Did you know that fashion is one of the biggest polluters in the world? In fact, fashion is the second biggest contributor to pollution in the world! We spend tons of money on clothes that we end up wearing a few times only to toss them. For the most part, we have lost the emotional connection to our clothes because of mass production. Take a second to observe what you are wearing today. Can you name the designer? How about the story of how the garments were made? If you are the typical fashion consumer, chances are you can’t answer any of those questions. The clothes you wear should be unique and one of a kind, they should not only be expressive but should be able to tell a story. That is what true fashion is all about. Plus, it’s nice to wear clothes knowing that it didn’t come straight of a rack where it probably still has a whole bunch of harmful chemicals attached to it. Not only that, but it’s for sure cool to wear your clothes knowing that there is an unlikely chance that you will bump into someone with the same exact outfit as you. With this being said, these are six ways for the everyday consumer to achieve sustainability in fashion.
1. Don’t Throw Away Clothes, Donate Them or Resell Them
A common thing for consumers to do is throw away clothes when they become old. However, that only contributes to more pollution as several clothing items are very hard to dispose of or recycle. By donating or selling your clothes, you are reducing the effect fashion has on pollution. Also, you never know what outfits or designs someone can make out of your clothes through their own creative touch. You will feel good that you didn’t contribute to pollution, and they will love the fact that they have a new outfit to wear.
2. Find New Ways to Spice Up Clothing Pieces
Before you choose to get rid of a piece, ask yourself, what are more ways that I can wear this piece? You would be surprised at how much you can do with one garment if you let your creative juices flow. Sometimes it can be as simple as styling a different scarf with a shirt that us has never been styled with before, or wearing a bold belt with a pair of jeans you’ve worn in the same style for years on end.
Macklemore told no lies in his song Thrift Shop. Thrifting is amazing! It is easy to give thrifting a bad rep from the outside. However, when you actually begin to shop at thrift stores, you would be surprised at what you find. There are so many different options, for so many different styles, and at such affordable prices as well. Thrifting is one of the best ways of recycling within the fashion industry because rather than for someone to throw away their clothes and contribute it to pollution, they are donating it and giving others the opportunity to make something new and creative out of the item whether it be by wearing it in a new way, upcycling it, or more. There is always a variety of new things to be done with newly thrifted pieces. Several thrift stores are typically charitable and have a good cause tied to it. Therefore, not only are you contributing to the cause of sustainable fashion, but you are also contributing to providing relief for charitable causes as well. It’s a win, win for all!
Take an old garment from your closet or that you get from the thrift store, and turn it into something completely new! It’s a fun, inexpensive way to recycle clothes, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is made out to be. For instance; an old pair of jeans can easily be cut and detailed into a cute and simple pair of shorts.
5. Create Your Own Clothes
If ya got the skills, put them to good use! When you take the time to design and create your own clothes not only are creating something that is more worthwhile to you and that has a unique story behind it, but you are also straying away from the harms of mass production and are creating something that is completely original and tailored to you. If you are able to, try using natural fibers as opposed to synthetic fibers which contain a lot of harmful chemicals.
6. Support Sustainable Fashion Brands
Sustainable fashion brands can be a bit more pricey at times. However, a large part of this is because they don’t receive as much recognition and support from mainstream media. If more people recognized these brands, and more companies took on the sustainability approach, then sustainable fashion would become a norm, therefore making it a bit more affordable for typical everyday consumers. There is a large variety of sustainable fashion brands to choose from out there, It is up to the consumer to research the brands that are best suited for them in terms of their own personal style, needs, and wants as a shopper.