Women’s Sustainable Shopping Tips
2023 is the year of looking after the planet. More and more consumers are now looking into ways that they can make their shopping habits way more sustainable. However, some people are confused about how the fashion industry works, and what makes certain clothes ‘sustainable.’ Whether it’s your going out dresses or everyday staples, this article will demonstrate how the fashion industry can sometimes harm the world we live in, and how you can take steps to make your shopping habits more eco-friendly.
What does ‘sustainability’ mean?
Sustainable means that something is able to be maintained at a certain rate or growth level. But what does this mean in terms of helping the planet? Well, because fast fashion is a process which creates a lot of cheaply made garments that are designed to be worn once or twice, it means that landfills are becoming bombarded with clothing. The efforts to make the fashion industry sustainable mean that the rate of clothes produced can be maintained so that we don’t produce too much clothing waste, and we don’t harm the planet too much.
There are many changes you can make to your everyday life that will help you make your wardrobe sustainable and actually result in you wearing clothes that you actually like. Freeing yourself from buying constant trends only to throw them away will only benefit you and the planet in the long run.
Research Your Brands
One of the best ways you can make your wardrobe much more sustainable is to research the brands that you commonly buy from. Many brands have bad production practices and terrible shipping policies that directly harm the planet. Fortunately, more brands are now adopting more sustainable practices with the push for sustainable living now at the forefront of the news and political policy. However, being informed about the practices a brand uses will allow you to make more informed choices about where to shop.
There are many ways you can do this. Nowadays, it’s much easier to contact a brand ambassador directly through social media. If you have questions about their production practices, you can ask someone directly through their social media profile. There are many online guides full of the best sustainable brands so that you can find a new eco-friendly brand that you will love. However, it’s also important to do a bit of your own research. Some brands unfortunately claim to be sustainable while still maintaining their harmful practices. Looking at their websites and the press surrounding the website will allow you to investigate a brand’s practices for yourself. By doing this research, you will be able to pick your clothes based on what doesn’t harm the planet.
Change Your Shopping Habits
One of the worst things that some people do is that they overbuy, and they buy things that are on trend but don’t exactly suit their style. This means that their clothes get donated or even worse, thrown in a landfill. This is terrible for the environment. Too many people buy things for the thrill that buying gives them, rather than buying clothes that they can see wearing a lot. When you buy clothes, think to yourself- ‘is this a trend, or do I actually like it?’ This way you will be able to create a wardrobe that you actually like instead of clothes that will end up being thrown away.
There are other ways in which you can change your shopping habits to be more eco-friendly. If you’ve got an event that you need to buy one outfit for, why not consider ‘rental fashion?’ This way you can rent a really nice garment for much cheaper than buying it and this way you won’t be contributing to a circular fashion economy which means more clothing waste. Buying vintage and second-hand fashion is also a really good way in which you can make your wardrobe much more eco-friendly. Vintage designer clothes, jewellery and handbags can also be worth a lot of money and can make a fantastic investment.
The Sacred 30 Wear Rule
One of the biggest changes you can make to your everyday shopping habits is to live by one sacred rule- the 30-wear rule. This is a way in which you can revolutionise the way that you buy clothes, and not only saves the planet but is also a great way to create a wardrobe that you actually like.
What is the 30 Wear Rule?
Before you buy a piece of clothing, you should commit yourself to wearing it at least 30 times. If you can’t visualize yourself wearing it for that much, you should put it back. Investing in clothes that you can re-style and wear over and over again will benefit you in so many ways. Buying clothes that you love to wear will make sure that your wardrobe truly represents your personal taste and will mean that you’re not constantly buying items that you don’t really like. It will also mean that fewer of your clothes go to landfill.
Invest in ‘Any Season Clothes’
Investing in clothes that can be worn during any season is a fantastic way to streamline your wardrobe and make sure that fewer of your clothes are going into the bin, harming the planet. Organising your clothes and working out ways in which you can style them to fit any season is a great way to make your wardrobe trans-seasonal. For example, if you look at all your going out dresses, look at the rest of your wardrobe to see how you can style the garment for nights out in any season. In winter, pairing your dress with a fur coat, sensible heels and jewellery will make an amazing but practical festive party outfit. In summer, wearing the dress on its own with a denim jacket and sneakers will create a casual look which will allow you to transition from day to night very easily. Making sure your clothes can be re-styled to wear in any season will make sure that you’re not constantly buying new stuff every season.
Look After Your Clothes
One of the best ways you can be sustainable is to look after the clothes which you already have. Learning how to maintain the quality of your clothes is a fantastic way to make sure that your wardrobe is much more eco-friendly than ever before. Firstly, washing your clothes at the right temperatures and closely following the drying instructions will make sure that your clothes don’t disintegrate as easily as before. Teaching yourself a little bit of sewing can also go a long way when it comes to looking after the quality of your clothes. If you get a small tear in your clothes or a button comes off your favourite coat, don’t throw it away! Invest in a needle and some thread and learn from YouTube so you can repair your garment. This is a fantastic way to make sure that you’re looking after your clothes. Finally, hanging your clothes up properly will help make sure that they don’t become misshapen over time. Investing time and attention in your clothes will ensure that they last a lot longer, and means fewer clothes go to landfill.
Quality Over Quantity
Investing in higher-quality garments rather than a lot of low-quality garments can not only help save the planet but truly elevate your style game. Firstly, higher quality garments are less likely to disintegrate, meaning they can be worn for longer and longer. Secondly, better quality clothes are usually made of better materials that have more sustainable production methods. Investing in your clothes can also elevate your style game as better quality garments often look better and fall better on your body. Higher quality garments that you will wear over and over are fantastic things to invest in to make your wardrobe much more sustainable.
Know Your Fabrics
Unfortunately, not all fabrics are made equal. There are certain fabrics which are really bad for the environment due to their production. For example, fabrics such as polyester and nylon are really bad for the environment. This is because their production uses fossil fuels. Some cotton also produces astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide, which famously damages the earth’s ozone layer. The dyes used in fast fashion are also extremely bad for the environment because the chemicals affect the water and ecosystems on our planet. Even though these fabrics are cheap, there is often a hidden cost taken out on the world around us.
Buying fabrics that are produced without causing too much damage to the environment is a fantastic way to make your wardrobe much more sustainable. Organic hemp and cotton fabrics are great to invest in as they release far less air pollution in production and need much less maintenance in terms of harmful pesticides. Organic linen is completely biodegradable if left untreated, which is much better for the planet.
There are many new fabrics being patented and created to meet the demand for more sustainable practices in business by the consumer. For example, lyocell is a fabric that is created from wood pulp- it is also highly resistant and odour free. Econyl is a fabric that is made from synthetic fibres transformed from waste such as plastic and fishing nets. These fabrics are a great alternative to buying fabrics that contribute to damaging the planet.
Take the steps today to create a more sustainable wardrobe- the planet will appreciate it, and so will you.