• Fashion

How to embrace sustainable fashion

You’ll never say “I have nothing to wear” again

By Erica Watson

How many times have you opened up your wardrobe and muttered the words, “I’ve got nothing to wear?” I know I’m certainly guilty of it. For many of us, regularly buying new clothes has become second nature; what’s another white shirt in the collection when the thrill of the purchase brings so much joy?

Or so we think. The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to industrial pollution, but we rarely give it another thought when there’s the immediate reward of a new pair of shoes or handbag. However, rather than feeding our fast fashion desires, there are plenty of ways to shop sustainably, without sacrificing on style. Here’s how:

Shop your wardrobe 

Did you know that on average we only wear around 20 per cent of our own closet regularly? That means there’s 80 per cent of amazing outfit opportunities just waiting to be worn. Go through what you have, organise, experiment with wearing items in different ways, you’ll be surprised by what you come up with. 

Buy from conscious brands 

Ethical and sustainable brands are springing up all over the place. Yes, they’re more expensive than cheaply made alternatives but they’ll also go the distance, making the cost per wear far more enticing. 

Skip fast fashion 

Synthetic material, shoddy construction and poor conditions for factory workers, there’s a reason that fast fashion brands can charge $2 for a t-shirt. Not only that, styles change so often that much ends up in landfill. 

Look for natural fibres 

Cotton, linen and hemp are all great alternatives to polyester – or synthetic materials – not only do they feel better on, they last longer and naturally biodegrade at the end of their lifecycle. You’ll also avoid sending micro plastics into waterways after each wash. 

Buy second hand 

Your local Vinnies or Salvos can be a great source of finds, and look out for clothes in local garage sales and markets. There is also a growing number of online second hand stores including ebay, Vestiaire Collection and RealReal that offer designer pieces for less.

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