Wanting to change and knowing how to go about it are two different things! So, I put together a simple guide for making quick swaps in your purchasing habits that will have a long-lasting effect on both you and the world we live in!
Sustainability is a broad term used as an umbrella over many categories such as eco-friendly, green, ethical, fair-trade, and slow-fashion. Know your values and what you are looking for, then check company websites to see their stance on the issues that matter most to you.
Purchasing from responsibility-minded, sustainable brands is the quickest way to ensure our natural resources’ slowing of overconsumption. But what is a responsibility-minded and sustainable brand? In part, it's a company committed to maximizing its use of resources so that there is minimal waste. They employ artisans and workers paying them a fair and ethical wage while ensuring their work environment is safe.
One quick caveat...be mindful of greenwashing - this is a marketing technique where a brand inflates (or is downright untruthful) about their product being green or ethical. There are some watchdog resources available to help you identify companies that prey on this method of marketing.
Steps to Fast Track Your Sustainable Fashion Choices
- Shop Second Hand - I already touched on the importance of shopping with brands that approach fashion from responsibility toward the environment and an ethical approach to sustainability. But have you considered shopping in second-hand shops? Consignment shops are a great way to find fashionable clothing pieces allowing you to be on-trend without supporting the fast fashion industry. Plus, it’s a great way to add unique items to your wardrobe, keeping your looks fresh and affordable!
- Invest in Quality over Quantity - Spend a little more on quality pieces that will work well with different items in your wardrobe. Taking a minimalist approach doesn’t mean you are wearing the same thing over and over again. Instead, you’re choosing some staple items with multiple functionalities to act as the base to your wardrobe and while planning accessories or other clothing items around them to mix up your look. Not only does it reduce overwhelm when it comes time to choose an outfit, but you will also have articles on hand that are classic, and classic never goes out of style! If you need help creating a wardrobe that easily mixes and matches, I can help! I'm also a personal stylist.
- Give Pieces a Another Chance - Take a deep dive into the back of your closet and pull out some of those forgotten items you haven't worn in months...or years! Seeing an old favorite with fresh eyes can add an instant refresh to your wardrobe. And if you find you don’t love it, donate or consign it! Your past treasure may just be the item someone else is longing for. Donating or consigning quality clothing helps other fashionistas with love for sustainable fashion grow their wardrobe! Plus, when we are intentional with our fashion purchases, we are less likely to impulse buy an item just because it’s cute.
- Repurpose What you Already Own - Instagram has a ton of ideas about modifying, cutting, and sewing to create new ways of wearing old items. You can follow me for new ideas and some of my favorite fashion hacks!
- Host a Swap Party - Swapping parties are a fun way to add something new to your closet without spending a dime. Gather together some girlfriends, asking each will bring 5-6 items they no longer wear. Make sure the clothing is in good, gently used condition. Everyone will lay out their items according to size and take turns looking through the clothes to make a swap! Make it extra fun with some snacks and a favorite bottle of vino, and you have the perfect girl’s night!
- Carefully CAre for your Clothing - This last one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get on autopilot with tasks like doing the laundry. Mend your garments to extend wear time, and make sure to follow care instructions to ensure your outfits stay looking good longer!
Whether you are new to this journey or have been traveling the road to sustainability for some time, keep in mind that changing our consumption culture is a long game. Small steps go a long way. Don’t throw out your entire closet worth of clothes, and feel like you have to start with a brand new wardrobe! Simply make choices for new items that meet your goals and purchase from brands that create things you will be proud to wear! If you have a favorite sustainable fashion brand, tell me in the comments! I am constantly building my go-to list for any future fashion needs!