1. Don’t shop at all (read: try to shop less)
Do you want to have a new dress? New shoes? Maybe a jumper? Yes? Well, let’s be honest here, everyone would love to have a brand new wardrobe. But do you really need it? Even without having a look in your wardrobe deep down you know the answer is probably no. And that really makes a difference. For every garment that is not being bought, less is finally going to end up in landfill. Fact is, every single garment has an enormous impact on our environment. For instance, the amount of cotton needed to make one simple t-shirt involves approximately 2700 litres of water. With water scarcity being a bigger and bigger problem this shouldn’t be taken easily. Not buying something might not instantly heal the environment but it’s a first step on making a better impact.
So ideally, we shouldn’t go shopping at all but as this doesn’t work, try to think twice before you purchase something new and ask yourself if you really need it.
2. Have a look at your parents’ closet
If you are looking for something exciting or new to wear, why not try to “shop” at your parents closet? They surely have things they don’t wear anymore and are happy to give them away to you. You might be surprised on how fashionable most of the things are, plus they will give you an authentic vintage feeling. The most impressive thing in my opinion is the quality of the garment! So, ask nicely and get ready for some possible amazing stories behind those garments.
3. Go second-hand
Look online for the your nearest charity and vintage shops or even vintage fairs and get ready to scroll through them. 9 out of 10 times you will find a hidden gem at a bargain price. Even if you come across not so sustainable brands it won’t matter as much as those brands are not making any profit out of your purchase anymore.
Not only will you extend a garment’s life cycle, you might also find some really unique things to incorporate in your closet. Definitely a win-win situation.
4. Try Ethical Brands
With the internet and globalisation, it is nowadays very easy to find various ethical and environmental friendly brands. And no, their products do not have to look super funky or have weird colours! The truth is actually quite the contrary. There are so many fashionable brands out there that do not follow the traditional trend forecasting process but rather focus on their manufacturers’ skills. My favourite brands include people tree, reformation, ten tree & patagonia.
5. Make it last (until the very, very end. Not until you’re bored of it)
If you just can’t avoid it or really (really) find a garment you truly love, go ahead with the purchase. Because if you think about it, why bothering buying something that is better for the environment when you are not planning on wearing it that much in the first place? It is said that to make a garment and its impact worth it, you would have to wear it at least 30 times (2012, Siegle). Although you might struggle with the quality of fast fashion clothing, with the right care you should be able to make the most out of your garment and still enjoy it for a long time.