There’s been some requests on more posts about sustainability in a fashion context. So what’s better than to pin down the subject in the first Stories post after the long running fashion history series? Here’s the way (sort of) to sustainable fashion.
The first step to sustainable fashion is to increase people’s consciousness. And not only the people’s awareness, but the companies and governments as well. Increase the knowledge about the current situation in the fashion industry and lack of sustainability from a social perspective, environmental friendly and economical as well. I talked about some of the areas in this post.
It’s a matter of perspective if you believe that the companies have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) or if you as a consumer possesses the needed influence. Regardless, are fashion companies highly dependent upon the customers to buy and consume fashion. There’s a long list of cases where the power of customer has been succesful when ditching a brand that hasn’t played fairly. So partly yes, the sustainable life is in the hands of us as consumers. The question though, is if we have the energy, dedication and knowledge to implement and demand sustainability. If you want a new black t-shirt. Do you buy the one from Target for $4 or do you buy an environmental friendly tee from, let’s say, Muji for $9? They’ll more or less look the same, but the decision is down to you: Will you buy for sustainability or will you buy for your own interest?
The reality is, as always, far more complexed and the circumstances for each and every brand, and each and every individual, are unique. But somewhere, somehow, the choice inevitably comes back to you. Like the saying goes: Many a little makes a mickle.
Courtsey of Lanvin
What can you do?
I don’t own a multinational billionaire business (yet, lol). So I can’t come from a corporate perspective and rewrite the rules of the game. What I can do (and you too) however, as a somewhat fashion blogger, I can use the influence of this platform to increase knowledge about sustainability. What you can do for a better world and how that translates to your everyday life. So here are a few ideas for you to embrace. It’s a matter of humanity and the earth.
1. Buy products of sustainability
Start simple: try to make more conscious choices when you buy a new product. Question where the product comes from, under which circumstances it’s been produced and what the company behind stands for. Products that are sustainably produced are often more expensive than regular clothes, which inevitably comes back to a question of your economical situation. Perhaps you can’t afford the more expensive choice in favor of its environmentally friendly quality. But you can always be more conscious and ask yourself if you need two similar tops for the same price of one eco-friendly?
2. Recycle clothes
When sorting your wardrobe, whatever you do, don’t toss your clothes. Give them to friends, family, a charity or give them to an organization that will recycle them. A crucial part of the eco friendly circle is to give back what you get. If you buy a sweater and no longer use it, give it back to the “system”.
3. Question more
As stated before, being conscious about the situation is key for the development of a sustainable fashion. Being conscious partly comes back to questioning yourself, your consumption as well as the companies you buy from. Ask yourself if, why and how you’re living/not living a sustainable life and what you can do to change or improve it. Next time you want a new sweater, explore the friendlier alternatives instead of just hitting the next H&M store. In the power of you as a consumer, look up where your favorite brand stands on sustainable development. Are they working on it? Do they have specific clothes for the matter or are they completely ignorant? Do you value your own belief in a more fair world, more than you appreciate the design/price of your favorite brand? Questions leads to answers and answers leads to progress. Inevitably.
Courtsey of Valentino
4. Sustainability on a budget
If you can’t invest in more expensive alternatives of fashion, it’s still not a proper excuse for not going for the better life. You can still stay creative, innovative and dedicated to live a fashionable life, where your urge for something trendy doesn’t occur on the cost of nature/others. Here are three cheap and quick ways you can stay a friend of sustainability and a friend of budget:
- Second hand: Buy your clothes second hand instead of new. Second hand (obs: not vintage) is usually quite cheap. The products are more unique and the clothes have already been produced, so you’re not contributing to something new. Next time you want a new clothing piece, scan the sortiment at your local second hand shop first.
- DIY: There are endless of tutorials and pictorials on DIY products for clothes. How to turn your jeans into denim shorts. Or how to dye your shirt, how to knit a scarf, how to sew a dress. The limit is truly your imagination and what your budget allows. A lot of the DIYs are completely free (more or less) and others are still rather cheap. If you want a new pair of denim shorts for summer, check your pile of old jeans first!
- Style better: And this is the point I try to live after daily and also bring to you: how to style pieces even better. How to find new perspectives on the skirt you’ve worn 117 times. Or how to have a good wardrobe of basics that you can style over and over again without going boring. Styling better is another way of keeping the fashion vibe alive. You don’t need to buy new clothes in order to look stylish, you just have to level up your brain game.
Folks! How do you live sustainable fashion? What do you do to make this world a little bit better? Xx
Courtsey of Etro
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