Did you know that fashion is the third-highest industry for pollution in the world? While many brands are making moves to become more sustainable, others are severely lacking. So how can you counteract this at home?
The answer lies in making informed changes and choices. Read on as we discuss how to create a sustainable fashion wardrobe.
Start With a Clear Out
The first step is to start with a clear-out. However, you need to be more thoughtful than getting rid of everything. Throwing clothing away needlessly is just as bad as buying new items that are not sustainable or ethical.
Separate the clothing into things you wear and like, and things that have not been worn and probably won't be again. Do the same with your accessories, then place the keep pile back into the wardrobe.
Before donating the other pile to a charity store, take one last look through it. Are there any old items you could reappropriate as sustainable women's clothing? For example, perhaps old denim could be cut off into stylish shorts, or some of the funky textiles can be used as patches in other garments.
If you don't have much experience with needles and thread, now is a great time to start. You have nothing to lose apart from old clothes. You could gain a new skill and some truly unique clothing items.
Shop Second Hand
Whether you call it second-hand or vintage, one way to buy sustainable clothing is to purchase items that have already been used. You could decide to do this online or in designated clothes shops and markets. Either way, you will find it really puts the fun back into shopping.
Start by scouring online auction sites like eBay. There are even sites like it set up specifically for vintage clothing. The fun of these sites is seeing an item you really love, then trying to get it at a bargain price.
Your next stop should be physical shops. These places put the fun back into clothes shopping. Instead of walking into a fashion boutique full of nicely arranged, uniform products worn by everyone, you have to dig right in and hunt for the unique items.
Choose Sustainable Materials
Sustainable clothing brands should not just focus on how their product is made and distributed but also on the materials they use. Very often, materials that you would assume are sustainable actually are not.
The first materials to go should be leather and fur. Whether you agree with the rearing of animals for products or not is a whole different argument. However, what can not be denied is the damage the rearing of animals in these circumstances, and numbers do to the planet.
In addition to this, the leather treatment uses a lot of harmful chemicals. These are often hard to dispose of, and more often than not, are released into the environment where they cause untold damage.
On the brighter side, many sustainable clothing brands are beginning to experiment with new materials. These include items that can look the same as leather and fur without the environmental impact.
Wash Your Clothes Less
To some people, this may seem appalling. But eco-friendly clothing is not just about what you buy, but what you do with it. In many cases, that might involve washing less.
We are not saying wear clothes until they smell bad. But do jeans really need washing every day if you have been wearing them around the house? Can a shirt worn over a T-shirt go back in the wardrobe for one more wear?
The electricity and water you use to wash your clothing is a huge drain. In addition, if you decide to use the tumble dryer, even more power is being used. So instead, try to dry your clothes naturally using a hanger or clothesline.
Cut Down On What You Buy
When starting a sustainable fashion wardrobe, begin by cutting down on what you buy. Non-sustainable fashion is such a low cost; it can be really tempting to buy that T-shirt you really love or that extra pair of bargain jeans. But if you don't need them, what purpose are they serving?
You should know how many items of clothing you need. If you wear seven pairs of jeans a week and one goes, then, by all means, buy another. But do you need a whole selection that seldom sees the light of day?
The same goes for one-off occasions. For example, if you buy a dress or outfit for a wedding or holiday party, make sure it is one you will use again. By buying bold and current items, you often buy items likely to go out of fashion very soon.
Buy Sustainable Clothing Brand
When you do buy, then buy sustainable clothing brands. Look for brands that market themselves as such, but don't just take their word for it.
First, check where and how their products are made. You may find that some brands are very secretive about this, and it usually means that they are in places where wages are low, and treatment is unethical. If they don't tell you, then don't buy.
After this, check the materials. Are they sustainably produced? Do the workers receive fair treatment and pay for their labor? After this, check how the items get to you and the carbon footprint used.
If you cant, find out this information, then ask the company. Speak to them on social media and hold them accountable. A truly sustainable brand should have nothing to hide from its customers.
Building a Sustainable Fashion Wardrobe
In summary, take time and care when buying your products. A sustainable fashion wardrobe involves selecting products carefully and reusing old ones. Combine fun vintage shopping with eco-friendly high street choices to create a unique, bespoke look.
Your first stop for a sustainable fashion brand should be DaCosta Verde. Our goal is to make your journey to an eco-conscious lifestyle simple, stylish, and fun. Click here to view our sustainable Eco Feminina range and start your journey to sustainability today.