We recently shared three strategies for buying clothes more eco-consciously. In addition to shopping with sustainability in mind, taking a deeper look at your clothing habits, in general, can help you develop an environmentally-friendly closet and ditch fast fashion for good. Here are five strategies to make more ethical fashion choices.
Don’t think of clothes as disposable – Fast fashion has made clothes cheaper, both in terms of quality and cost, making it tempting to collect and toss clothes whenever the urge strikes. Try to think of clothing as more of a long-term investment and ask yourself before you buy anything if you would wear the item more than 30 times. If the answer is no, it could be an impulse buy. Likewise, treat your clothing like you want it to last. Follow washing instructions and opt for strong, well-made goods that will stand the test of time.
Revamp your clothes – Cutting and altering clothing is a great way to give it new life in your closet. Bored of your pants? Hem them into shorts. Love the pattern of a shirt but not the fit? Use the fabric to make accessories like headbands.
Be conscious about how you get rid of your clothes – Online thrift sites are a great way to sell some of the clothes you don’t wear and there’s a greater chance your clothes will get a second life if you find someone excited to wear them. If you want to donate clothes, call a couple of different thrift shops and ask what type of clothes they’re looking for so you can donate goods to where they’re needed most. Shelters are another great option for getting your clothes to those who need them. Items in good condition, especially jackets and shoes, are accepted at most shelters.
Opt for the second hand when you’re in a shopping mood – If you’re bored of your closet and looking to shake things up with something new, head to your local thrift shop to satisfy that urge rather than an online shopping site. These shops are usually locally owned and you’re giving new life to old goods for an overall more sustainable purchase. The items you find will likely be more unique, plus, you might just find a gem priced way undervalue!
Learn about fast fashion – Reading about the realities of fast fashion (like the fact that each year the fashion industry consumes about 79 trillion liters of water and throws out 92 million tons of waste) is enough to get anyone to rethink their habits. Resources like the online site Remake, which gives brands sustainability ratings, can also help you make more informed decisions about your fashion purchases.
If you want more resources on how to ditch fast fashion, check out this app that tracks the carbon footprint of your purchases and these seven tips on becoming an expert thrift shopper.