Our world is ruled by fast fashion, it is hard to remember about our planet and that we need to protect it and the people who live on it. We always want the latest looks; we want to look trendy because that helps us feel recognized. Fashion rules our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. Now sustainable fashion is making its way to be in the limelight.
What if I told you there are ways to feel trendy but still protect our planet? There is! Fashion is moving away from speed and moving toward a slow fashion future. Now you can find those sustainable brands easier than ever before. Some of you may not know what sustainable fashion means, and that is totally okay. Sustainability hasn’t always been a trendy subject, and sustainable fashion hasn’t always been in style.
In the late 1980’s, sustainable clothing and ethical fashion started to emerge with the anti-fur movement. However, it did not become super popular for almost another decade. Now it is growing faster than ever before. We can define sustainable fashion as fabrics derived from eco-friendly sources and how they are made.
It may seem hard to tell how legit a sustainable fashion brand is and how to know if their practice is eco-friendly. We will cover the best 5 things to look for when finding a new brand that focuses on ethical fashion or sustainable fashion.
1. Honesty Will Always Come First
Every brand you look at should be completely open about how ethical and sustainable they are. If there is one part that could be better, they will admit it. Not everything can be 100% eco-friendly. However, they can be open about how much of their practice is sustainable. If it is 90% eco-friendly and they are working on their manufacturing facilities, they should state that. Finding a genuine brand is more important than finding one that claims to be 100% sustainable, but actually destroys the environment.
2. Recycle and Upcycle
Brands who upcycle materials are excellent and should be one of your go-to choices. We waste so many things that can be used to create something else, finding a brand reusing and recycling will change the world! This helps decreases the amount of waste going into our landfills.
3. Finding A Brand That Values People
Eco-friendly brands or sustainable clothing brands should not only look out for the environment they should look out for their people. This means you, me, the people who work for them, and their community. Look and see if they give back to their neighborhood; this is a good sign you should look for.
4. Materials Are Not Equal
Not all materials are sustainable, and that may come as a surprise to you. Be sure the sustainable clothing you choose uses natural materials that are grown and harvested ethically. The brand you buy from should state all of this.
5. Handmade Will Always Win
If you are still confused, go for something handmade! You can do this on Etsy, or ask around the community. If you go for a bigger brand, look at their website to determine if anything is handmade.
If you’re thinking about trying to buy sustainable clothing but don’t have the money to do it yet, that is okay! There are a few things you can do and sustainable habits you can adopt right now that costs absolutely nothing.
Tips To Go Sustainable Now
1. Research and Learn
The world is at our fingertips; we can hop online anytime we want and learn anything. In this case, learning about sustainable business practices can help you in the future. You can learn how manufacturing works and learn what you think is essential in a brand.
2. Buy Second Hand Before Buying New
For the most part, I never buy anything new. I go to Goodwill or other thrift stores to get all my clothes. This is one of the best ways to get that shopping feeling while still finding some unique pieces. The brands may not be ethical but giving clothing a second life is excellent for the environment! You’re not throwing it away; you’re reusing it! This is also a great way to find some new pieces that no one else has.
3. Reuse What You Have
If you are like me, you have a giant closet with a donate pile. I leave that donate pile for a few months before actually getting rid of it. I go through that bag and find something that I will wear again! I forgot I had it! Instead of throwing it out, I re-wear it and love it. Dig through your closet and wear it all over again; you can style it however you want. When you buy something, ask yourself, “Will I wear this multiple seasons and more than 25 times?” If the answer is no, ditch it and don’t buy it. The more you wear something, the better it is for the environment and your wallet.
4. Spend Less In The Future
Save your money for something that will last a long time. Instead of buying fast fashion every week, save for something good that will last a lifetime. Yes, fast fashion is a cheaper option short term. However, saving up for one nice pair of jeans can save you from spending thousands and be better for the environment. Sustainable clothing is not expensive, there is a higher upfront cost, but you will spend way less on clothing in the future. Fast fashion is meant to break down; it is made to be thrown away to keep up with the latest trends.
Finding sustainable clothing brands should be easier than you think, but you should also know what to look for in a brand. Focusing on how these materials are gathered, then made, and what materials are being used is essential to finding sustainable clothing. It should not be expensive; some of the habits you can adopt today are totally free.
Let’s make fast fashion a dying trend and slow fashion boom. We can save the planet, boost our economy, and still be incredibly trendy. Let’s recreate street fashion and bring back the best styles by shopping at our favorite second-hand stores.
What are some of your favorite ways to be sustainable? Comment down below, share with your friends and let’s spread the word together.
Currently residing in New England, Kayla Eaton focuses on writing about her local area. Her favorite writing niches are in sustainability, clean beauty, and health. She writes for several online magazines and is a full-time freelance writer. Kayla Eaton wants to share her hometown with you while supporting some of the lesser-known shops and startups in the area. She believes focusing on the environment and the health of her community will create a massive change worldwide.