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How to Build a Sustainable Wardrobe That Looks Good and Does Good

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Have you ever felt guilty about your fashion choices? Maybe you've wondered about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment or the people who make your clothes. I know I have. That's why I've been trying to shop more sustainably and ethically.

Sustainable fashion has been gaining more attention in recent years as people become more mindful of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. To define it, it is a practice of producing clothing and accessories that have minimal environmental impact and ensure fair treatment of workers throughout the supply chain.

If you are looking to shop for sustainable fashion and make conscious choices, there are several things you can do.


Research Before You Shop

First, do your research on the brand's values and manufacturing processes. Brands that prioritize sustainability will usually highlight their efforts on their website or through social media. Some brands even use certifications like the Global Organic Textile Standard or Fair Trade Certified to show their commitment to ethical practices. By researching a brand's sustainability efforts, you can make informed decisions and support brands that align with your values.

Rent or Shop Second-Hand

Another sustainable way to shop is by purchasing second-hand items. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like Depop or Poshmark offer a wide selection of pre-owned clothing and accessories. Shopping second-hand reduces the demand for new products and helps prevent items from ending up in landfills. Plus, it's an affordable way to refresh your wardrobe.

You can also rent from places like Rent the Runway and Hurr. This is ideal for the show stopping items that you know you may never get the chance to were as fashion evolves.

Look for Sustainable Materials

Choosing products made from eco-friendly materials is another way to shop sustainably. Sustainable materials include organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel, and bamboo. These materials are biodegradable, require fewer resources to produce, and have a lower impact on the environment. Some brands even use innovative materials like Pinatex, a leather substitute made from pineapple leaves, or mushroom leather.

Quality Over Quantity

Investing in high-quality pieces that will last longer is also a great way to shop sustainably. Instead of buying many low-quality items, choose quality over quantity. High-quality pieces may cost more initially, but they'll save you money in the long run as you won't need to replace them as often. High-quality pieces also tend to be more timeless, so you won't feel the need to follow fleeting trends.

Support Local and Small Brands

Supporting local and small brands is an excellent way to reduce the carbon footprint of your fashion purchases. Local brands often have shorter supply chains, meaning their products travel less distance to reach you. Small brands may also have more control over their manufacturing processes and can prioritize ethical and sustainable practices. By supporting local and small brands, you can contribute to the growth of sustainable fashion in your community.

Take Care of Your Clothes

Finally, taking care of your clothes is the most sustainable option. By washing them less often, air-drying them, and repairing them when necessary, you can extend their lifespan. You can also repurpose old items by altering them or turning them into something new.

Making sustainable fashion choices may require a shift in mindset and habits, but it's worth it. By taking small steps, we can all make a positive impact on the environment and support ethical practices in the fashion industry. Remember, every little bit counts!


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