5 ways to shop fashion sustainably in 2021

By Alma Fabiani

Published May 13, 2021 at 07:00 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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We live in a world where fashion trends are constantly evolving. For the fashion-forward and environmentally-conscious, this can pose a problem. Fast fashion produces extensive greenhouse gases due to the energy used in its production, manufacturing, transportation, and disuse. The synthetic fibres used in most of our clothes are derived from fossil fuels, and most of our garments are manufactured in countries powered by coal, which produces mass carbon emissions. So, if you are wondering how to reduce your carbon footprint while keeping up with fashion trends, keep reading.

1. Swap or borrow

If there is an event you are desperate to have a new outfit for, before heading to the fast-fashion sites, ask around your friends whether they have anything you could borrow. That way, you get to wear a fresh outfit without the added cost and environmental impact. Also, certain apps and websites allow you to swap clothes with people in your area. For example, This For That lets you chat, barter, and swap items from your digital wardrobes within the local community.

2. Learn to love the clothes you own

We can fall into the trap of buying countless clothes to make up for low self-esteem. But learning to think positively about yourself starts with creating healthy habits and a self-care routine. For example, you can boost your workouts if you check out STEEL and pair it with a nutritious diet. When you feel your best, you may find you are more confident in the clothes you already have.

3. Thrift and upcycle pre-loved clothes

Thrifting is an excellent alternative to purchasing fast fashion. Most styles (if not all) come back around, so there is always a hidden gem to be found in a charity store. For example, fashion from the noughties, the Y2k trend, is back in all its former glory. If you find a few pieces you like but need a little TLC, you can take them to the dry cleaners to be mended, taken in, or thoroughly washed. If you are a creative person, you could even upcycle old clothes to align with your style by adding gems, cropping tops, or distressing jeans, for example.

4. Buy from sustainable stores

Duh! Shopping for clothes from stores that have environmental ethics at the heart of their business is one of the best ways to tackle the impacts of fast fashion. Stores like Patagonia and Pact ensure to manufacture their products responsibly and with the planet in mind. Plus, companies like Patagonia are eco-activists, which means they fight to protect our resources and protest against environmental damage.

5. Be honest with yourself

Before splashing out on a statement piece, ask yourself: how many times will I wear this bright orange jumpsuit? If the answer is any less than 30 times, then you might want to reconsider buying it. Shopping for classic staples that you will wear time and time again will prevent you from adding clothes to landfill sites when you grow tired of them or when they begin to clog your wardrobe.

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