It’s our sustainability boutique next week, and we’re so, so excited to bring you some awesome products from sustainable sources! Not only because shopping is fun, but because what we buy and how we shop is often forgotten when we come to consider how our actions could be affecting the environment. So we thought we’d talk about it, because what is The Greenhouse if it’s not something to make you think about things you haven’t considered before?
Sure, we know that buying food in plastic or items that have to be transported long distances are bad for the environment, but how often do we stop and think before we buy our clothes? The fashion industry has been under fire in recent months for its contribution to climate change. So much so that The UN has put in place the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’ , and more recently ‘The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion’, highlighting that although this aspect of our lifestyle has been under the environmental radar for a while, it’s important this issue to be brought to prominence.
Now don’t you worry. We get it, having yet another aspect of your life under evaluation (see what we did there) can seem a bit overwhelming. But we’re here to show you this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are our five top tips for being a sustainable fashion consumer:
Shop less, shop better
Now we are obviously ALL guilty of succumbing to the lure of a sale or the wonderful thing that is student discount and buying clothes we don’t need (or even really like that much) because they’re cheap. But buying clothes in this way is extremely unsustainable. Think to way back when people wore their clothes until they were threadbare and could no longer be patched up. It is possible to wear clothes for more than one season, and it is possible rewear an outfit because let’s face it, no one’s going to really remember if you wore that before anyway!
The shopping habit that makes this possible is to buy less, but buy better. Now what do we mean by this? Well, quite simply we mean that in order to be able to wear these clothes day-in-day-out they have to be 1. Good Quality and 2. Something you love – so you want to wear them again and again. We’re not telling you to spend all your money on clothes, because that would just be ridiculous! What we’re saying is, instead of buying 10 items at £3 in the massive sale on ASOS (other online retailers and stores also sell clothes), why don’t you spend that £30 on something you really love?
This practice is not only a lot more environmentally friendly, but it also means you don’t suffer from the post-sale-shop-binge regret. We’ve all been there and you and your bank account are never happy about it.
Check the label for plastic
‘Okay, so I get that fast fashion is bad for the environment. But why is it bad??’ We hear you cry. Well, criticisms of fast fashion include: agricultural pollution, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals, and increasing levels of textile waste . Which seems like a pretty hefty list.
One way to make sure you avoid adding to these problems is to check the label in your clothes for plastic. Common plastics found in items of clothing are polyester, acrylic, rayon, and additionally try to avoid conventional cotton as its production normally involves farming practices which are extremely harmful to the environment.
It’s cool, trendy, some might even say hip, AND it’s environmentally friendly, so why are we not all doing it?
Vintage shopping is such a great way to bring really unique and stylish pieces into your wardrobe, with the added benefit of being eco-friendly because you are both reducing the level of textile waste AND ensuring less clothing items need to be created in the first place. Obviously we understand that this is only applicable to consumers of vintage clothing on a wider level, just you buying that really cute denim jacket is not going to have a massive effect. However, if you don’t play the game you cannot win (or something like that). So what are you waiting for? You’re environmentally friendly makeover starts now!
Get creative with upcycling
It’s all well and good talking about not buying too many new clothes and keeping them until they wear out. But what happens if you’ve grown out of your old clothes, or you just really want to revamp your wardrobe? (Fashion is a form of self-expression after all).
Why not try upcycling some of your old clothes to re-fashion them into something that fits, or simply to breathe new life into your wardrobe? If you don’t know what upcycling is, it’s simply reusing something unwanted in a way as to create a product of higher value or quality than the original.
Need some help getting started? Here you go!
Capsule your wardrobe
And last, but not least, the thing that will make all these other tasks easier, why not create a capsule wardrobe?
This is a lot easier said than done, admittedly, but is super useful especially if you are short on space and want to buy higher quality items. Additionally you will save yourself a lot of time in the morning as you don’t overload yourself with decision fatigue!
Want to give it a go? Well, check out this how-to!
So there you have it, our tips on how to shop for clothes in a more sustainable way. Living in an eco-friendly way means that we must all reconsider our lifestyles in many different ways, but this doesn’t need to be difficult or invasive, it can be fun too! And we hope that we have shown you that in this blog post.
Looking forward, we cannot wait to see you at our sustainability boutique on the 2nd and the 4th April, and at our outdoor gig on the 4th too. Make sure you’re are following us on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with all our progress and fun events to come!