You enter a mall and as soon as you step into your favourite outlet, a mountain of jeans in all the cool cuts, rows filled with the most “in” shoes, racks upon racks of the trendiest shirts and an unbearable frenzy of people rushing to fill their shopping bags; this is the image of fashion that we all know to be true. Let’s admit it, most of us aren’t even remotely familiar with sustainable fashion ideas or the need to balance style & ethics.
For Brands’, their sole purpose is to maximize profits, which led to the advent of fast fashion: cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.
Due to fast fashion, the fashion industry has become the second-largest polluter in the world and, on average, has its factory workers toiling 96 hours a week. With all its grave environmental, social and economic impacts, it is time to style yourself consciously where you care for the environment without denting your fashion sense. Here are five sustainable fashion ideas that you can adopt to shop sustainably and ethically. We don’t have a planet B. This is the only world we have and we need to take care of it. So here are our tips with sustainable fashion ideas so you be empowered with information to do your bit in saving our planet and the people inside it…
Are you Going to Wear It 30 Times?
I know, I already see some of you rolling your eyes but hear me out… The 30 Wears campaign is a very simple idea. It goes like this, before you buy a new item, you should always ask yourself, “Will I wear this at least 30 times?” If the answer is yes, then you already know that you are reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfill. Secondly, head to the changing room to look in the mirror and be absolutely sure if you will rock it for the 30th time as you do the first time. ONLY then you should buy something otherwise just put it back where you got it and gracefully walk away.
Buy Ever-Green, Timeless Pieces
In case you have not heard of the term capsule wardrobe it is this fantastic concept that Susie Faux brought about as a collection of a few essential items that are interchangeable to maximise the number of outfits you can create. Although the term was coined in the 1970s, capsule wardrobes are more relevant than ever before. The concept, as demonstrated on our YouTube Channel in styling videos, does not have to be bland or so obvious that you are playing with the same clothes. By working with essentially 30 pieces of clothing that transcend trends, you can decrease your demand for fast fashion items.
Again, a capsule wardrobe does not necessarily mean that you have to be “out” of fashion. Rather, the concept is based on having a smaller collection within the capsule wardrobe, which can be changed out for seasonal trends from time to time. Think about it: on a daily basis, most of us opt for our signature outfits, no matter what the trends are. A capsule wardrobe allows for experimentation in style while reducing our consumption of fast fashion and creating a sustainable closet.
Go Thrift Shopping
Of late, thrifting has become a viable alternative to consuming fast fashion and with good reason. In layman’s terms, thrift stores are shops that sell second-hand, refurbished clothing. These preloved pieces are in good condition, cheaper and most importantly, break the culture of disposability created by fast fashion.
You don’t necessarily have to go out hunting for the best thrift shops in your neighbourhood – you can just go online and search for apps and websites where you can find items that you will love. Depop, Shpock and even eBay are just a few of these apps where you can find quality vintage or preloved pieces whatever your budget.
Shop Sustainable Brands
That fast fashion has negative consequences on the environment and the economy is now a great elephant in the room. The recent rise of awareness has led to responsible citizens creating sustainable but accessible clothing brands. A sustainable brand means that the production process is eco-friendly, like keeping water usage in check, and fair to its workers in terms of working conditions, hours and wages. You should look up local brands in your area who ensure that their artisans receive a fair wage. MODESTSISTERZ also has a blog post on sustainable brands based in the UK or brands that deliver to the UK.
Educate Yourself About Sustainable Fashion Ideas
Educating oneself and awareness is always the key step to address any problem. To tackle the issue of fast fashion, we must understand how and why the production side of the business is going wrong. Under the pressure to produce trendy products at breakneck speed, fast fashion brands heavily compromise on ethics. This includes exploiting workers and creating grave environmental impacts. If we, the Buyers creating the demand, are aware of a brand’s business model, then we are equipped to make sustainable decisions.
People often find adapting to sustainable fashion hard because of inaccessibility. There aren’t many options to choose from and there is an ingrained need to keep changing our look. However, we live in a creative society where there are sustainable brands that drop new articles twice a week. But that begs the question how does that make them sustainable? Their model is to drop frequently, like fast fashion brands, but in small quantities. This way, they can maintain product desirability while remaining eco-friendly – a quality that fast fashion desperately lacks. What many may assume to be fast fashion is actually a sustainable, profitable and trendy business model. Check out our blog post on “Sustainable Brands I Can Afford“
We as consumers need to be aware of how our shopping practices impact the environment and economy, and to be committed to supporting brands that eschew fast fashion in favour of more sustainable fashion ideas. In doing so, we keep in mind quantity so we do not create another monster with a different coat 😉