Some people immediately think “boring” whenever they hear the words “eco-friendly” fashion but that is far from the truth. Well, the term can be used interchangeably referring to either clothing made using recycled materials. Or the way in which the item was made (fair trade) and its impact on the environment and animals. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of ethical brands now offering high quality and luxurious sustainable clothing and accessories. So there is no need to sacrifice your personal style while contributing to protecting our precious planet.
How To Cope Living A More Ethical Lifestyle
Quit Fast Fashion – only buy essentials
The majority of chain stores that target millennials are what we call fast fashion retailers. Examples are Zara, Forever 21, Madewell, ASOS, Missguided, Boohoo and H&M. What these stores have in common is that they produce on-trend styles every week at a cheaper cost to the customer. H&M however, launched eco-friendly line and is making an effort to be more environmentally friendly. Shopping from any of the above-mentioned retailers means lower cost but is it really. Most times you purchase these poorly made items a few times per month. If you do the math most likely you end up spending the same money you can spend on better quality. Buying frequently in order to keep up with the latest trends often leads to having stuff that you do not need.
I am not saying that you should stop shopping altogether, however, manage your spending. Be thoughtful and more selective about the things that you buy. Some say secondhand doesn’t count but secondhand ensures that products circulate in the economy and stay out of landfills. Shop at Poshmark and Buffalo Exchange for used everyday wear or The Real Real and Rebag for used luxury items.
Unsubscribe From Fast Retailers
Simply hit that unsubscribe button and remove yourself from their newsletters to avoid temptation. Something I have been doing this week, granted, it took me a long time to do. But if you must, then subscribe to sustainable brands only. Prices can be a bit scary but I think that is why most of them are made to last.
Invest In Timeless Styles
View it as an investment, as timeless pieces never go out of style. You will have them for many years and they are the best investment you could ever make for yourself. Quality over quantity should be your main goal. Quite a few of the ethical companies are making trendy classic styles that you can wear from season to season.
Become More Socially Conscious
The average person does not think about the workers who actually created the clothing that they wear nor how they were treated in the process. Neither do they know in what conditions they were made and how it impacted the environment or our natural resources. For instance, think about the amount of water it takes to create one cotton t-shirt (2,700 litres/713 gallons). Garment workers are mainly women and most times work in” sweatbox” conditions, are paid next to nothing and sometimes treated unfairly. Do you know that the average American discards roughly about 81 pounds of clothing every year which are dumped at landfills?
Sell Or Consign Your Used Items / Donate To Charity
Do not throw your unwanted clothing in the trash, instead, you can sell them on sites like eBay and Poshmark. Consignment shops are everywhere now and you still make a little cash when your stuff sells. Alternatively, you can donate to charities, the homeless, or to a textile recycling company. But they should never be tossed in the trash!
Do Not View It As Luxury
Shopping ethically has been perceived as luxury hence the hefty price tag of some socially conscious brands. Although true for some, it is more so as a result of higher manufacturing costs. Being socially responsible, paying workers fairly, using recycled materials and ensuring that pollution is kept to a minimum comes with a price. For now, it would mean having to buy a few pieces but knowing that they were made to last. However, once consumer bases have expanded for these once “niche” companies, we can expect to see lower costs (hopefully). I’ve read somewhere that clothes are not supposed to be cheap but society has gotten used to that mindset.
Research brands before purchasing and/or read the labels to see how the item was made. Not all companies are transparent about social responsibility (for obvious reasons). Which can be a pain so if you are in doubt about the retailer then chances are, there are some red flags. Read and educate yourself about fast fashion and the effects of producing said items. By learning more about it you will be compelled to making that lifestyle switch. Of course, this can not happen overnight but like with everything else, it will take time.
Making an effort to adopt this trend will not only impact the environment but it will be financially rewarding as well. Give more thought about what you are going to buy instead of impulse shopping. Try making a list of items now that you think you want and revisit that same list a week later. Most likely the desire for some of them won’t be there anymore. Personally, I have not bought a lot of clothing or accessories in comparison to other years. Now I have been making an extra effort to only buy when I need something.
Use this list as a starting point to embrace the world of slow fashion or to change your shopping habits. More and more clothing brands are planning to make the full switch by 2030. A lifestyle change takes roughly 90 days and making an effort to be less wasteful will contribute to a good cause. What are your thoughts about sustainable fashion? Do you think it will be a dying trend? Can you make the lifestyle switch or you still prefer to buy the trendiest products for cheap? Share this post with your family and friends, let us sensitize more people.