Are you wondering what exactly “sustainable” shopping is? I wanted my first post on Green with Style (GWS) to clearly define how to consume fashion in a more sustainable way. Our presence as humans will always have some sort of impact on the planet, but with some mindful shopping techniques, you can help to limit this impact.
When you need to buy something, first consider buying it used. This is the best (and my personal favorite) way to shop sustainably. No additional energy or resources were needed to create the product because it already existed. According to the EPA, in the United States alone we throw away 11 million tons of discarded clothing per year. That is so not okay! I personally love scouring consignment stores and thrift shops for unique (and discounted) treasures, but if you don’t, there are many sites and apps that have established convenient ways to buy and sell pre-loved clothing online (like eBay and Poshmark) and I feel that this industry is only growing.
If buying your item of choice used isn’t an option, the next best alternative is to seek out an eco-friendly label. Sourcing from sustainable and organic textiles, local manufacturing (which cuts down on transportation waste) and recycling materials are just some of the ways some brands are going green. Unfortunately, options in this sphere are limited because these manufacturing techniques tend to be more expensive. However, I believe in the power of the consumer; companies we want to exist will if we support them. One of my goals for this blog is to create a curated destination for eco-friendly labels.
If for some reason you can’t find what you want used or from an eco-friendly brand, then be sure to invest in quality. It can be tempting to buy from fast fashion brands because of their inexpensive prices, but you usually get what you pay for. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the value in investing in timeless pieces that were made with quality materials and manufacturing. Not having to constantly replace worn items in your closet not only saves you time, but better materials and design usually fit better and feel more comfortable, so those are the items that you will want to wear over and over again anyway. When it comes to your wardrobe essentials, like your daily handbag or smart blazer, seek out those perfect pieces that you’ll treasure for years.
Do you find my sustainable fashion infographic helpful? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Photo by @sdrpick. Graphics and design by Kasha Cabato.