The way we dress and present ourselves to the world is often a direct reflection of our personalities. From simple things like bright colors signifying a bold personality through to band merchandise t-shirts indicating a specific music taste, fashion is entirely personal and individual, but it’s rarely new.
Trends come and go, with the majority of styles being regurgitated over the years. One thing that is new, though, is the pace at which we are shopping for clothes and how we go about it. Never before have we been able to buy clothes with the touch of a button for delivery tomorrow. The world really is your oyster when it comes to fashion and clothes, but if we continue in the unsustainable manner we currently are, it won’t be for long.
Despite what you might think, it is actually entirely possible to be both fashionable and sustainable, and here’s how.
Keep an eye on trends
A large part of being fashionable is keeping up with trends. As mentioned previously, most new trends aren’t actually new – they’ve been recycled from years gone by. The good news is, because most trends come from the sixties onwards, there’s plenty of authentic items kicking around in charity shops as older generations pass on their once beloved belongings to someone else to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking to cash in on the denim jacket trend, the mom jean trend or the flared trousers trend, you’ll find everything you need in a second-hand shop. This means you don’t need to rely on fast fashion brands to supply you with sub-par clothes that aren’t manufactured to last. If you get it from a charity shop, odds are it’s vintage and has been made to last years.
The more you shop at charity shops, the less new clothes are made. Given that 70 million trees are felled every year purely for the textile industry, every garment could save a tree, and every tree saved will help to preserve natural landscapes and reduce carbon emissions. Why cut down a tree and ruin a habitat for something that already exists? Fast fashion brands are rarely innovative or cutting edge, so it seems silly to compromise the environment for something that already exists.
Shopping online is convenient, but you might just be surprised at the gems you can find in local independent chains that you just can’t get on the internet. Again, most trends are recycled from decades past, so you’ll likely be able to find what you’re looking for in a real-life shop in your local area, so you don’t need to worry about being out of style.
There are many benefits to shopping locally, including supporting a local business. Following the pandemic, many businesses are in desperate need of customers and will be more grateful for your custom than big brands. Not only this, but shopping locally is more sustainable because there’s are no polluting trucks used to get your order to your front door. Given that 10% of all global carbon emissions come from the textile industry alone, every aero plane, truck and van that is off the road due to reduced deliveries will make a difference.
Thrift with pride
In a world that is so focused on materialistic appearances, the tide is changing. Being environmentally aware and a moral consumer is the most fashionable thing you can wear. Clothes come and go, but the planet can’t recover quite like your street cred can. There is no shame in thrifting clothes or buying things second-hand, neither is there anything wrong with revamping your current clothes to suit passing trends.
Do you have any sustainability tips? How do you stay on top of current fashion trends whilst being environmentally aware?