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Sustainable Fashion: A Guide

Walk down any shopping street in any city, and you’ll find window displays bursting with clothing and apparel, designer names along with discount signs, and bargain items. While most of us relish the chance to buy something new for ourselves, how often do we really stop to think about the impact that item has created in the world to be there for us to buy?

Cotton is the most popular source of material for clothing production, yet the manufacturing of it is damaging to the environment in many ways. It uses an incredible amount of water to grow the crop, and the treatment and dying of the fabrics cause pollutants to be released into waterways. As cotton production is mainly based in poorer countries where regulations are not as rigorously enforced, this is where most of the damage is being done.

Sustainable fashion is that which is kind to the environment, and thankfully shoppers are becoming savvier when choosing the brands and the fabrics they wear.

Here are some ways that you can help make fashion more sustainable.

How to be more sustainable

Choose the right brands – Do your research on fashion brands, and to support the cause, only buy from ones where garments are produced without a negative impact on the environment. One example is, where cashmere wool is produced by artisan shepherds raising goats in a natural environment.

High-quality – Rather than buying cheap, throwaway items, such as t-shirts that will only last a few months, it is worth spending a little more on high-quality items that fit well and last longer. This helps us to get out of the fast and cheap fashion culture that decks many of our shopping streets and malls, and sends a message to brands that we want change.

While you might feel like you are spending more on an item than you usually would, you are, in fact, getting more value for money. This is because you won’t need to replace clothing continually.

Vintage chic – Reusing clothes by buying second hand is another way to keep fashion sustainable. Instead of throwing away clothing when it is no longer required, look for ways to reuse them. For instance, repurpose clothing so that it turns into a different item of clothing. Cut sleeves of tops, cut the bottom so that it turns into a crop top, or turn a dress into a playsuit, etc.

Sustainable fashion is clothing that’s kind to the environment, but it is also more than that. It is a growing movement that is seeing more demand placed on retailers and brands to do more to stop the pollution of manufacture, as well as caring for the resources we have on our planet. It also means giving communities sustainable work, as well as supporting the environment.

In the world of retail and fashion, the consumer has the power. We create the demand, and manufacturers sell what we buy. Making sustainable fashion a reality begins with us, so view those window displays with a new lens the next time you are shopping.


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