Sustainability! That’s the trendy word in the fashion industry, they said! But its definitely not a trend. Yes, you’ve read right! Because trends mean fast fashion, which is not sustainable! However, you can be both stylish and sustainable! How? Perhaps you’ll think that wearing ethical fashion brands will do the trick. Yes, true; you could start with that, although it will not make a significant impact.
What is sustainable fashion then? From a consumer perspective, the term consists of buying responsibly and knowing what cause you support when purchasing from sustainable brands. And, most of all, it means adopting conscious dressing habits that will not contribute to the destruction of the planet.
We’ve put together 4 basic tips to help Eco-Fashion warriors dress sustainably.
1. A Wardrobe Inventory Is a Must
Doing a wardrobe inventory is the first step to sustainable fashion. We all know that when we have to attend a special event, the easiest thing to do is rush to the store to buy a new outfit saving us the hassle of going through all our clothes. However, with a list of all the clothing items you own, you will go in your dresser to look for that particular stylish outfit instead of spending unconsciously. While that will stop you from overbuying, it will also reduce waste.
2. A Bit of Repair Will Do No Harm
You’ve probably heard the saying, “if something is broken, fix it”! While this is often used when talking about relationships, if you keep this in mind during your journey to sustainability, you will get a sustainable closet in no time.
Instead of sending clothes with small holes to the landfills, it will be worth mending them with a needle and some thread. While some darning stitches are not that difficult to learn, if you are not much of a sewer, you can also send your damaged clothes to a nearby dressmaker, dry cleaner or look for some services online. They will collect your clothes for repair and return them as new and as stylish as ever.
3. Invest In Timeless Pieces
Every stylist will boast about the importance of having a capsule wardrobe with some timeless staples. In fact, while you will invest in clothes that will not be outdated next season, you will always have something to wear that will flaunt your look. Besides never being left with this famous thought of “having nothing to wear”, you will also be saving the planet with this small buying shift.
Another key factor that you need to consider is quality if you want to buy garments that will last. You must understand the fabric from which the clothes have been made. For instance, natural fibers tend to last longer than synthetics. Try not to overlook the details either; if the stitches are neat and regular, the seams are taped or overlocked and the button holes appropriately finished, they will most likely increase your garment’s lifespan.
4. Wearing Plastic Is a No-Go
Nylon, polyester or acrylic. These are all fancy names for plastic which you should avoid if you want to be sustainable! Well, except if it is recycled plastic. Therefore, read the garment label before buying and, whenever possible, go for fashionable pieces made of organic fibers like wool, linen or cotton. It is also good to note that while organic cotton saves us from pesticides and protects wildlife, fabrics like hemp or Tencel (made from the wood pulp) offer the same qualities but require less water during production.
Also, try to stay away from clothes made from mixed materials, even if they are all organic. The reason being that only fabrics made from 100% fibers (no blending) can be recycled.
While these basic tips will help you be more environmentally-friendly while dressing, it is essential to note that there is no such thing as 100% sustainable fashion. Yet, we can continue our efforts to save the world and make a difference!