Fashion and Ethics: 6 Ways to be Better and Still Look Good

By now, we all know the facts: the fashion industry is one of the world‘s most polluting industries. A study has recently been released that by 2030, apparel consumption will rise by 63% to 102 million tonnes. This means that we should start taking precautions sooner rather than later: here are six simple ways in which we can all be better to our environment while still looking good.

1. Create Connections

Fashion is emotional, we create connections and moments with our clothes: they become a part of our identity and become linked to key moments of our lives. This somehow makes it so easy to ignore everything bad about the way we consume fashion – we’ve totally detached ourselves and our consciences from the realities (cheap labour, exploitation – mostly of women – environmental destruction… the list goes on). We need to get emotionally invested in sustainability. The human cost of our shopping addictions is very, very real, and seeing an advert for a £7.99 dress should make you cringe, not rejoice. If you just aren’t affected, watch The True Cost and see how you feel afterwards.

2. Control Your Spending

This is hard. Today, mainstream clothing culture is instinctually throwaway – high street retail giants try their hardest to get you to spend as much as possible, get bored of it, and then buy more. There are thousands of people whose job it is to make you buy things, and we all feel that desire once in awhile. But try to step back, take a breath, and think: do I really want this?

3. Create Lists

When you create lists of things you truly want / need, it is easier not to get distracted by other things surrounding you that pressure you. Maybe you wish to one day buy a Chanel flap bag, or get your first pair of Prada heels. No matter the item, having goals enables you to be averse to temptation. You should look at your wardrobe as an archive that you build and collect over time. Think through your purchases.

4. Seek Other Sources

Charity shops, markets and EBAY are your friend, not your enemy. Cool clothes don’t have to cost hundreds, and when you find that something that no-one else has, it feels way more special.

5. Secondhand Designer Clothes

Fashion is all about what’s next, but that doesn’t mean that some things go out of style. A booming re-sell market has popped up over the last few years, with sites like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective giving you a safe way to shop guaranteed authentic designer items that are nearly-new.

6. Be Smart

Some stores are on the side of sustainability, or at the very least offer more ethical ways to shop. Selfridges, for instance, want to make sustainability the new standard, and as well as initiatives like their Material World project are introducing labels onto garments that meet certain ethical criteria. Then there are indie retailers like Reformation, which sells ethical garments and educates you on your carbon footprint.

 

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