sustainable fashion is to learn more about the industry and what you’re purchasing. Silk and bamboo fibers are harmful to the environment, and the mining of diamonds for jewelry is historically unethical on top of extreme environmental damage. Take the time to learn more about alternatives, such as lab created diamonds, clothing that is not factory produced and supports a livable wage to locals, or research brands that support sustain