Anne Lappe once said, ‘ Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.’ As a fashion lover, you have a responsibility to make sustainable wise choices whether you’re buying dresses, bags or shoes.
So how exactly can you make these wise choices? What can you do to shop for sustainable fashion?
1 . Prioritise quality
One of the number one rules of sustainable shopping is choosing quality items which will stand the test of time. Fast-fashion means cheaper clothes, and frequent purchases (because these clothes don’t last). It’s worth paying a little bit more for special fashion pieces that you can wear time and time again. Try shops like Little Green Bag for a range of bags and clothing that are both high quality and affordable.
In the words of Vivienne Westwood, ‘ Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality over quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.’
- Cross seasonal
Look out for cross seasonal purchases when you are shopping for your fashion items. This means choosing garments that you can wear in more than one season. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, many dresses are versatile enough to wear in both the winter and summer. It’s just about adding or removing a jumper or a pair of tights (depending on the season).
- Vintage fashion
Shopping vintage is a real must if you want to shop for sustainable fashion. The best thing about vintage shops is that you can find so many one-off items that you definitely won’t see anyone else in! Vintage shops take a little more browsing to find those hidden gems, but it’s well worth it to discover special fashion pieces. There are many apps which are perfect to shop for vintage clothes including Object Limited and Etsy.
- Sustainable fashion brands
Probably the most important point, make sure you offer your support to sustainable fashion brands. Remember, fashion relies greatly on consumer demand. The more consumers who shop with sustainable brands, the more that the sustainable fashion industry will grow. Never feel that your small contribution doesn’t make a difference, because it really does. As Alice Walker puts it, ‘ the most common way that people give up their power is by thinking that they don’t have any.’
- Declutter & sell
Don’t forget to have a good declutter of your wardrobe before you start making any new purchases. You might have some garments in perfect condition that you’ve forgotten about. Perhaps you even have a few items that you can sell? Depop is a great app to sell unwanted fashion items, and it’s also a good place to pick up some unique new garments. If you prefer, simply take your clothes to a charity shop, so that the money will go towards a good cause. Once you’ve cleared out your wardrobe, it’s far easier to create your looks and see which items you actually need. Sustainable shopping is about reducing waste, so try to think carefully before you make each purchase.