If you take a look around at a grocery store, you’ll likely catch a glimpse of someone studying labels and making sure that the food they’re buying was produced in an eco-friendly way. But if you take a quick walk down your shopping street, you probably won’t see too many people doing the same with their clothing purchases.
Unfortunately, fashion is one of the largest contributors to environmental damage, but luckily it is also an industry that can make a major difference if it focuses on sustainable practices. Not only can these small changes lead to a cleaner planet, but they can also help to create a better future for all of us.
What Are Sustainable Fashion Practices?
If you want to make your mark on the fashion industry and minimise your impact on the planet, there are a variety of environmentally-friendly practices you can adhere to. The small yet impactful changes you make can have huge positive impacts on both the planet and those around you.
Switch to Resin Jewellery
In the world of jewellery making, sustainability refers to several practices, but primarily it means using resources that are not damaging to the environment – they’re either recycled or produced ethically. The former is increasingly popular amongst fashion-forward customers, as it means they can enjoy beautiful pieces without having to worry about the environmental effects of their purchases.
Among the less damaging options available to customers is resin, which involves the use of polymer compounds to create unique pieces. By switching to charming pendants made of resin or minimalist rings of the same origin, you’re able to make a statement without sacrificing quality.
The inherent durability of the material means that it’s easy to maintain and won’t give in to wear and tear as quickly as other materials. It also requires minimal maintenance, so you can wear it without worrying about how to keep it in good condition.
Most of the resin pendants and rings you’ll find on the market have a wonderful aesthetic, with their unique shapes and colours. Some have a more traditional design, while others are more abstract and eye-catching. In both cases, you’re treated to accessories that never go out of style and will serve you for years to come.
Regardless of your choice, all earrings, rings and pendants made of resin will have a common denominator – they’ve been crafted ethically and sustainably, giving you a piece of jewellery that can last for years to come. The fair trade and conflict-free practices of the manufacturers ensure that both the environment and the people making the pieces are respected and taken care of properly.
Look for Vintage and Second-Hand Pieces
The vintage trend is nothing new, but it’s been gaining in popularity because of its focus on minimal environmental impact. Shopping second-hand, whether it’s at a thrift store or an online vintage boutique, means you’re giving clothes a second chance and keeping them out of landfills.
And since fashion has a cheeky way of bringing back old styles, you’ll never be short of options. It doesn’t matter if you’re into classic silhouettes or bolder looks, there’s something for every taste. Plus, most of the items in these stores are usually one-of-a-kind, so you can be sure that your outfit will be truly unique.
Avoid Synthetics and Polyester
Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon are often used in the production of clothing, but they’re also some of the least eco-friendly fabrics out there. They require huge amounts of energy to produce, and much of the manufacturing processes are petroleum-based, meaning that it takes years for the synthetic materials to break down.
Instead, opt for organic cotton, linen or wool. Not only are these fabrics much better for the environment, but they’re also incredibly comfortable and durable. By making the switch, you’re helping to protect our planet from further damage.
Stay Informed About a Brand’s Sustainability Practices
Transparency is often a rare quality in the fashion industry, with many brands hiding their manufacturing processes and materials behind a veil of secrecy. Most of them don’t have to comply with the same environmental regulations as other industries, so it’s up to consumers to educate themselves and make informed decisions.
You need to stay alert and read up on the brands you’re buying from. Do they use organic materials? Are their production methods environmentally friendly? What about the energy used to make their products? If a brand is open and honest about its practices, chances are that it’s doing its bit for the environment.
Take Proper Care of Your Clothing
Buying new clothes isn’t the only way to stay fashionable and sustainable. One of the most important steps you can take towards a more environmentally-friendly wardrobe is to take proper care of your existing clothing.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the label and clean your clothes using the right settings. Avoid tumble drying when possible and invest in a good quality hanger to make sure your items last for as long as possible. By taking good care of your clothes, you’ll avoid creating unnecessary waste.
Donate Unwanted Pieces
If you have any clothes or accessories that don’t fit you anymore or you just don’t like them, don’t throw them away. Instead, donate them to a charity shop or a service and help someone else who needs them.
You can also look for places that accept clothes to recycle, such as textile banks or specialised recycling centres. These organisations will make sure that your old clothes are given a new lease of life, not sent to landfills.