Sustainable Shopping: How to Reduce Your Fashion Footprint

 

Image source: Unsplash

 

Fashionistas across the globe spend their lives in search of trademark, on-trend pieces that they can welcome into their wardrobe. The unfortunate truth, though, is that seasons come and go – and with them, trends are left behind (creating unnecessary waste from the remnants of once-loved garments).

 

As environmental consciousness continues to make its way into the fore, becoming the universal concern it should always have been, we’re breaking down some simple and effective ways you can change how you shop in order to make eco-friendly decisions when it comes to your wardrobe. Earth-loving fashionistas unite: it’s time to reduce the world’s fashion footprint.

 

Shop local

 

In your quest for greener shopping habits, the first crucial step is to forego high-street giants in favour of smaller independent stores. Finding a local shop that sells sustainably sourced or vintage clothing – or, better still, donates a portion of its proceeds to a relevant charity or conservation project – means doing your bit for the little guy, and for the planet.

 

Supporting your local community is a truly noble endeavour, but the same ethos can also be applied online – with smaller businesses (selling their own goods or curating those of other brands) needing your custom and valuing your loyalty more than major outlets and international market leaders.

 

Shop for quality

 

One simple and powerful way to not only reduce the ecological footprint of your shopping behaviour, but also allow you to budget effectively is to shop less frequently, but focus your spending on high-quality items that have longevity on their side.

 

For example, rather than paying the bare minimum for a serviceable but ultimately poor quality pair of shoes or pants, instead invest in a pair of hard-wearing women’s boots or some designer men’s jeans – items that mean paying more up-front but offer dependable quality for years to come. This way, you can lower your fashion footprint and the associated price tag in the long run.

Image source: Unsplash

 

Shop vintage

 

Naturally, one of the most popular sustainable shopping habits is buying secondhand rather than brand new. As such, rummaging through vintage clothing outlets and thrift stores in search of preloved gems provides a fun, budget-friendly and environmentally conscious alternative to the norm.

 

Searching these treasure troves for statement garments made from quality fabrics gives you a chance to save money and enjoy the satisfaction of striking gold when you find a unique retro item that has ‘you’ written all over it. Complete the cycle by donating your own vintage favourites to your local thrift store once you’re ready to release them back into the wild.

Shop for a lifetime

 

Being a sustainably-minded fashionista means never saying goodbye to a garment unless absolutely necessary. It’s important to know that an item which has temporarily lost its sparkle doesn’t necessarily have nothing more to give. In the face of holes, scuffs, worn fabric and outdated designs, crack open your craft kit, pick up your needle and thread and get to work!

 

Whether you’re embellishing an uninspiring dress, patching up an old jacket or adding a whole new layer to a once-loved item (such as a new lace collar or hem), the options are practically endless when it comes to upcycling your clothing. There’s also the option to repurpose the fabric for an interior DIY project and create a stylish new home accessory from the remains of the piece in question.

 

Shop mindfully

 

Finally, to create a long-term habit out of your newfound quest for sustainable shopping options, the key is to have your passion for ethical and eco-friendly brands permeate your online browsing behaviour. It’s fair to say that you may struggle to simply stumble upon green clothing companies by chance – making it important to do your research, and it’s online that this research will be most rewarding.

 

From brands that source materials sustainably to those that swear by plastic-free packaging and guarantee their staff fair wages and working conditions, there are a diverse range of factors which contribute to an ‘ethical’ brand – but the information is out there and, by making this your deal-breaker as a consumer, you can take one big step towards reducing your fashion footprint forever.

Image source: Unsplash

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