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Given that the fashion world is currently dominated by fast fashion that makes shopping incredibly easy and dirt cheap, it can be daunting to make the switch to sustainability. For many people, going sustainable in fashion as a consumer means buying solely from sustainable and ethical brands which have higher price points that not a lot of people can afford.
However, it’s important to note that sustainability doesn’t begin and end with buying from these brands. Sustainable fashion can be practiced by anyone, even in the smallest of actions.
If want to begin making changes to how you buy, use, and discard clothing in a more eco-friendly and ethical manner, here are some little habits you can apply to your life to be more sustainable every day.
Big, bright stores with large sale signs are incredibly tempting and we’re often drawn to large brands because they offer the latest trends at cheap prices. But because these shops create and release different clothing styles at such a rapid pace, this leads to overconsumption and the creation of fleeting and wasteful trends.
Unbeknownst to many fast fashion shoppers, there are so many more ways than one to obtain new clothing that’s suitable to your own tastes and even the trends of today. One of the most common and popular methods for circulating and buying affordable clothing is to go to vintage and secondhand shops. Other easy methods also include online marketplaces where average people can sell the clothing in their wardrobe to others directly, as well as renting clothing which is quickly turning into a thriving business internationally to prevent people from buying clothes they’d only wear once.
Fast fashion has turned many of us into impulsive shoppers with too many clothes to fit into our wardrobes. At the end of the day and out of all the options one has at their disposal, we tend to go for a small section of clothing that we love to wear regularly and allow everything else to stay unused and gather dust.
Instead of buying clothing in bulk because of such cheap prices, consider instead how much use you would get out of a single article of clothing. Additionally, buying clothes from fast fashion shops typically means that you’re buying poor-quality clothing that won’t even last a year, so saving money for pieces you know are well made will save you money in the long run.
However, if you have fast-fashion pieces that you love and have been damaged from use, don’t throw them out and buy replacements just yet. Instead, analyse the damage and see whether it can be repaired. You’d be surprised how easily this can fix your problems and how much more use you can get out of your favourite pieces.
Just because your clothing has reached the end of its life when it comes to being worn doesn’t mean it’s run out of purpose. Recycling clothing and turning them into other useful items has been a popular habit for people all around the world for years. Instead of tossing out that shirt or those undergarments, turn them into cleaning rags that you can use around the house.
If you have several items of clothing that you don’t want any longer, you can also turn them into projects or other household items like rugs, coasters, bags, blankets, and so much more.
While going sustainable can be an intimidating task for many with no specific way to start, there are small ways you can incorporate it into your life that make a bigger impact than you might realise. By doing small actions like shopping secondhand, recycling, and simply taking better care of your clothing, you can keep pieces you love for longer and turn the ones you don’t into items you’ll use for a very long time.
While sustainability is a long road, you can make small steps to begin your journey to a more eco-friendly existence.