Are you still thinking about hoping on the sustainable fashion bandwagon? Maybe considering creating your own capsule closet? Yey! I’m proud of you!
If you have read my post on sustainable fashion, you already know what to look for in the perfect piece of eco-friendly and ethical clothing. But finding your path to a more sustainable closet can be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start.
Look, I want to show you something:
This brilliant buyerarchy of needs by Sarah Lazarovic got me thinking. A lot.
We have unending options at our fingertips to make more sustainable fashion choices. Yet we keep trying to convince ourselves that these alternatives are far too expensive and just unattainable.
You don’t have to break the bank nor wear ratty old flannels from the second-hand shop.
Sustainable fashion is a beautiful thing that comes in all shapes and sizes. There is something for everybody, every style, and every pocket.
Anyway, enough with the rambling. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty.
The 6 forms of sustainable fashion
1. Buy from sustainable brands
You are mainly looking for three things when you buy from sustainable brands:
- Environmental consciousness. Let’s call it eco-friendliness – if that even is a word
- Respect to social issues (ethics)
- S l o w n e s s – ok definitely I’m just making up words
They are the hero the fashion industry needed, the guardian angel environmental fashionistas always yearned for. *Not dramatic at all*
Most of these brands are both environmentally friendly and ethical, but actually each of them is as unique as can be. Are you looking for organic fibers? Or rather clothing made out of recycled materials? You have it. Maybe locally based? Or based overseas with a strong manual of ethics? You name it. Ask and you shall receive.
I know, I know. You’re picturing your credit card weeping. It is true that SOMETIMES these brands are pricier than any of your typical fast fashion labels.
But think about what you’re paying for. In simple terms, you’ll be investing – not only in a beautiful dress, yes – in a better world where everyone can work safely and the environment won’t be compromised because of fashion.
This will help you be more mindful of the way you spend your money. Why not getting a unique dress made with care and quality materials instead of three that will last one season before they literally fall apart?
Not to mention that you’ll be investing in a fair fashion industry.
2. DIY – or get it done by someone else(GID?)
Damn I love this one.
My mama taught me how to sew and knit when I was just old enough to hold a needle without being a hazard for myself or others. Still today it is a hobby of mine.
Really. There are few things that bring me as much joy as knitting a new sweater for my boy or wearing the top that I made when I was a teenager.
You’re not handy? No problem
If you’re not handy and don’t want to learn how to make these things, you can find someone, maybe even a skillful friend, to make bespoke clothes for you. What a luxury!
3. Buy second hand
If there is somewhere you can find epic fashion pieces, it’s in a vintage shop. Don’t fight me on this.
Vintage, second hand or thrift shops – whatever you want to call them – are essentially fashion melting pots.
Is there something better than going thrifting and finding the perfect pre-loved dress? You get the chance to give it a new life – go pair it with your favorite shoes and your favorite belt from your BFF, get creative! How magical is that?
You can find a myriad of unique pieces – trust me, no one will have the same look as you at a party ever again.
You can also choose from different styles, price ranges, etc. it’s just a matter of finding your perfect store.
4. Swap – give and take
Aah, the essence of circular economy.
Do we get to pick favorites? Because if so, out of all forms of sustainable fashion this is mine, hands down.
There is nothing that I love more than rummaging around in the treasure chest that guards my mom’s old clothes at the beginning of each season.
I can lose my sense of time and spend hours and hours lost in front of a plethora of clothes from the 80s, looking for what always becomes my new favorite new piece of the season.
Why don’t you organize a post-spring cleaning clothing swap get-together with your friends? Everyone will bring what they don’t want any more from the closets and all of you will leave happy and with new lovely additions to yours. I guarantee you will find some gems – and this time you spend together doubles as the perfect moment to catch up with the girls!
This is once again giving a second life to pre-loved clothes. And what better than doing so with pre-loved clothes of the people you love the most.
But things don’t end there! You can also exchange clothes with people you have never met! There are apps and websites that allow you to swap clothes with anyone anywhere – like Swancy App, which is something like a fashion Tinder.
Shamelessly ask your friend for that blouse of hers you love for your work brunch.
You don’t need to spend money buying stuff that you’ll wear only once. Been there, done that. I have bought something fooling myself into thinking that it would be a new fav piece. But spoiler alert: it wasn’t.
Don’t be like me, borrow stuff from your lovely ladies.
6. Shop your closet!
Sometimes we just get obsessed about wanting the latest fashion and newest items out there that we forget that what we have is more valuable than we think.
Next time you’re going through your closet, rethink every single piece you own, you’ll be surprised about how many additional uses you can find for literally everything. Mix and match and see how many killer looks that you’ll find.
Add some pizzazz to what you own. That je ne sais quoi that makes your style yours. Of all forms of sustainable fashion, this one must be the easiest one.
And…did I mention it’s free!
If after reading this you still think sustainable fashion is restrictive, come fight me.
Now let’s talk about those clothes that don’t bring us joy anymore…
It is very important to know what to do with your clothes once you don’t want them anymore. Because the way you treat your clothes while using them and the way you dispose of them has a very big impact on the environment as well.
There are other options to consider before you decide to throw them away:
- fix them if possible
- repurpose them: turn a t-shirt into a cleaning cloth, for example
- donate/swap /sell them
As your last resort, throw them away, but always make sure you’re recycling them correctly so that they don’t end up taking space and polluting on a landfill.
Get information about your options in your local community and spread the word to friends and family to make sure they’re doing the right thing as well!
So tell me, out of these 6 forms of sustainable fashion, which is your favorite one?
Oh, and go save the world – and make it fashion.