According to UnEarthed, ‘Every year, global emissions from textile production are equivalent to 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2, a figure that outweighs the carbon footprint of international flights and shipping combined.’ Shoppers across the globe have a responsibility to make sustainable choices when it comes to their wardrobes, but exactly how can you do that? From materials to brands and mindful shopping, let’s take a look at your sustainable fashion options.
1 . Choose the right materials
To make sustainable fashion choices, it’s important to choose the right materials when you shop. Look out for the following eco-friendly materials on your next shopping spree:
Bamboo: No fertilizers or pesticides are used to grow bamboo. The plant absorbs plenty of carbon dioxide and releases oxygen as it grows. Bamboo clothing is soft and durable; it’s also antibacterial, sweat-absorbent, and insulating. For some beautiful bamboo dresses check out The Iconic online store.
Hemp: Hemp is one of the best sustainable fabrics out there. Hemp is durable, high quality, and does not negatively impact the earth when it grows. It’s mold-resistant and UV resistant, meaning it’s especially suitable for outdoor clothing. You’ll find a wide range of hemp clothing products on the market, from hemp sweaters to hemp leggings.
Organic Cotton: One study on Medium suggests that ‘organic cotton reduces water consumption by 91% compared to conventionally grown cotton.’ Organic cotton clothing is luxurious, comfortable, and soft to the touch. The material is breathable and versatile; a perfect choice for PJs and T-shirts.
When you are shopping for homeware items, whether rugs or sheets, it’s also a great idea to look out for these materials.
2. Prioritise sustainable brands
Some clothing brands are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than others. To support sustainable fashion initiatives, it’s essential to do your research. For a few ideas to get you started, check out the following brands:
Mother Of Pearl: For a great sustainable line of clothing, check of the ‘No Frills’ collection, first launched back in 2018. Mother Of Pearl is committed to eco-friendly fashion and is working towards becoming a fully sustainable company. As well as using eco-friendly materials, Mother of Pearl uses green- energy to run their London offices. They also use plant-based packaging materials.
Alternative Apparel: If you’re looking for casual wear from leggings to jeans and hoodies, Alternative Apparel has got plenty of lovely garments. The brand uses recycled garments and organic cotton to make their clothing. Alternative Apparel also adheres to strict ethical guidelines at its factories.
There are so many more sustainable brands to buy from. Remember, as the demand for sustainable fashion grows, we’ll start to see more companies jumping on the bandwagon!
3. Shop second hand & vintage online:
Thred Up: Using the ThredUp app, you can shop for vintage and second-hand clothes from a huge range of different brands. As well as shopping second-hand, you can use Thred Up to sell your unwanted items. Simply order a ‘clean out kit,’ fill up the bag of your clothes and send it to ThredUp. They’ll take care of the photography, listing, and shipping.
Vinted: With the Vinted app, it’s simple to buy and sell second-hand and vintage items. You can browse millions of gorgeous vintage treasures, filtering your search brand or type of garment. Ask your sellers any questions you’d like, and pay using your bank card or PayPal.
Further options include Depop, LetGo, Poshmark or Etsy Marketplace. A cute new vintage look is the perfect way to reinvent yourself. There are so many treasures in vintage stores whether it’s a pair of embellished denim jeans or a 1950s style dress.
4. Shop Mindfully:
When you are shopping for your fashion items, it’s important to shop mindfully. Mindful shopping is all about thinking carefully about the purchases that you make. To get started, consider the following ideas:
1. Only buy items that you love as opposed to making purchases for the sake of it.
2. Before you buy an item of clothing, consider how many times you will wear this garment. Choose items that you’ll get lots of wear out of (as opposed to one or two occasions).
3. Ask yourself if the items you are considering buying are ‘fast fashion.’ These are cheap items that need replacing often and should be avoided if you want to be eco-friendly.
4. Before you go shopping, go through your wardrobe and assess what you actually need.
5. Choose materials that are green, biodegradable, or easily recycled.
Do not throw away your clothing, ensure that it’s disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
5. Sell your unwanted garments:
Many of us end up with lots of items that we never wear. Instead of wasting the money and materials, go green and sell the things you no longer need. To sell unwanted clothing, check out the following options:
Facebook Marketplace: On Facebook Marketplace, it’s easy to sell a wide range of items from furniture to technology and clothing. It’s free to use, and most local buyers are willing to come and collect their items.
eBay: One of the classic sites to sell second-hand, eBay makes it simple to get a few dollars for your unwanted clothing. It’s easy to chat to buyers via messages and collect your cash via Paypal.
There’s loads of other apps to sell preloved too: Asos Marketplace, Wallapop, Poshmark and Vinted. When you sell your unwanted items you’ll make a bit of extra money, as well as help reduce waste.
6. Choose cross-seasonal items:
When you’re shopping for new clothes, choose items which you can wear in more than one season. Cross-seasonal garments are more worthwhile compared to garments that are only suitable for one time of year. Whether it’s a summer-autumn dress or a versatile jacket, choose garments you’ll get to wear all the time!
7. Go for quality:
It can often be tempting to buy cheap ‘fast fashion’ items. The problem is, these garments don’t last long, and so you’ll end up creating lots of waste. When you are shopping for clothes, go for quality brands and materials that stand the test of time. Paying a bit more initially is worth it to create a sustainable and long-lasting wardrobe. When you’re updating your autumn fashion, ensure that you choose quality items.
8. Learn how to sew & mend:
Repairing your old clothes is an excellent way to ensure that they last longer. Once you learn the simple basics of sewing, you’ll no longer have to throw out every garment that gets a small hole or tear!
9. Look after your clothing:
Simple but true, the better you take care of your clothing, the longer it will last. To look after your clothes, try washing them less often. When you do wash your clothes, choose a low temperature. Always read the care labels and pay close attention to all of these instructions.
10. Clothes swap:
Check out the events in your local neighborhood and see if you can find a swap event near you. At a clothes swap, a group of people all bring along their unwanted garments. The items are then free for everyone to browse and take what they like. Clothes swap events are a fantastic way to create less waste and go green!
With these ten tips, it’s easy to reduce your carbon footprint and make ethical style choices. Mindful shopping isn’t just about fashion; it’s about closely considering every purchase you make from a sustainable perspective.