Is Your Fashion Sustainable?

In the age of Netflix documentaries and modern science, we are all aware of how our actions as consumers impact the environment. We all know we should recycle and carpool when we can, but we tend to have a hard time recognizing that some of our actions are harming exactly what we are trying to save. It can be difficult to notice that what we see as normal actually has a dark side.

One example is our clothing habits and the fashion industry as a whole: not only the wastefulness of the industry, but the ethics of how our clothing is mass produced. Sustainable fashion is an issue gaining speed and is more important than you might have thought. Here are six ways to keep your fashion game sustainable and ethical.

 

 

1. Look out for eco-friendly fabrics

Keywords like “organic” and “fibre” will lead you in the right direction—just remember to check out the tags on the clothing. If you’re a cotton fan, look out for organic cotton fibre Other good ones are lyocell fibre or organic soy fibre. These fabrics should be made ethically and be biodegradable.

 

2. Try to buy from brands that are fair trade

Here is a great list of brands that are fair trade and green. You’ll feel good that your money is going straight to those who made the product and not to some huge corporation. Plus, the stuff is cute.

 

 

3. Give your old clothes away

You probably won’t be keeping every article of clothing forever, so instead of hoarding it in your closet or throwing it all away, consider giving it away. There are many places online to sell your old clothes or simply give them away. This keeps clothes out of landfills and helps other people who maybe can’t afford new clothing.

 

4. Shop from thrift stores or places with used clothing

For one, you can find some really cute and unique items this way, but it also gives old clothes a new life. Why buy something new that requires new raw materials when we have plenty of clothes already hanging around?

 

 

5. You don’t need every new fashion trend

I know, it’s hard not to run to the store and get the new off-shoulder sweater vest everyone is wearing. But you really don’t need so many clothes. The fashion industry wastes a lot of fabric and other materials, and it’s because we’re always demanding new things.

 

6. Stay away from ridiculously cheap clothes

A lot of our clothes are manufactured in places like China and Bangladesh, where many of the clothing factories are not safe. It’s bad enough that they pay terrible wages, but working at these places can kill. One case in Bangladesh in which the factory collapsed on the workers inside made headline news and caused uproar. You’ll be paying more but you’ll be supporting ethical companies that allow their employees living wages.

 

You don’t have to give up your fashion sense to be environmentally friendly and ethical— just pay attention to what you’re buying. Besides, you’ll feel better about what you’re wearing and what brands you’re supporting. So go out into the world, fashionista, and be the eco-friendly queen you are.