In the past couple of years, the fashion industry, and especially the high street, has become increasingly more aware of the need to embrace sustainability. For example, in 2018, 97% of the waste produced by Debenhams was diverted away from landfill.
Many of us are now opting for the ethical route when purchasing new clothes, which is great, but there are a few important things to keep in mind when doing so.
Invest in classic pieces
The number one rule when shopping sustainably is not to overdo it. Investing in classic pieces means you’re more inclined to shop less, produce less landfill from unwanted items, and enjoy wearing high-quality, well-made items more frequently.
A classic piece not only has sustainability on its side, but you’ll also get a lot more wear out of it over the years than you would a cheaper item. Therefore, investing in a wardrobe staple is recommended, as opposed to a fancy coat or dress that you’re less likely to wear day-to-day.
Look at the labels
When shopping for ethical clothing, labels are another thing to keep in mind.
Look for labels which specify cruelty-free items, as well as clothes made with organic, natural fibres. Clothes made with cheap cotton are sometimes produced with the use of pesticides, which can be damaging to the environment. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is grown without the assistance of any chemicals, and therefore better on so many levels.
Research the best brands
Doing your research is essential in the quest for ethical shopping. This is also beneficial when shopping online, as you can easily access a whole host of sustainable brands, right at your fingertips.
A lot of smaller, start-up brands are very conscious when it comes to sustainability as they know it’s a huge selling point, so keep your eye out for these.
Ditch fast fashion
In recent years, fast fashion seems to have taken over. Although this has made a vast difference to the size of our wardrobes, and the accessibility of varied trends, it doesn’t bode well for the environment.
Ditching fast fashion, or at least reducing it, is something you can do to help accelerate sustainability within the fashion world and do your bit for the environment. You’ll be much better off in the long run.
Say yes to pre-loved
If there’s one thing that screams sustainable fashion, it’s pre-loved items.
Don’t underestimate the power of vintage and (of course) charity shops to help drive that ethical message home. Pre-loved items are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and look stylish at the same time. After all, fashion always comes back around, so that new trend you’re lusting after is likely to be found in your local charity or vintage shop, at a way more affordable (and ethical) price than that popular high street store.