How To Style Sustainability

"Fast fashion” has been a huge buzzword in 2019. Fast fashion companies have always been criticised by designers for rapidly copying runway looks to get them affordably into the consumers hands, which discredits designer creativity. The unsustainable production to keep up with these trends has an immense carbon footprint. Avoiding fast fashion altogether can be really tough, but making a little effort to switch where your money goes can make a significant difference. Plus, it doesn’t always have to break the bank. Here are some amazing pieces from collections or brands that are sure to upgrade your wardrobe in a way you can feel good about. 

ASOS DESIGN long sleeve pep hem sweat dress $35 

This adorable black dress is perfect for fall (think tights and boots)! ASOS is one of my all time favorite brands and they recently came out with a “responsible” collection which is great for anyone who wants to make a change without spending a lot. For this dress, according to the ASOS website, “[they] partner with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally. This makes it better for farmers and the environment”.

Knit Turtleneck Sweater $34.99 

Another brand you probably know, H&M, has followed the trend and come out with their own collection called H&M Conscious. According to their website, they believe in transparency with how their products are made and where they are sourced, as well as working towards the goal of using “100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030”. This cozy sweater is made from partially recycled polyester, and is another great option for a college student on a budget.  

Giselle Top $58

Moving up on the price scale is this sleek mock turtleneck top from Reformation. This brand's catchy slogan, “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We're #2” is just one of the reasons why it's so great. For each item of clothing, they calculate water, waste and carbon dioxide savings. So next time when you’re in the online shopping mood, definitely splurge on the Reformation website.

High Rise Chaturanga Tight $74.00

When winter in Vermont means it’s way too cold to wear anything to class but leggings, add some more to your collection from Athelta. According to their website, “60% of their products are made with sustainable materials or being produced ethically (some are even fair trade certified). Going forward their goal is to be at 80% sustainable by 2020. Plus, the company is B Corp Certified, meaning it worked to meet very “strict social and environmental standards”. So next time you need a new outfit for the gym, or cozy sweatpants for a chilly day at home, check out some options from Athleta. 

Women’s Woolie Trucker Jacket $179

Now for most UVM students Patagonia is already in your closets, but I’m here to give you another reason to keep shopping there. Their mission: “We’re in business to save our home planet”. When they can, they use completely sustainable materials, often recycled. Plus, they offer services to repair your old Patagonia items so they can last longer. This jacket is on my own personal wishlist and is made from a recycled fabric blend of wool, polyester and nylon. And, their store is just off church street so bonus points for no shipping cost!

 

Another amazing option I can’t stop myself from touching upon, is thrifting. There truly is no downside. More unique options at lower prices, and avoiding fast fashion entirely. Burlington has some great thrift stores (Downtown Threads is my personal favorite). And in addition to thrift stores there are also online thrifting companies, like Poshmark and Depop, where you can find awesome stuff from brands like Urban Outfitters and Free People secondhand!

 

So, I want to end by saying: obviously no one is perfect, and buying fast fashion now and then definitely won’t be the end of the world. However... being aware of the issues and other options can only make you a more informed customer!

 

Edited by Cat Bates and Carlie Mashia