Sustainable fashion. It’s a little bit of an oxymoron, right? Over the past 20-30 years, fast fashion has truly made a name for itself by not only dominating our wardrobes but unfortunately, our planet as well. This is why I’ve decided to put together a list of 5 easy ways you can shop sustainably.
When I hear “sustainable fashion,” I think of “the greater good.” Over recent years, as corporate social responsibility has become more prevalent throughout fashion brands, the greater good has become increasingly important to consumers, including myself, and hopefully you as well.
Before you read these suggestions, I need to make it clear that no one is ever going to be a perfect sustainable shopper, including myself. A majority of my wardrobe was purchased with sustainable intentions. However, I still shop fast fashion because frankly, it’s affordable and convenient for my lifestyle. But there are small actions we all can take that will hopefully make a difference. And at the end of the day, we all will feel a little better when we do things for the greater good. Let’s get into it.
1. Slow Your (Consumption) Roll!
First and foremost, you need to chill. Close all those clothing tabs at the top of your screen. I promise that the earth (and your credit card) will thank you later. But honestly, overconsumption is one of the BIGGEST contributors to the toxicity of the fashion industry today. And trust me, I get it! We see a super cool trend and we have to participate. Something is on sale, we must buy it. Why wouldn’t we want to be cool and up to date with styles? But I’m telling you that there are so many reasons you don’t need that bright green snakeskin trench coat.
And girl, to top it all off, you know your closet is crying for some breathing room. Especially if you live in the Big Apple like me. Moral of the story, I’m not telling you to stop shopping altogether, (you definitely have to treat yourself sometimes), I’m only asking you to start reconsidering your purchasing habits and to maybe, I dunno, chill out a little bit.
2. Is Your Closet a Basic Bitch?
How many times have you ever said “I literally have nothing to wear!” If your answer is 0, then congrats! You’re not a real human and your closet is also what I like to call a “Basic Bitch”. Someone once told me that if at least 60% of my wardrobe consists of basic items, then I won’t complain as much about having “nothing to wear”. How do you ask? Because you can wear basics with anything. And I know what you’re thinking…”Hailey, basics are so boring, how am I supposed to feel cute in that type of clothing?” Well, that’s where the other 40% of your wardrobe comes in with fun products that you can rotate amongst your basic wardrobe. And what’s the best thing about basics? THEY NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE! Which means you will harm the earth less AND save a ton of money over time.
3. Good Things Come to Those who thrift
I’d be lying if I didn’t say thrifting is my favorite pastime. There’s nothing like the high of finding a hidden gem amongst a bunch of stale smelling clothes. And getting it for CHEAP (sometimes) IS THE BEST! Check out my favorite online thrift store, ThredUp, and keep an eye out for a future post discussing my favorite thrift stores in NYC (I’m patiently waiting for Miss Rona to make her way out of the city so we can all enjoy my favorite places together). Also, keep an eye out a post containing tips for a successful thrift, for those people who are either newbies or find themselves frustrated by the process.
PS, something to note is that before you become a thrifting addict, make sure to refer to point #1 in this article! You can over-consume when thrifting too (it took me a while to realize this). Gotta be a responsible shopper out here in this world.
4. You Better RENT, B!
Another way you can contribute to the greater good is to rent your wardrobe. Renting is changing the way we shop by providing us with trend-focused items that we know we won’t wear more than once, or in some instances, we wouldn’t be able to afford. This is a PERFECT way to fill the 40% of non-basic items I mentioned in point #2. Renting is cool because you don’t have to sacrifice sustainable practices for trendy items. So be sure to incorporate some rented styles into your wardrobe because it will help you look fly AF without hurting the earth or your wallet!
5. ♫Research Research Research♫ (Alexa, play “Work” by Rihanna)
Last, but certainly not least, we have research. Okay, I know you’re not in school anymore (or maybe you are, get it boo!) but like anything in life, if you want to be knowledgeable on a subject you MUST do your research. When you find yourself debating if you should purchase from a company with questionable ethics, check out my favorite website Good On You. Good On You rates every fashion brand you can think of in terms of their impact on the planet, people, and animals. They also have an app. It’s that easy.
Let’s wrap this up
So now that you’re an educated queen, go out there and implement these practices into your daily life. Always remember….reduce, reuse, recycle, Rihanna. Got it?
And don’t be afraid to message me with more sustainable practices you may think of. We are in this together and we need each other now more than ever.
I have recently started to love thrift shopping since going to college. I feel good about what I buy because I’m reusing it.
Yes exactly! It’s the most fun way (in my opinion) to practice sustainability.