We often think about environmentally conscious efforts as pursuits that will be good for the planet. Of course, it’s no wonder why we do this, as this should be our main priority.
But just like getting out in nature, knowing that you’re making the most of a healthy habit is good for your soul. That can also be the case when you know that your carbon footprint is being reduced, and that you’re having little impact on the world around you despite your indulgences.
Thankfully, more innovative design and development is coming to the fashion world, meaning that looking our best doesn’t have to run counter to caring for the planet.
Yet of course, making an eco-practice part of your life is also something that many of us measure in terms of convenience and time. If wearing eco-fashion means structuring your own clothing out of straw, we’ll probably skip the effort altogether.
But while there are many excellent companies offering environmentally-conscious fashion lines, it’s also true that these, combined with our own additional effort, can make the most impact.
Let’s talk about how:
Consider Biodegradable & Ethical Fashion
You’d be surprised what kind of fashionable items you can gain that have been designed with longevity in mind. Recycled clothing that makes use of older materials to help create the structure of the threads is becoming more popular, with even mushrooms making their way into niche fashion. That might sound a little intensive, so you couldn’t be blamed for steering clear of that.
Yet as Australian Sunglasses that have been designed for proper biodegradability should showcase, you could be thoroughly surprised by what kind of accessories you could buy that need not cause a problem at the end of their use cycle.
Of course, ethical fashion is also intimately tied to healthy and environmental considerations. Perhaps the first incarnation of this was faux leather and animal skin clothing, ensuring that animals retained their dignity and weren’t solely killed for the material benefit. Ethical fashion means no testing on animals at all, and ensuring that workers abroad don’t have to work in sweatshop conditions with limited pay in order to earn a living. Ultimately, we vote with our purses, and in this case, prioritizing ethical fashion is key to unlocking the power of environmentally-conscious fashion, too.
For instance, it can be healthier to purchase clothing from a well-meaning startup than a high street brand when you have the willingness to. Increasing our budget for that can truly make a difference in aggregate.
Donate Your Clothing
Of course, sometimes the best way to avoid your clothing from being thrown into landfills is to donate it yourself. You’d be surprised how many people will appreciate your old threads, provided they’re clean and in relatively good condition.
From charity stores where you can donate your old belongings, to donating to homeless shelters for those who may need a new coat or shoes in order to stay warm, you can have a very big impact depending on what and where you give.
It’s a good idea, then, to spend an hour or so every other month dedicated to going through your wardrobe and identifying goods you’re happy to give away.
Of course, items like socks and underpants may be recyclable but are unlikely to be accepted. But shirts, suit jackets, and more? There’s a real chance of doing some good with these.
Buy Second Hand
Of course, it’s also important to remember that if we hope to donate our clothing, we may retain some benefit from operating at the other side of that reuse cycle.
This might mean that purchasing second-hand clothes on occasion can help you, again, make use of clothes that may have otherwise been heading to the trash heap.
You’d be surprised just what you can find out there, and with vintage styles all the rage, it’s not as if you have to take a hit to your style in order to dress ethically.
Apps like DePop have made a personable marketplace out of selling your old clothing and even becoming a great place for rare finds.
And of course, should you use a platform like this, you may be able to make more money from your wardrobe rather than throwing everything out.
Learn Repair Skills
Not to sound like your grandpa, but it’s true that many of us tend to live in a disposable age.
Only recently in the UK was a ‘right to repair’ law enacted that dictated consumer appliances must be designed so that they can be repaired if necessary, instead of outright replaced by a model that provides no access to its internal structure.
Well, we can take the same approach to clothing. It’s good to learn a few sewing skills, to know how to reassert a patch, or to use those to cover holes, or to reattach a button as necessary.
You can find many guides online for learning this necessary skill. This can not only help you save a pretty penny in terms of repairs, but it allows you to feel more actualized in taking care of your wardrobe.
Who knows? Taking your shoes to a cobbler could cost half of the price of new work footwear, while also giving two or more years of life back to them.
Create Your Own Fashion!
This might sound like a pipe dream for some, but it’s really not. You don’t have to be the best designer in the world to exercise a little autonomy about your wardrobe.
Simply cutting the straps off a top, or making trousers into cute shorts, or having certain items refitted thanks to your effort of losing weight in recent months, all of this can make a profound difference in how comfortable you feel, and how your wardrobe can adapt with you.
Again, that prevents you from throwing your favourite items out when there’s really no need to do so.
With this advice, you’re sure to be much more environmentally conscious about your fashion going forward, and feel all the benefits from doing that.