I recently wrote a post about sustainability in the fashion industry, but instead of just telling you about the problems the industry faces I want to discuss some ways that you can realistically change your consumptions behaviors and support sustainability in the process.
1) Limit Buying from Fast-Fashion Retailers
I realize that it is fairly unrealistic to completely stop buying from fast-fashion retailers because they are everywhere and unless you have the money to buy the far more expensive alternative, you will probably opt for the fast and cheap way (who wouldn’t). So I’m not going to tell you to never buy from H&M or Zara or Topshop again. However, I will tell you to try to be more conscious of the decisions you are making and realize that your purchases are affecting more than just you’re bank account. If you have the choice of buying three cheaply made t-shirts at H&M or one of higher quality from a more sustainable brand (like Reformation), I urge you to choose the latter. I also encourage you to purchase classic pieces that will stand the test of time. If you are making a purchase from Zara try to buy a classic coat or a new favorite pair of jeans rather than a trendy top that you may only where once or twice. Being more aware of your purchasing behaviors and making better choices each time you shop can reduce your environmental and social impact more than you may realize.
2) Shop Vintage
Lucky for the sustainable fashion industry, buying vintage is in. By buying vintage pieces or purchasing from consignment retailers you are reusing clothing and eliminating the extra labor and pollution that would be needed to make a brand new garment. Some of my favorite vintage retailers are What Goes Around NYC, The Real Real, ASOS Marketplace, and NastyGal.
3) Reuse or Repurpose
Breakout the bedazzler and get your DIY on! Reusing clothes (maybe passed along by a family member or friend) or repurposing old clothes can greatly reduce your environmental impact. I’m not gonna lie, I’m definitely not the best DIYer (now a noun) but if that’s your thing then go for it! You can make some amazing and unique pieces just by putting a little extra time and effort into it. (P.S. I was kidding about the bedazzler… please don’t)
4) Buy from Sustainable Retailers
This may be obvious, but buying from sustainable retailers is a great way to support environmentally friendly, ethically made clothing. Here are a few places to start:
For a more extensive list of sustainable retailers visit ecocult.com