Nowadays, the word “sustainable” has become a prevalent buzzword we hear and see on news, advertisements, brand tags, and even along grocery aisles, where you can see words associated to it like “eco-friendly,” “organic,” and “all-natural” printed on labels of certain items. While some of us may think that this is just a hippie trend, environmentalists, activists, designers with the likes of Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher, and celebrities Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others have been advocating to prove that fashion can indeed have a heart. As such, StyleGenie brings to you these top 6 ways to embrace sustainable fashion without hurting our pockets.
Where are we now?
The fashion industry is considered as one of the major pollutants of our environment. Cotton, a major material used to make our clothes, is filled with pesticides that harm our waterways. Dyes and other nasties that make our clothes colorful also contribute to the problem. There are approximately 75 million people who work to create our clothes, and 80% of them are women aged 18 - 35 years-old working in factories at subhuman conditions with substandard pay.
A whopping 150 billion clothing is delivered out of factories yearly, and consumers throw away approximately 14 million tonnes of clothes each year. Nowadays, we purchase 400% more clothing than we did some 20 years ago because clothes have become relatively fast fashion sold at more affordable prices.
The challenge for us now is how we can wear our values in order to help Mother Earth live freely once again. Let’s read on to discover the top 6 ways to embrace sustainable fashion without hurting our pockets.
Wardrobe Reduction to Essentials
Most of us are guilty of the drama, “There is nothing in here that I could wear.” When in reality, our closet is loaded with clothes that we may not even have worn yet. Most of us are guilty as well of indulging in retail therapy and end up buying more clothes we do not really need.
Survey your closet to check the types of clothing items you should get rid of. Donate to charity any of the items you will purge. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. At the end of your purging, you will end up only with the clothes that you love and define your personal style.
After which, practice the conscious effort of buying only the clothes that you need or like enough to define your personal style. You’ll then have a closet that’s filled with items that only spark joy in you as Marie Kondo says.
On special occasions that call for a particular outfit, consider borrowing or renting the attire that you need if you will wear it just once. Lesser wasted materials mean a happier planet.
Be a Repeat Offender
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has worn some of her favorite outfits multiple times. The same goes for Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Kirsten Dunst, and Keira Knightley who donned the same outfit on separate occasions. These “repeat offenders” prove to us that wearing again the same outfit is much too chic not to do.
Support Local and Fair-Trade
Go loco over local! Buying locally produced fashion that practices fair-trade not only keeps your carbon footprint limited but also assures that the loving hands who made your clothes received just pay. Your clothes did not have to travel the entire world just to reach your closet, and the pay that the workers received gave enough livelihood for local weavers and artisans to continue their craft. StyleGenie is proud to offer to you its Love Local StyleBoxes with pieces from our very own local brands. Let’s love our own!
Choose Materials Wisely
Select materials that used less water and chemicals in the production process. Organic fabrics processed mechanically are always much better than synthetic ones which are heavily-ladened with the nasties. Always check the labels you purchase.
Shower Your Clothes with T-L-C
Give your clothes the T-L-C they deserve to make them last a lifetime. Use non-toxic detergent in hand-washing them to retain the cloth structure. Skip the dryer and air-dry them instead. Repair them when needed. You can even upcycle the old ones to create a new silhouette out of them. The bottom line is that your clothes don’t have to be necessarily thrown away when broken.
Ditch the Sweatshops
Who made your clothes? Check the tag and the supply chain of the brands you purchase. The sordid reality is that fast fashion is mostly created in sweatshops where workers live in subhuman conditions without just compensation. If the demand becomes less for such products, then the industry will be compelled to regulate measures for the welfare of its workers.
Sustainability is not an end goal. It is a lifestyle meant to be lived and enjoyed. Our planet has been giving life and love to us ever since. By helping our planet, we also become a better version of ourselves.
StyleGenie would like to help you get started living a sustainable lifestyle by offering you only the specially curated pieces that reflect your personal style in every StyleBox you purchase. Use my code AZA4SG for a P500 discount on your first StyleBox.