A Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Fashion

sustainable fashion

In a world where fast fashion is all the craze it is hard for consumers to learn the TRUTH about the fashion industry.  For those who do care about where their items are coming from we wanted to share what we know about sustainable fashion and some tips to be a more eco friendly fashionista.

To start we should probably dive into, what IS sustainable fashion?  Although it comes in many, many shapes and forms the underlying theme is clothing made from renewable, planet friendly materials, in factories with fair labor.   It also includes great options like reinventing old pieces, and buying second hand.  

And although I will not go into too much depth in this piece on the importance and impact of sustainable fashion, I will state this one thing: the fashion industry is the third largest pollutant on the earth.  Trumped only by oil and factory farming.  Ouch.  All that damage for a pair of jeans?  

But luckily for us eco friendly goddesses 😉 there is a way to still be cute and fashion forward without ruining the planet.  The tips below will help you transform your closet while keeping your values in line.  

There are also some amazing brands paving the way to what is becoming known as sloooooooow fashion.  Fashion that puts the planet, the animals and the people in mind with everything from it’s raw materials to its shipping methods.  

(I should also mention that as this is a plant based site, I personally only reference those tips/ options that are sustainable and vegan friendly.  Items like silk and wool “can” be made sustainable but I personally prefer to support companies/ items that are completely plant based.)

So, let’s begin from the top.  

Buy Second Hand
I can already hear your concerns, but listen up for a minute.  I used to be the girl who had to buy everything new and in season.  I wouldn’t have been caught dead at Goodwill.  

But that all changed when I walked into an amazing little vintage shop.  I found walls of adorable (and yes some not so adorable) dresses, blouses and purses.  I walked out with an arm full and instantly changed my tune about second hand.  

I now love scouring the racks for great finds at a crazy discount.  While I personally still keep vegan materials in mind, it’s fun finding designer numbers for fraction of the price.  

I used to be a slave to the fashion industry and had to have seasons IT item.  Buying second hand and exploring the world of vintage has helped me discover my own personal style.  

Quality Over Quantity
This goes for both new and old.  When I buy a brand new blazer I am definitely spending a little more on a quality piece that is classic and will last me more than a decade.  

This goes along with my new minimalism motto as well.  Where I used to rather have three $30 jackets that were all different, I now prefer one $100 jacket that matches everything I own and will still be in style longer than I can fit into it.  

Buying items of great quality keeps pieces out of the trash can and keeps you from having to go shopping more often and just repeat the cycle.  

Wash with Care
This is a new endeavor for me, I am not what you would consider housewife material, but am learning to take better care of my clothes.

Now that I am buying more expensive pieces and WANT them to last longer, I am paying more attention to their care.  

I also only wash when necessary.  I know that one sounds kinda gross, but luckily I do not sweat much so can easily wear a pair of pants for months without washing them.  (Yep, you read that right, months).

This saves wear and tear on the items and saves water and electricity use from cutting down my laundry needs.  Oh and who likes doing laundry?  Well, not me.  So this keeps me from doing multiple loads a week.  

The items that I do wash often I usually with hang dry.  The only items we use the dryer for a basics like Eric’s white T’s, towels, socks and underwear.  

Repair When Necessary
I definitely have tossed out old shoes when the soles start wearing out or donate a perfectly good sweater because of a snag.  

I have now made a point to repair them when I can.  Everything from arm pit stains on white T’s to frayed jeans can be repaired.  

I searched for natural solutions for cleaning armpits stains to refresh Eric’s old tees and found a local shoe repair shop to fix the heels on a favorite pair of booties.

I had a handful of items that were just a little too big for me so I didn’t wear them often.  But they were in great shape so I went to the local seamstress and had her take them in a bit.

Sure, it costs a little bit to get these things repaired but it is cheaper than buying new and again, keeps things out of the landfill!

Materials
When buying new items watch for sustainable materials being used in the clothes.  This will help support the sustainable fashion industry and ensure your closet is doing very little harm.  

Items that are being used in sustainable (vegan) fashion include organic cotton, organic bamboo and even organic hemp.  

Do your research before buying and read up on the companies, the materials they use and the practices they have in place.  

It may be a little more leg work, but remember everything benefits from us making better consumer choices.  

Dispose Properly
The average American discarded 70 pounds of clothing into landfills last year!  EEK!  

If you are cleaning out your closet, find better ways to get them off your hands.  Donate them to your local charity center, try selling them at a resale shop or even host a clothing swap with some of your friends.  

There are a lot of options out there is clean out your closet without dumping it all into the nearest landfill.  


There you go fashionistas, you sure can keep your adorable closet and keep the planet in mind, too.

with love,
Jackie

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