If you don’t feel as though you have the power to make a difference with your clothing, think again. Shopping for sustainable clothing can be daunting but it doesn’t need to be and arming yourself with the right information can empower you to make the best choices and invoke the most change. Read on to learn our recommendations for ways you can dress in a more eco-friendly way and how to be sustainable in fashion.
How does fast fashion ruin the environment?
Fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It can be defined as any trendy, cheap clothing that is produced very rapidly in large quantities. Not only does it release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but it is also renowned for its poor treatment of workers with many garment makers working in unsafe conditions and receiving unfairly low wages. The fast fashion industry is built on an endless cycle of overproduction and overconsumption, encouraging customers to buy into new trends very frequently and encouraging throwaway culture due to poorly made clothing that doesn't fit properly. So, what can we do to reduce the negative influence of fast fashion on the environment? Ethical fashion slows down this cycle, offering consumers garments that have had more thought, time, and responsible sourcing put into them.
Our first tip on dressing more sustainably is to shop with sustainable brands that offer eco-friendly clothing. These brands are often the ones who are loud and proud about their stance on sustainability and eco-responsibility and by choosing to “vote with your money” for these brands, you’re able to help make a positive change. Do your research and ask them questions, any brand that is proud of its ethos will happily answer your questions and probably have most of what you want to know within easy reach on their website. Beware of any company that answers your questions with vague, unclear responses. By supporting brands, such as SKIIM, who go out of their way to ensure transparency, honesty, and uphold a strong sustainable ethos, you can rest assured that your money is going towards funding the same values that you hold.
Our products are made to be worn for years and years and most sustainable brands are no different. However, even old fast fashion items can become more sustainable just by wearing them repeatedly and taking proper care of them to ensure longevity. Another key method to buying more sustainably is to buy smarter and make a conscious choice to invest in the very best quality you can afford. Try to choose less trendy items and opt for more timeless designs that mean each piece in your wardrobe will be worn and treasured for a lifetime. Wardrobe staples such as our Angie leather biker jacket and our Hero cropped cashmere jumper are prime examples of this and are designed to be worn for years - minimising their environmental impact as much as possible. When looking to buy new wardrobe staples, consider how often you’ll wear them. If you can’t see yourself wearing the items more than 30 times then you may want to consider not making the purchase.
Repair your clothes
Aside from just washing and re-wearing your clothes, another aspect of caring for garments includes fixing them if they become damaged. Tears, stains, and worn patches are all totally fixable with the right tools and skills. There are multiple ways of doing this, you can either perform repairs yourself, send garments off to an alterations business, or opt for the repair service offered by many dry-cleaners. There are even companies that specialise in repairing high-end and luxury items to help them last you as long as possible.
Dispose of sustainably
When your clothing has finally reached the end of its life with you, it’s important to also make sure you’re disposing of garments properly. Consider the material your clothes are made out of as this can affect how you can dispose of the item. Natural materials such as leather are likely to last a lifetime and are more hardwearing and durable than other materials. Leather rarely needs to be thrown away and if you’re no longer interested in wearing the item, it can be handed down to a friend or family member or donated to a charity shop where it can be sold on. Items such as our Amy suede skinny trousers and Lucy embossed patent skirt are ideal garments to keep and wear for years to come. Cotton and Tencel (a fabric made from recycled wood and paper pulp) can go back to the earth or be sent off to be recycled into new items along with clothing made from manmade materials such as nylon or polyester.
Being informed of your clothing choices can empower you to make positive changes for good. Make sure you double-check with any brands you shop with to find out their stance on sustainability and wear your clothing as many times as possible to help lower the environmental impact of each item. You can find our ethos over on our sustainability page. And don’t forget to browse our wide range of long-lasting, responsibly sourced, clothing to last you for years to come.