Friday, 01 July 2022

Simple ways to be more sustainable with your fashion choices

Written by Olivia Wigg
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Marieke Koenders

Recently Love Island made the decision to dress contestants in second-hand clothes from eBay, and this is going to speak of a huge change in viewers’ shopping habits.

With searches for ‘how to make fashion sustainable’ +256% increase and ‘second-hand clothes’ +220% increase over the past month. It seems consumers are increasingly turning towards sustainable fashion.

In a poll conducted by waste management company, 65% of Brits said they would buy clothes that have been second-hand. With two-thirds of Brits admitting to buying more second-hand fashion compared to two years ago.

It seems consumers are beginning to shake off their prejudices about wearing second-hand clothing.

What would encourage you to buy more second-hand clothing?

Friends or family doing so first (90%)
Celebrities doing do (94%)
Nothing would (6%)

To help Brits to be more eco-friendly, has pulled together 10 simple ways how you can be more sustainable with your fashion choices:

1. Never Throw Clothing In The Bin

Choose clothes that you absolutely love and ones that you feel you will keep forever.

If you have small rips, holes, or missing buttons then repair them instead of throwing them in the bin. A small cost for maintenance means that you can wear your much-loved pieces again and again.

2. Shop Second Hand

With the rise of sites such as Vinted and Depop, second-hand shopping has never been easier, now you can search for your most loved brands and filter by size and colour instead of trawling through charity shops. You will find treasures for a fraction of the price if you shop around and there’s never been a better time to start shopping online.

3. Alter Pieces You Already Own

Create a fresh new look from clothes you already have hidden in the back of your wardrobe that you may have fallen out of love with and see if you can give them a new lease of life. By altering, accessorizing, and combining clothes in some ways, you can revamp your wardrobe. You will also be able to create an amazing outfit that is unique to you!

4. Look After Your Clothes

If you buy higher-quality clothes, then they are obviously going to last longer. But for every piece of clothing in your wardrobe if you wash it correctly (according to the guidelines on the label), give it gentle steam and hang it in your wardrobe in the correct way then your clothes will stay their best for longer.

5. Shop Sustainable Brands

More brands are now recognising the growing narrative around sustainability and so there are so many amazing brands to choose from. It is recommended that you check to see if the item of clothing is one of the following:

Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
USDA Organic
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
B Corp by B Lab

6. Invest In Quality And Not Quantity

Take a break from fast fashion and buy quality items that last. Instead of jumping on trend pieces that are perhaps fast fashion, the quality will not last as long and you may not be fixed on the trend next season.

Only try and buy trans-seasonal clothes that you can wear all year round, this will help to pass the 30 wears test. From jeans to timeless coats and sweatshirts, invest in quality and you will be able to wear them all year round for years to come.

7. Know Your Fabrics

Having a good knowledge about sustainable fabrics will help you to shop sustainability especially when an item may not be obviously marked as being environmentally friendly. Avoid synthetic fabrics as they lead to waste and greenhouse gas emissions as well as being non-biodegradable.

However, there is no such thing as 100% sustainable fabrics but some are better than others organic cotton, hemp and linen are all great alternatives that are much more eco-friendly. Organic cotton uses 88% less water than normal cotton and hemp returns 60-70% of nutrients to the soil that it lives in.

8. Donate Your Unwanted Clothes

If you no longer fit into your clothes or you have decided that they are no longer your style, then why not donate them to charity. Rather than throwing away or leaving them hanging in the back of your wardrobe then donate to help others to be more sustainable.

9. Don’t Wash Your Clothes That Aren’t Dirty

Washing machine company AEG estimates that 90% of clothes aren’t actually dirty enough to be thrown into the laundry basket and 75% of our clothes’ life cycle impact comes from washing and drying. We recommend washing jeans every two weeks at the most (unless super dirty)!

When you do go to wash your clothes why not switch to a green laundry detergent. To shop for more eco-friendly options, look for labels that show the product is phosphate-free and made from plant and vegetable-based ingredients.

10. Change Up Your Mindset

Don’t see it as a compromise! So many brands are now starting to launch environmentally friendly ranges so dressing sustainability doesn’t need to be a compromise. Shop around, and there will be plenty of items you will fall in love with.

Mark Hall, Co-founder of comments, “people are turning to second-hand clothing – not just out of financial necessity, but out of choice. There is a huge opportunity here for retailers to improve their green credentials and tap into a growing number of consumers who would like to buy stylish clothing without ethical concerns.

We hope that these simple tips will help you to be more environmentally friendly in your fashion choices and do your bit to save the planet!”

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