We’re all trying to do our bit for the environment these days, and that means rethinking how we approach all sorts of aspects of our lives, including the fashion choices we make.
It’s possible to embrace an eco-friendly approach to looking good, so long as the clothing and accessories we add to our wardrobes are selected with one eye on their carbon footprint. So let’s discuss a few examples and options that you’ve got if you’re planning to go green without making compromises this year.
8 things to consider when building a sustainable approach to fashion
1. Sustainable jewellery — go for beauty without the carbon cost
We’re living through an amazing era in terms of the jewellery industry because vendors like VRAI are showing what can be done with elegant lab-created diamonds that are less of an environmental burden than their mined counterparts.
Man-made gems are grown in foundries, rather than dug up from beneath the earth, and so far less energy has been expended in creating them.
In turn, they can be integrated with all sorts of jewellery designs, and the fact that they are identical to mined diamonds makes them a genuine alternative. So if sustainability is on your wish list, choosing VRAI’s lab-grown diamonds that have been grown in their zero-emission foundry is the best way to go about it.
2. Eco-friendly shoes — look for what's comfortable and conscientious
Right now you can upgrade your footwear and ease your conscience at the same time thanks to the rapidly expanding market for sustainable shoes.
Eco-friendly shoes come in all shapes, styles and colours, and are made using sustainable materials such as organic cotton or hemp. Many brands have also started using recycled plastic bottles to craft their shoe designs, so you can look good while doing something for the planet.
Not only do these shoes reduce pollution, but they’re often very comfortable as well due to their breathable material composition. So why not treat yourself to a pair of stylish yet responsible shoes today?
3. Natural fabrics — choose what's attractive and biodegradable
When it comes to clothing, natural fabrics are a great way to add a touch of comfort while also being kinder to the environment.
From linen to bamboo, these materials provide breathability as well as durability, meaning they’ll last longer than other synthetic alternatives.
What’s more is that natural fibres require fewer chemicals during production, which makes them an especially sustainable choice. And when the time comes that they are no longer wearable, they will break down naturally rather than lingering indefinitely, which is an issue for many synthetic fibres.
4. Organic cotton apparel — flaunt the latest guilt-free fashions
You can go one step further than simply choosing clothing made with natural fibers if you deliberately seek out garments manufactured using organic cotton.
This material uses less water, fewer chemicals, and produces lower amounts of greenhouse gasses compared to conventional fabrics. Thanks to organic farming practices, it’s a wiser choice for anyone who’s concerned about the sustainability of the entire supply chain that eventually brings new fashion items to their doors.
The other advantage of organic cotton is that it’s incredibly soft on skin, making it perfect for everyday wear. With so many fashion-forward designs now available in organic materials there's no need to compromise on style, as you can just choose responsibly sourced pieces instead.
5. Second-hand shopping — freshen up your wardrobe with pre-loved finds
This is arguably the best way to refresh your style without breaking the bank or contributing to wasteful overproduction.
Second-hand shopping is a great way to find unique pieces at an affordable price while doing something good for the environment. Whether you’re looking for vintage gems, designer labels, or just everyday basics, there are plenty of stores and online marketplaces that offer pre-loved clothing and accessories in excellent condition.
Better still, it's even possible to rent clothes rather than buy them, which is particularly sensible if you’re just looking for a special outfit for a one-off event. This is not just more sustainable, but also more cost-effective, as it means you can slip into high-end fashion without the sky-high price tag and making inexpensive sustainable fashion a possibility.
6. Cruelty-free products — get creative while doing good
Being a conscientious consumer isn’t just about protecting the planet, but also making a statement without hurting animals.
That’s where cruelty-free clothing comes into play, and this category is made up of items that are devoid of any animal products and materials, such as fur or leather. Instead, they’re made from either natural materials or recycled man-made components, typically making them vegan-friendly as well.
Another advantage of picking cruelty-free accessories is that they are frequently handmade, which helps in terms of their uniqueness, and also means you are doing your bit to support smaller craftspeople.
7. Recycled bags and wallets — carry around something unique that makes an impact
Who says you have to sacrifice style for sustainability? With recycled bags and wallets, you don't have to compromise on either.
These unique accessories are made from upcycled materials, including fabric scraps from old fashion items that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Not only is this process better for the environment, but it also creates truly one-of-a-kind pieces with eye-catching designs.
8. Fair Trade clothing options — know who’s making what you wear
It's time to start caring about who made your clothes! With fair trade clothing, you can be sure that the people who crafted it were treated fairly and paid a living wage.
This type of fashion is often produced by artisans in developing countries. So by investing in these pieces, you are supporting both local communities and the environment.
Look out for items that fall under the Fair Trade Organization’s purview, as this will give you confidence that you’re purchasing clothing and accessories from legitimate, accredited suppliers.
The Bottom Line
It’s impossible to make more sustainable choices when it comes to fashion if you aren’t being mindful with every purchase you make. So don’t settle for second best, but be proactive about seeking out truly eco-friendly products in all areas of your spending.
Speaking of fashion, check out five ethical labels you should support.
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