Sustainable Fashion Tips For Starters
When it comes to styling and beauty, sustainable fashion is now a conscious way of life. This relates to how we dress and consider beauty products.
However, for others, sustainable fashion is they hear but don’t truly understand. Maybe because the term “sustainable fashion” is often overused without exactly explaining what it means.
It is beyond doubt that sustainable fashion is something we all should consider before purchasing fashion clothing, footwear and accessories.
This is because it is it good for the environment and affects how our favourite fashion is sourced and manufactured.
Protect The Workers And Our Environment
The fashion industry being responsible for over the percent of all global greenhouse-gas emissions each year. It’s important that everyone does their bit when making fashion choices.
Your fashion choices can help reduce CO2 emissions and address overproduction of fashion goods thus reducing pollution and waste while at the same time supporting biodiversity.
This can ensure that workers in the industry are paid a proper and fairer wage. This can also contribute to safer working conditions for the workers who manufacturer your favourite clothing and goods.
Here at Sustainablefashion.ie, we have put together a quick guide to help you in your quest to become more fashion sustainable.
They quick tips we hope will provide you with a better understanding on what it’s means to be fashion sustainable without over complicating matters. Let’s start with quick ways to start.
Buying Less is Buying Better
This is a simple starting block for anyone who wants to be more sustainable in the clothes and products they buy.
Let’s face it, we all love fashion clothing and accessories, but we need to ask ourselves the question, do we really need this? Are you just buying items for the sake of it because it makes you feel good? Consider the following,
- What are you buying and why?
- What do you really need?
- Will you wear it at least 40 times?
It Is Worth Investing in Sustainable Fashion Brands?
By getting to grips with buying better, you can also support and help fashion designers who are promoting sustainable practices.
These include designers who use upcycled textiles in their designs. Being conscious of the exact item you are looking to buy (knowing what you want) can define your search for specific products.
The range of sustainable fashion products is growing so choice is becoming easier. The old cliché is “Always read the label” of the product you are considering buying to see if the item you are browsing is sustainable.
Consider Retro and Second-hand Fashion Goods
Did you know that vintage or pre-loved clothing and fashion accessories is now cool and trendy?
Not only are you extending the life span of used clothing, but it’s also a great way to save money.
There are lots of second-hand shops in Ireland that sell preloved clothing and there are savings to be had.
You can also make your own fashion statement when buying preloved clothing by purchasing a fashion piece that represents your own fashion look and style.
Renting Clothes Is A Great Option
Consider renting clothes when preparing for that all important occasion. If you have a wedding, Christening or family gathering planned then renting a dress or suit is one way to be fashion sustainable.
Guys do it when hiring wedding suits so why shouldn’t you? This means you won’t be stuck with the same outfit that will be put in your wardrobe after one use.
It also allows you to choose an item that you may normally might not be able to afford. With lots of shops in Ireland now renting dresses, it’s certainly an option to consider.
Just think, it saves you throwing away that outfit you forgot about years ago that you wore to your cousin’s wedding. In turn it saves old clothing reaching harmful landfill sites in Ireland.
Be Careful Of Green Washing Brands
Yep, lots of brands claim to be “environmentally friendly” but are they really? There is so much green washing out there today that it’s not surprising that some of us get confused.
Some brands are very vague and misleading while making false claims that may suggest they are more eco-friendly than they actually are.
Don’t be fooled by keywords like ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco-friendly’ that they like to push onto consumers in order to get sales.
Do some research on brands to find out what their police are when it comes to sourcing and manufacturing fashion goods and accessories. You may be surprised.
One main thing to help you be more fashion sustainable is to actually understanding types of material used in making fashion goods.
One good rule of thumb to consider is avoid buying products using virgin synthetics such like polyester.
This actually makes up for over fifty percent of clothes and fashion goods constructed worldwide as these are constructed using fossil fuels which can take years to break down once they hit landfill sites.
Remember that not all-natural materials are made the same. The likes of organic cotton uses significantly less water and damaging pesticides than conventional cotton products.
Always look for certifications from the Global Organic Textile Standard (for cotton and wool), Leather Working Group (for leather) and Forest Stewardship Council (for viscose) to ensure the materials used to make your clothes have a lower impact on our planet.
Be Conscious Who Makes Your Clothing
We have all seen it in the news in recent years of fashion garment workers being mistreated and under paid.
Lots of companies (including big high end fashion brands) claim their clothing and fashion goods are ethically made.
However, this is not always the case. It is highly important that people responsible for making our favourite fashion good are paid properly and they receive a fair wage and working conditions.
Look for fashion brands who disclose information about their factories and their policies around wages and working conditions. Don’t be fooled by green washing.
Give Brands A Go Who Support Positive Impact
Lots of fashion brands today are getting more eco-minded. They realise the importance of considering how their fashion can have a positive impact on the environment rather than just reducing its impact.
Farming practices like regenerative agriculture which involves no-tilling and growing cover crops is one of the many growing trend within fashion industry which aims to restore the health of soil and biodiversity.
Be Mindful of Fashion Items That Use Harmful Chemicals
The use of harmful chemicals in fashion manufacturing can have such a negative impact on the environment. It’s the hidden chemicals that we should watch out for.
Some fashion houses use these while making our fashion goods which do pollute our waterways and pose a risk to fashion workers and the environment.
Look out for the certifications, which set out requirements for chemical usage during the manufacturing process.
Fashion Brands That Reduce Their Water Footprint
It’s amazing to think that the fashion industry is responsible for using over ninety billion cubic meters of water annually in the production of fashion good and accessories.
To put this into context, this is the same as filling up nearly thirty six Olympic size swimming pools.
It is imperative that we all become more conscious and about the water footprint used in the manufacturing of our fashion goods.
The likes of organic cotton uses a lot less water than conventional cotton. Low water dyes can also reduce water consumption.
Be Aware of Vegan fashion Green Washing
OK, animal-derived materials like wool and leather may have ethical and environmental concerns but some vegan alternatives may not be as fashion sustainable as you think.
Some may contain synthetics, which can be harmful for our planet. However, it’s not all bad news as some of the more eco-friendly brands like Stella McCartney use Mylo leather which is made from mycelium.
These are the roots of fungi. Check labels to see just how Vegan friendly each product actually is.
Look After Your Wardrobe Collection
It goes without saying that we should always take care of our clothing and accessories to prolong the life of each item.
Try an avoid over washing and cleaning them if possible. Get as much wear out of them before having to pop them in the washing machine.
This can help lower your CO2 emissions and water consumption. Adopt a “Fix not throw away” policy where possible.
Lots of clothes today can be easily mended using a needle and thread (like in the old days) This not only saves on having to replace your clothes once a rip appears.
Learn to sew as if you can master this simple technic, image the money you can save while being fashion sustainable.
Look Out For Clothing That Contains Microplastics
This is a hard one for most as most clothes and footwear today contain synthetics like nylon and elastane that are used in manufacturing.
These are commonly found in underwear and athleisurewear which provide stretch and hold to the garment.
Did you know that when washing clothes containing microplastics, it releases thousands of microplastics into our waterways and oceans.
This is harmful to both the water we drink and marine life where we ingest the tiny particles. Thankfully, there are products you can put into your wash like a Cora Ball which gathers these harmful microplastics at point of wash.
Let Your Unwanted Clothing Find a New Home
Cleaning out your wardrobe can have many benefits. Not only does it clear space but also allows you to go through clothes your will never wear again.
Remember, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Reselling or gifting your clothes to your favourite charity shop is a great way to be fashion sustainable.
There are even sites websites out there now that allow you to swap unwanted clothing. If you have to dispose of clothing that is no good to anyone, then do this responsibly.
Take it to a registered recycling bin or unit where you know it is going to be disposed of properly.
We think it’s fair to say that people of all ages want to be more fashion sustainable. We can all play our part in protecting the environment. This includes protecting the people who make our favourite fashion pieces.
Fast Fashion can be contained if we adopt our attitudes to the way we shop for fashion goods and accessories.
Before you buy your next item, ask yourself this, “Do I want or need this item? Small steps make change. Follow the above sustainable fashion tips can will help you become part of the sustainable fashion revolution.