A Simple Guide to Sustainable Fashion
It’s no secret that fast fashion is having a devastating impact on the planet and on the environment. We can all agree by now that mass produced fashion does more harm than good to our world. Garment workers shouldn’t have to die for making our clothes, our rivers should not be polluted and poisoned just for the sake of a cheap t-shirt and crops and water supplies in impoverished areas should not be contaminated by the fashion industry.
So much suffering, contamination and destruction goes into making the cheap clothing we see everyday on the high street only for 3.8 billion pounds of it to end up in landfill at the end of each year. With fast fashion being the most damaging industry to the environment second only to oil production it’s high time we made the call for change.
As consumers, for every penny we spend, we are casting a vote. As long as we keep pumping our money into fast fashion companies, these multi-billion dollar corporations are going to continue to exploit garment workers through child labour, slave labour and sweat shops, no matter what cost to the environment and to human life.
For today’s post I decided to share the five R’s of sustainable fashion that will hopefully help us all to reduce our consumption of fast fashion brands and strive for a more ethical closet.
Refusing is all about saying no to impulsive purchases and to brands that are wholly unethical. Just because an item is cheap or trendy doesn’t mean you should buy it. Before adding to the pile of unworn clothing in your wardrobe, it’s important to consider the amount of times you’ve spent money on something just because it was on sale or in style and then never wore it ever again. Is this also going to be one of these purchases? Do you know who made this item of clothing and under what conditions?
When we refuse impulse buys and purchases that go against our morals we are fighting for a more fair and just fashion industry.
Reducing is all about cutting down on things you buy. When you go shopping it’s important to consider whether you really need everything in your basket and also if you have somewhere you can wear each item to. If your answer is no then it’s probably best to leave back on the shelf.
To make up for the environmental impact of the production of your clothing you have to wear an item at least 30 times. To put it in perspective, if you can’t see yourself wearing a piece everyday for a month then you most likely don’t need it.
There are so many ways to upcycle old clothes that are either damaged or worn. Stitching and embroidering over stains for example can completely reinvent your previously worn pieces and leave you with something new and original. And if you’re ever in doubt for how you can repair old clothing, YouTube has an infinite amount of tutorials on how you can give your old pieces some love and in turn save them from the landfill.
Reusing is all about finding different ways to wear old clothing. Rather than buying new clothes why not save money by trying to come up with new looks? Working with what’s already to be found in your closet can be a great creative exercise and coming up with new outfits and new styles can be a lot of fun. You never know what interesting looks you might discover and it won’t cost you any extra money either.
When I say that you should recycle your old clothes I mean anything but throwing them away or donating them. Did you know that only 10% of donated clothing actually gets rehomed and that the rest just ends up in landfill? Instead, finding a new home for your clothes is a surefire way tonsure that the clothing you’re clearing out of your wardrobe will actually get reused.
Selling old clothes on sites like eBay
or whatever is popular where you live is a great alternative to throwing away used clothes, plus you can make a quick buck while you’re at it too. When I was living in Ireland, a lot of girls were using DressUpMarket
to resell and recycle pre-loved clothing. There are so many second hand clothing stores online and when you sell an item to someone, you know that it is in good hands because they paid money for it.
If buying and selling isn’t your thing however, giving clothes away to friends or hosting a clothes swapping party are great ways of finding new pieces at no extra cost to the environment and of course for rehoming your clothes.
So these were some of my simple steps toward kick start your eco-friendly closet.
If you guys want to know more about why you should get involved in sustainable fashion I highly recommend watching The True Cost
on Netflix or alternatively heading over to FashionRevolution.org
Do you have any tips to share in ethical shopping/sustainable fashion? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.
That’s all from me for now. Thank you all so much for reading and I’ll see you very soon in my next post.