With ‘Sustainable fashion’ being a popular term of late, more and more of us are starting the think about what it actually means and how/what we can do to be a little more ‘sustainable’ and conscious of the world around us. But how does this relate to the fashion industry? In this blog post, I’ll explain a little about fast fashion and explore ways that we can all be a little more sustainable when it comes to our wardrobes and shopping habits.
By now you will have heard the term ‘Fast Fashion’ (unless you’ve been living under a rock!). It’s a term used to describe cheap ‘on trend’ high street garments that are put together using ideas gathered from catwalk or celebrity culture. Being available on the highstreet enables the high end looks to be accessible to the everyday consumer.
But at what cost?
What’s the cost of fast fashion?
Whilst the cost to us is very low, (which let’s be honest we have all grown to love the bargains!), the cost to the environment is huge!! According to an article I recently read, (The story of a £4 Boohoo dress: cheap clothes at a high cost) the Co2 emissions emitted by the factories producing these low quality, low priced garments is …
1.2bn tonnes of CO2 a year, more than international aviation and shipping combined, consumes lake-sized volumes of water, and creates chemical and plastic pollution – as much as 35% of microplastics found in the ocean come from synthetic clothing.
But we all love to shop don’t we?
I’ll be the first to admit I LOVE SHOPPING but I’ve started being a lot more conscious as to what I buy.
For example… I’ve made a habit of making lists on my phone of the ‘gaps’ that I have in my wardrobe; things I need, which once bought, will allow me to make use of items I’ve already got in my wardrobe. This has stopped me impulse buying and buying things I simply don’t need.
I started a hashtag on Instagram ‘#rewearoldgear encouraging people to really get on board with re-wearing their clothes instead of getting sucked into the celeb culture of wearing things once or twice before throwing them away and buying new!! I’m a firm advocate of mixing old faithful items of clothing that you love, with some new ‘considered’ purchase. Our wardrobes all need a little freshen up now and again but if we get used to shopping smarter we can start to steer away from fast fashion.
Shopping with the environment in mind!
More often than not these days I opt for higher quality items which I know are likely to last. I check the fabrics and try to steer clear of 100% polyesters and instead opt for recycled fabrics, cotton and wool blends. Buying items in timeless, classic colours can also help as they are unlikely to ‘date’ or ‘go out of fashion’ meaning you will get plenty of wears from them!
An example of this was the Zara shacket. …. I fell in love with the pale mint green colour but ended up choosing the cream as I know it will go with more of my existing wardrobe and is more likely to stand the test of time as its a more neutral classic colour… ( so long as I can keep my boys grubby hands off it!)
Which are the best ‘sustainable fashion brands?’
Let’s face it, we are always going to shop but going forward, let’s try to shop smarter! Instead of heading straight to the shops which sell clothes with the cheapest prices but who have such a negative impact on the environment (we all know the ones!), why not shop with brands that are trying to help the ‘fast fashion’ situation and who have ‘conscious sustainable’ ranges.
H&M Conscious range
A great example is H&M who has a fabulous conscious range whereby garments are made using recycled fabrics. (You can check out H&M’s conscious range here). They also have a garment recycling scheme whereby you can drop off any unwanted fabrics in any condition in return for a £5 money-off voucher off a £25 spend. Use it to buy from their ‘conscious range’ and you are winning!!
Having bought a few key items from their conscious range myself, I love the quality, the choices available, and the fact that they are made using recycled materials. More recently I got this polka dot jumper in a neutral colour-way which I know will go with so much and which has been made from recycled fabrics.
Click here to shop this jumper…
‘Responsible’ by Asos
Asos also has a ‘Responsible range’ which allows you to filter by ‘recycled’ or ‘sustainable materials’. (Check out the Asos responsible edit here!)
Boden is another brand that takes sustainability seriously. Whilst some of their items can be a little on the pricey side, their clothes last and will allow you to re-wear over and over. They pride themselves on their 365-day guarantee on all of their products so purchasing Bodens clothing could be seen as a little investment. You know they will not end up in the bin in 5 weeks time with a broken zip or split seam! (Check out Bodens here)
We take climate change extremely seriously and are constantly taking steps to reduce our environmental impact. This might mean anything from sending our tea bags to the compost heap and banning the use of disposable cutlery and coffee cups in our café to using regenerated fibres in our swimwear and sustainably sourced paper for our catalogues.
All of these items below are sustainable/responsible items either made from recycled products or made using a sustainable supply chain.
Shop sustainable fashion here….
So how can I be more sustainable when it comes to my wardrobe?
- Shop smarter by considering what you actually need
- Don’t impulse buy
- Re-wear your old gear, mixing older items with a few newer ‘key’ investment pieces
- Purchase your new clothes from brands that have ‘sustainable ranges’ like H&M conscious, ASOS Responsible and Boden.
- Recycle your unwanted textiles either at a textile drop off like instore in H&M or by donating to your local charity shop.
- Repair clothes that have loads of life left in them but which need a new button/new hem/new zip etc
Head over to Instagram and follow my hashtag #RewearOldGear, hey why not get involved use the hashtag on your photos and tag me (@nonscentsatno10) in your style posts when you are re-wearing older much loved, past season items perhaps with some conscious buys!
I really hope you have found this blog post useful. We can look fab and ‘on-trend’ without impacting the environment too much!…
xxx Jem xxx
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