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From food to lifestyle, sustainable living is all the rage these days. It begs the question, though: is there a way how to be fashionable while promoting sustainability?
The answer is yes.
The fashion industry is starting to revolutionize its old ways and has been embracing a new paradigm. Sustainable fashion is more than just a marketing buzzword that big brands like to volley around. It’s a very commendable way of living that has more benefits than one would realize.
But before we dive deep into sustainable fashion, let us first define what it means to live sustainably.
Sustainability means more than just choosing organic food. Or, in the fashion industry’s case, choosing all-natural fabrics and textiles. Instead, sustainable fashion means an industry-wide movement towards ecological balance and social justice. Big words, right? Don’t worry. These words only mean that to be sustainably fashionable, one must be more aware of where our clothes come from.
Did they come from sweatshops that involve child labour? Does it use raw materials that contribute more to our carbon footprint?
These questions might be too daunting for the ordinary consumer. But the truth of the matter is that the fashion industry is one of the most significant contributors to world pollution. The fashion industry produces almost 10% of the world’s greenhouse gases, according to the United Nations Climate Change News. In 2019, single-use outfits had amounted to 208 million pounds of waste.
At a glance, the picture painted by the fashion industry might not be too pretty. But finding out the ugly truth behind the world’s most beautiful sector is the first step to changing it for the better.
We’re here to guide you as you figure out how to be fashionable while living sustainably. Small steps could have significant effects. That’s why we’ve rounded up some simple and easy things you could do to promote sustainable fashion.
The first and easiest step is always the one closest to you. Have you organized your closet lately? Perhaps it’s high time to check which clothes still spark joy and which ones you could do without. Aside from decluttering, you might get surprised at how many clothes you still have. So perhaps you might hold back the next time you visit the closest mall, and you see a cute outfit.
Speaking of shopping, one way to be fashionable does not include stopping yourself from shopping. Instead, the principle suggests being more mindful of our purchases. The 30 times test helps guide you on which pieces are worthy of being bought and which items you should probably leave on the rack. Ask yourself: do you find yourself wearing this piece 30 times in the future? If you find yourself saying yes, then sure, go ahead and buy that cute top.
The 30 times test is just one of the many ways to address the issue of having too much single-use clothing that fills up our landfills. Buying a statement piece and using them only once is not only wasteful, but they are also bad for our environment.
Vintage clothes do not just add quirk to your character when you wear them. Instead, shopping for vintage pieces makes fashion more sustainable. You’re reusing clothes that had been made before, which saves them from turning into waste.
Emma Watson had once praised shopping for vintage clothes as a way on how to be fashionable while living sustainably. Mindful of how wasteful it is to create new clothing pieces all the time, the actress said that vintage shopping could help reduce a global carbon footprint that uses 6 to 9 trillion litres of water yearly.
Opting to live sustainably doesn’t mean you have to forego comfort and style. These days, there are more sustainable options one could go for when shopping for fashion and accessories. You don’t have to wear itchy hemp shirts so that you could live sustainably. By being more mindful of where your purchases come from, you could be doing your part in living sustainably.
Choose shirts made from organic cotton. Fancy a wristwatch? A wooden watch made from Canadian maple wood is not only chic but also very sustainable.
Before you check out that new outfit, ask yourself: do you really need new clothes? Perhaps an old pair of jeans in your wardrobe could do a bit of a sprucing up. That frumpy old skirt from a few years back could look fresh and chic with a few altering. Figuring out how to be fashionable sometimes only needs a little bit of resourcefulness and a whole lot of imagination.
Those cool specs you’ve been eyeing these days might go really well with most of your clothes. But they could be produced by a company that doesn’t care about the environment. Sometimes, digging a little deeper than purchasing right off the bat could help reduce our carbon footprint. Small acts like this have a significant effect collectively.
Find alternatives from other shops. Who knows, you might find something more chic and stylish? Perhaps swipe that plastic-rimmed specs to these wooden sunglasses made from North American walnut? They would look incredible for smart-casual lunch outs with your colleagues and still support sustainable fashion.
Turning over a new leaf and living more sustainably doesn’t mean bland food or ugly sweaters. There is beauty in living sustainably, and the change in perspective begins in you. There are more and more brands offering stylish options which wouldn’t hurt your fashion sense at all.
Learning how to be fashionable while being sustainable could also mean discovering new brands and ways to look amazing. It’s a whole new world of fashion, and the possibilities are endless. You have to be more open-minded and think ahead.
Sustainable fashion is the new vogue. Recognizing the ugly truth behind the fashion industry is just the beginning. More and more brands have embraced the change, and jumping on this all-natural bandwagon has more benefits than setbacks. It’s more economical, and every clothing piece you save helps reduce the global carbon footprint.
Gone are the days when organic fashion meant uncomfortable and tacky clothes, too. You don’t have to compromise on style to be able to support the sustainability movement. Instead, there are a lot of chic and stylish options to choose from. Discovering these new brands and sustainability trends could be exciting if only you open your mind to it.
If you’re curious about what other ways you could adopt a sustainable lifestyle, be sure to read this article on the benefits of eco-friendly products, packaging and initiatives.