Four Tips for Dressing More Sustainably

Fashion

Sustainability has become a catchphrase in recent years. Not only are consumers taking a keen interest in the food they eat, but they are also altering their shopping selections to create a healthier environment through the clothes they wear. 

“Fast fashion,” or clothing created inexpensively to match the demand for the hottest new styles, is one of the worst offenders in the fashion business. Fast fashion is endangering our planet’s future. Knowing where to begin – and, more essentially, where to shop – is one of the most difficult aspects of attempting to be more sustainable. It’s thankfully much easier than it used to be, given there are now so many brands that operate with an ethical and sustainable mindset. It is vital that you, as the consumer, do some research and ask questions. Social media has made it simple to communicate with brands directly and get answers quickly. 

Shop Wise: Choose Multi-functional and Timeless Pieces

Jeans, T-shirts, classic dresses, timeless coats, and jackets can help you build a wardrobe that will last longer than one or two seasons. Instead of buying a statement piece you’ll only wear once, invest in something that will last you longer and that you’ll be able to wear again. Choose more versatile pieces that can be styled in a variety of ways.

As with food and household products, read the label! A reasonable rule of thumb is to stay away from virgin synthetics like polyester, which are made from fossil fuels and take years to degrade. Organic cotton consumes substantially less water and does not contain toxic pesticides. 

Golden Goose Sneakers, available online at SSENSE, challenge traditional ideas of luxury by combining craftsmanship with a gritty, glam rock edge. “Made in Italy” is still a guarantee of top quality and traceability, and these are strong candidates for assuring a sustainable approach. The approach of handcrafting by Golden Goose is what gives the brand its long-term viability. Italian leather is prized for its high quality, which extends the life of the sneakers and makes them ‘made to last,’ despite their worn-out appearance. 

Donate

When de-cluttering your closet, be mindful of how you dispose of your items to avoid them ending up in a landfill. Reselling your clothes or holding a clothing swap is the best way to ensure that they get a second chance at life. You can also donate to charities and groups that require used clothing. Having a one-in, one-out strategy — living by the concept that every time you buy something, you’ll donate – is a terrific approach to being more sustainable.

Shop Vintage

Vintage clothes
Two girls are wearing vintage clothes at a party

Consider buying pre-loved goods. Second hand and vintage items are becoming increasingly available and fashionable, even in the celebrity world. Not only will you be able to extend the life of these items and so lessen your wardrobe’s environmental effect, but you’ll also be able to find one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else will have. 

Another environmentally friendly approach to changing your wardrobe is to rent clothing. Rather than buying a dress that you will wear once for that family wedding, rent or borrow one you like instead. Sharing your wardrobe and participating in a circular economy is a step towards a more sustainable future.

Repair and Repurpose

Remember quality over quantity and repair and repurpose before you replace. It is easy to repair small tears, holes, and missing buttons or find a local tailor who can assist you. You can embroider a personalized motif to cover a stain mark or rip. Quality shoes can be worn for many seasons and a cobbler can replace heels and repair your favorite shoes if necessary. Clothing should never be thrown aside but repurposed whenever possible. For example, a maxi dress can be cut down into a skirt. 

As more brands recognize the value of an environmental approach, dressing sustainably no longer means you must compromise your style and comfort.

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