The world is facing a number of environmental challenges, including pollution, waste, and a rapid decline in natural resources. As consumers become more conscious about their impact on the environment, many are turning to green and sustainable products in all areas of their life. This includes fashion by investing in a green and sustainable wardrobe.
This means reduce, reuse and recycle. Exploitation of natural resources and neglecting the human rights of workers in poorer countries are often closely related to the fashion industry. So how can we do our share to make our wardrobe more environmentally friendly?
In this fast-paced industry, recognized luxury brands stimulate the consumption of each new item they produce in order to inflate their profits as much as they can. This overconsumption often leads to consumers disposing of old clothing, which otherwise would still be perfectly usable. This phenomenon is often referred to as hyper-consumerism.
What is a Green and Sustainable Wardrobe?
Achieve an eco-friendly wardrobe full of pieces designed with sustainability in mind. Whether you’re looking for clothing, accessories, or footwear, these items are crafted out of materials that respect the environment and produced through ethical practices to ensure long-lasting wear so your fashion footprint is reduced.
There are many phases that go into producing garments. From transforming the raw material into a usable fabric to, sewing, packing and then shipping to the final consumers. Each phase has an impact, one way or the other, on the environment. Some more than others.
Within this intensive industry, it’s impossible to have a zero impact on our planet. But there are ways you can drastically minimize your waste and become more environmentally friendly.
How to Create a Green and Sustainable Wardrobe?
With sustainability on everyone’s minds, it can be difficult to figure out how your wardrobe fits into the bigger picture. Unless you are willing to go wihout clothing, you will inevitably, at some stage, be contributing to some kind of pollution. It is simply unavoidable.
Here are some easy and effective ways you can support green fashion without having to make major changes in what you wear everyday, helping create a healthier planet for generations ahead.
Go for natural fabrics only
Before purchasing anything, you should take a close look at what the item is made of and how it is made. Some materials have a bigger impact than others. Natural fabrics such as organic cotton and linen are more sustainable than artificially produced fabrics like nylon and polyester. These artificial fabrics are often produced using petroleum and can take hundreds of years to fully biodegrade.
If you can, try to invest in natural fabrics only because these items will last longer. Artificial fabrics do not last as long so will have to be disposed of sooner. Therefore, garments made from artificial fabrics have a greater impact on the environment than garments made from natural fabrics. Our aim is to be as friendly to the environment as we can.
Invest in quality garments
Sustainable fashion is a win-win for both your wallet and the environment. Don’t be fooled by how it looks – green garments are often made from top-notch materials that stand the test of time, meaning you won’t need to buy new clothes so often!
Quality garments often have the characteristic of self cleaning. With normal usage, it is not necessary to wash all quality items after each wear. Often, hanging it outside in the fresh air after use will be sufficient.
No more impulse buying
One of the most effective ways of becoming more green is to stop impulse buying. Not only are you wasting a lot of money due to you ending up with items you will never wear but, also it adds to items you probably already own or, perhaps items you find impossible to combine with others. These purchases simply do not add anything to your wardrobe and you will probably get rid of them without them ever being worn.
Throw away less clothing
Building upon our last point, reduce the disposal of clothing. Reusing more is the sensible thing to do because it will have a big impact on sustainability. Ask yourself a few simple questions before making a purchase. How long will this item last? How often will I wear it? Does this item add anything new to my style and wardrobe? If the answers to these questions all resonate with you disposing of it quickly, you are better off not buying it!
Take good care and try to repair
A real money saver people often do not think about, is to repair damaged clothing. Often, a simple fix can save a garment you can start wearing again. If the item is beyond repair, perhaps it can be transformed into another garment. For example, a pair of trousers that have a hole in the bottom, may still function perfectly as a pair of shorts or bermudas.
Simply taking care of your clothes and being careful is a quick win. Clothing that is used with care lasts much longer than when used roughly.
When building a sustainable wardrobe, it’s not just about the eco-friendly materials used – we must also remember to consider the human rights of those who work in poorer countries. Doing our part for ethical fashion is essential if we want long-term sustainability!
Many green and sustainable clothing brands have a strong focus on ethical production, ensuring that workers are paid fair wages and treated fairly throughout the production process. This not only benefits the workers, but also ensures that consumers can feel good about their purchases and the impact they have on the world.
Try to buy Vintage Clothing
Here is something you may not have thought about before. Start buying used vintage clothing. Places like eBay are perfect for this. Giving an item a second chance is a perfect way to start living greener.
Buy easy to combine items
This can be especially useful if your budget is limited. Spend most of your budget on items that are easy to combine. You are far better off buying items which require minimum thought about what to combine them with. Having to go through a morning struggle simply because the items purchased are impossible to match, is not an ideal way to start the day! Better to invest in a shirt that you can match with many suits, than buying a shirt for each suit you own.
Develop a style independent of current fashion trends
Developing a personal style that is not dependent on fashion trends is another great way to limit your spending on clothing. Fashion changes frequently. What is hot now may not be in a year from now. Therefore, buying trend sensitive items often leads to them being quickly disposed of when they are no longer in fashion.
As you can see, being more environmentally friendly is not difficult. Rather, it is simply a question of using common sense and self-discipline. Make sure you don’t fall into the manufacturer’s impulse buying trap. This leads to consumers purchasing more things than are needed and thus wasting money. You will discover, becoming an environmentally friendly consumer will be, in many ways, rewarding.