3 Easy Ways to Make Your Style More Sustainable

You’ve probably heard the phrases “sustainable style” and “fast fashion” popping up more and more recently. These phrases have everything to do with the ways the fashion industry is impacting our environment. Since the debut of documentary films like Netflix’s The True Cost, which outlines the harrowing environmental and social dangers of fast fashion retailers, it seems like many members of the fashion community have grown more conscious of the impact of their purchases. 

Fast fashion refers to those mega-retailers in every mall who produce inexpensive, cheaply made items in immediate response to trends. On the other hand, shopping sustainably puts an emphasis on purchasing clothes from brands whose sources are eco-friendly and whose workers are treated fairly. 

With these tips, doing your part to promote environmentally-friendly behavior while shopping is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. 1. Upcycle your closet

    Most of us have that one shirt that we got months ago and still haven’t worn. Before tossing it, try getting crafty! A shirt can easily be turned into a belt, headband or a tote bag. If you still want to keep the shirt intact, simple modifications such as cropping it can update its look in no time. YouTube tutorials are your friend!

  2. 2. Do your research

    Before donating your clothes to a massive secondhand chain like Goodwill, look for local organizations to donate your unneeded items. Donating to large chains doesn’t guarantee your items will actually be sold. Many of these stores receive such a high amount of stock that it’s impossible to sell it all. Smaller, local donation centers are usually more in need of clothes, shoes and personal care items. So before you make your next trip to Goodwill to drop off last season’s pieces, take a few minutes to find out how you can help those right in your community.

  3. 3. Shop secondhand

    When you do inevitably need a new dress, consider shopping secondhand. Your friendly neighborhood thrift store or even resale apps like Depop and Poshmark are full of one-of-a-kind pieces. If you’re looking for something from a more current brand, try ThredUp. More often than not, you can score pieces in great condition for prices lower than the mall.

Next time you’re about to rush to Forever 21 for a new going-out dress, take a second to consider the alternatives. Finding a dress secondhand not only promotes ecological integrity, but you’re more likely to score a one-of-a-kind outfit! Remember, shopping sustainably doesn’t have to mean spending $300 on a Reformation dress. It's never too late to be a little kinder to Mother Earth!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4