Did you know that according to Earth Pledge at least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton? And what's worse, still two thirds of a garment's carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased.
When we hear the notions sustainable fashion, eco fashion, ethical fashion or slow fashion, we tend to think that big companies are the only ones that can make a difference. But as the result of Earth Pledge's research shows, it is us, costumers, who cause the worst part. Yes, companies overproduce, use pesticides, etc., but it is also the costumer who makes mistakes. Just think of the average American throwing away 70 pounds of clothes a year. Isn't it an insane amount?!
The good news is that it is also us who can make the biggest change.
Yes, you and me too.
I know it might seem a bit hypocritical that a fashion blogger who sometimes also buys and promotes pieces by fast fashion brands, talks about sustainable fashion. But I truly think that by changing our ways we can make a difference. So here are my tips for easy steps towards being more conscious and doing less harm to our environment through our fashion choices:
When I was about 6 or 7, I received a wonderful purple winter coat with Minnie Mouse on it. I loved it but grew out of it soon. My mom decided to give it to a family in our street as they had 3 younger than me daughters. First, I hated seeing that other girl in my wonderful coat but I got used to it. And my mom went on, she donated more of my clothes to that family. Later it was already me who asked one of my classmates who had 13 siblings, whether they would come over to my place and choose from the clothes me and my sister did not wear anymore.
Look for materials that last
This way you will wear one piece longer. The longer you wear an item, the better for your environment.
But be careful. Vintage shops -just like fast fashion shops - may seduce you to overshopping. Always ask yourself twice, whether you will really wear that piece at least 25 times.
Borrow And Lend
We tend to be more lenient with wasting children's clothes. We tend to say that we cannot do anything against the fact that children grow really fast. And on top of that, children also often damage their clothes.
That's all true. But hey!
How about borrowing. Of course, I know everybody will buy clothes for their children but there are pieces that can be borrowed. Winter coats, hats, rainboots and other pieces that are not worn away so soon can be borrowed or lent. My son usually grows out of a size every 5-6 weeks. For this short period of time, it isn't really necessary to buy everything he needs new. We often visit one of his cousines who is 3 years old now and go treasure hunting in their cellar. It's actually quite a fun as well.
Go shopping in your own closet
First of all, select your closet. You mightfind pieces you have long forgotten about. You might find something that is 'in' again. Or something your sister/friend needs. You might suprise someone you love without spending. Or you might find something, that you thought you would never wear but turns out to be suitable for a new situation. Like my late mother's fur coat. You can read the story here.
Only buy things approriate to your lifestyle
There is no point in buying 20 cocktail dresses if you are only invited to 2 parties a year.
Challange yourself: No shopping for 1/2/3 months
Sometimes shopping is only impulse shopping. Sometimes it happens simply because we are bored. Sometimes because we are happy, sometimes because we are disappointed, etc.. Try to avid these situations. Your wallet and your environment will be glad.
Some shops collect old pieces for recycling, others use them in related fields of the textile industry.I have just sent an old pair of jeans to a company that uses them for sofas.
And last, but not least: Concentrate on slow designers/companies
One of them, I have come across recently is wearpact.
Brendan, the founder, believes that creating clothing should not come at the cost of people, or the environment. That’s why he partners with organizations that ensure the wellbeing of workers and the environment. By using the best sustainable ingredients, pact creates clothes that don’t just feel good, you can also feel good about wearing them.
How about you? What are your tips to make fashion more sustainable?
Thanks for reading.
Photo credit goes to: https://http://www.jiangluosan.net/category/cartoonfashion This post was not sponsored. All opinions are mine.