Every fashion fan knows that fast fashion has a large impact on the environment, and many people are making changes to the way they shop to support more sustainable fashion choices. Whether you’re worried about who makes your clothes, your carbon footprint, or the fabrics you wear, there are some simple ways to make your wardrobe more ethical, even as a fashion fanatic.
1. Buy For Multiple Wears
Fast fashion generates a lot of waste, as people buy clothes and wear them only a few times before disposing of them. Instead, shop more mindfully on sites like Beach Riot, and choose pieces you’ll wear many times. Before you buy, ask yourself if you’ll wear it more than thirty times. If you will, buy it, and make sure you actually do rewear it. Pick pieces that are more versatile instead of statement pieces you’ll only wear a couple of times.
2. Do Your Research
One of the best ways to shop in a more sustainable way is to grow your knowledge. Read into the values and practices of the brands you love, and look into how your clothes are made. With proper knowledge, you can make more informed choices about how and where you shop. One of our favorite resources to find ethical fashion is Good On You.
3. Buy Vintage Or Go Thrifting
New clothing has a large carbon footprint, but if you buy second-hand clothing, your clothing is a lot more ethical. You’re also not putting money into a brand whose practices you might not feel comfortable with. Buy from a charity shop and support a good cause at the same time.
4. Buy Multi-Seasonal Pieces
If you live in a cooler climate, you don’t need a large summer wardrobe. Instead, buy pieces that can be layered together to work for more than one season and in different weather. You can wear all your clothes more by doing this.
When you’re finished with a garment, don’t just throw them out so it’ll end up in a landfill. Donate old clothes instead. Either take them to a charity shop or find ways to reuse the fabric elsewhere, such as turning old t-shirts into cleaning cloths. You could host a swap party with fashion-forward friends, where you all bring clothes you don’t wear and exchange them for your friends’ clothes that you do want.
6. Take Care Of Your Clothes
Look after your clothes so they last longer. If your clothes are well looked after, you’ll shop less. Yes, this means actually following the washing instructions, separating whites and colors, and putting your clothes away right after you do the laundry!
7. Repair Your Own Clothing
Learn how to make basic repairs to your clothes yourself. Learn to do things like replacing buttons or mending tears. Find a good tailor nearby, who can make more major repairs. Repairing things means you can keep things longer and buy new clothing less often. A good tailor can also adjust clothes for you, making them fit much better and be more flattering.
8. Invest In Pieces
When you shop, choose high-quality pieces that will last longer. Choosing quality over quantity means that your clothes will last much longer, making your wardrobe more sustainable. Cheap clothes usually use more questionable manufacturing processes too (cheap clothes are made with cheap labor) so staying away from fast, affordable fashion will always be a better choice if you want to shop more ethically.
9. Change Your Mindset
Change how you think about your shopping. A lot of people will happily spend a lot of money on a dress for a special occasion but won’t spend a similar amount on something like a pair of jeans that you’ll wear hundreds of times. Instead, spend the money on the pieces in your wardrobe that you’ll wear the most. You’ll get better quality, better fitting, longer-lasting pieces.
10. Choose Eco-Friendly Materials
Choose more eco-friendly materials. Some fabrics have a bigger impact on the planet due to the chemicals used to produce them. Choose natural fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, and wool, which are all much more sustainable fabrics.
11. Check Your Favorite Brands
Check the websites of brands you like. Clothing companies should have some information on how and where their clothes are made and what working facilities are like for their staff. If you can’t find this information, tweet at or email them to ask what they’re doing. Only shop from places that are willing to tell you how their staff are treated.
12. Wash Them Less
Run the washing machine less often. Most of your clothes don’t need to be washed every time you wear them, and washing your clothes less often reduces your impact on the planet. You’ll use less energy and reduce the wear on your clothes. Wash your clothes on a cool setting to reduce your energy use even more, and then dry them on a clothesline instead of in the dryer.
Are there any other ways you keep your fashion passion as ethical as possible? Let us know in the comments below!
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