We live in an age and time where the demand for low-cost production of high-fashion is at its peak. We want more of everything while not taking into consideration how we’re impacting our environment.
The True Cost reports that we, “consume about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400% more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago. The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. That adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone.” Apart from the impact on the environment, many of the fast-fashion clothes we buy are made by people who get paid far too less. If you’re looking to use clothes ethically while not negatively affecting the environment, here are some things you can try out.
1. Quality Over Quantity
While shopping for clothes, ensure that you place quality over quantity. It would be ideal if you were to invest in clothes that are well made with high-quality fabric which lasts for years rather than constantly buying several cheap pieces of clothing that last you a few months.
2. Take Good Care Of Your Clothes
Your clothes will last much longer if you take good care of them. Following the cleaning instructions, washing only when required, and being generally conscious of how to handle different kinds of fabric can help you make your clothes last longer. If your clothes have lost a button or have ripped slightly, see if they can be fixed before deciding that their fate is your trash can.
3. Buy Second-Hand Clothes
The thrift shop might not be everyone’s ideal store of choice when it comes to buying clothes, but you will be placing a considerably lesser strain on the environment by doing so. You may also find some excellent pieces of clothing that are as good as new.
4. Donate The Clothes You’ve Grown Tired Of
If you have clothes you don’t use anymore that are in a decent condition, don’t throw them away or let them rot in the depths of your wardrobe. Donate them or even sell them if you think you can make a few bucks out of it. If they’re damaged and can’t be fixed, look out for places that salvage the material for some other purpose.
5. Research Ethical Fashion Brands
Shopping ethically is something that will require conscious effort. It will mean not buying clothes from brands that don’t produce clothes ethically (even if they have the cutest top on their shelves) and supporting ones that do.
6. Buy From Small Retailers
Supporting local clothes manufacturers instead of big fast-fashion brands is a great way to shop ethically. Ensure that you ask the store-owner how his clothes are made and where he is sourcing them from so that there is complete transparency about the process.
7. Adopting The Capsule Wardrobe Trend
More people are choosing to life a minimalist lifestyle and they are incorporating it into their fashion choices as well. This is not to say that they’re getting rid of all their clothes but rather they are shrinking their wardrobe. By limiting yourself to a certain number of clothes, you begin to wear what you always like and get rid of the stuff that you own but hardly ever put to use.
8. Taking The Time To Choose Your Clothes
Don’t buy on impulse. That’s what all the big brands want you to do. That’s why they’ll make sure you know that the product is “limited edition”. And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t buy it. Make the process of buying your clothes a little more meaningful. Ask yourself if the item you buy is something you see yourself wearing. Ask yourself if you have clothes to pair it with. Buying consciously will not only make your clothes last longer but will also help you value them more.