Ethical Fashion 101 – A Guide to Conscious Consumption

Look good and feel good: 10 sustainable fashion tips and a guide to make your wardrobe more durable

sustainable fashion tips
Gabriela Hearst Women Spring Summer 2022 Source & Copyright by Gabriela Hearst

Author: Julia Schindler

The fashion industry continues to be one of the biggest emitters - Even though there are enough examples of how a sustainability concept can be positively integrated into a company. However, it does not help that words like "environmentally friendly" are used inflationarily as marketing traps. As a result, brands are always trying to cheat their way into the wardrobe with the latest trends, fast Fashion or greenwashing. However, sustainable fashion tips can help you avoid this.

The green glove for ethical fashion

Unlike a green thumb for gardening, it doesn't take an innate knack for sustainable fashion - just the right attitude and a little practice. With our sustainable fashion tips, you can put on the green glove and become an expert yourself. Sustainability is not meant to take the fun and inspiration out of fashion, but the opposite.

Looking at your own wardrobe from a different perspective and challenging yourself to find new combinations, lets you shop creatively within the scope of your own wardrobe. Namely, instead of lovelessly adding quickly perishable pieces. Means: Just a few adjustments can lead to more sustainability. For this reason, we have compiled 10 sustainable fashion tips that help to make sustainable fashion more accessible.

10 things you can do to support ethical fashion

1. Wardrobe inventory

Before stocking up on new clothes, bags and shoes for the next season, it helps to take a look at our wardrobe. After all, it's easy to lose track of everything, given countless shopping trips, holiday purchases or online orders. Once you have counted every shirt, every pair of trousers, all the dresses as well as skirts, tops, scarves, jumpers and other categories, the sheer number of items you already have can deter you from making new purchases. For this reason, it is important to create an awareness of your own consumption and what is already there.

2. Proper disposal of old clothing

Looking at every single piece always initiates a clean-out. When disposing of items, it is important to consider ways to give the clothes, bags or accessories a second life. To do this, pieces can be given away or sold, or even swapped with friends and family. However, even if something is no longer repairable or usable, a recycling program can still reduce waste.

3. Minimalist wardrobe

Putting quality above quantity is certainly not a new concept. Nevertheless, fast fashion trends make us quickly forget this guiding principle. To avoid falling prey to this, it is helpful to ask yourself these questions before making a purchase. Why do I want to buy this item? How often will I realistically wear it? And how can it be combined with my current wardrobe? When answering these questions, a low price or a one-off occasion should play a secondary role. When buying new, develop a strategy and choose garments that are easy to combine and do not quickly fall out of fashion.

4. Borrow or rent clothes

Special occasions often make us desire unusual, extravagant pieces. But instead of buying something for an event or celebration that will pretty much never be worn again, there are alternatives to renting or borrowing clothes. Extra benefit: Besides protecting the environment, this strategy also eases the financial situation.

5. Upgrade your wardrobe with second-hand and vintage treasures

Thanks to Vestiaire Collective,, Depop, Hewi and Rebelle, it's easy and even fun to find vintage pieces online. You can discover treasures, that are unique and also not officially available anymore. Looking for inspiration? Influencers and celebrities like Bella Hadid are majorly into vintage and provide tips and pictures to get inspired. After all, this chic and unique way of styling gives clothes a second life and reduces your own ecological footprint.

6. Choose ethical brands

Today, there's a huge variety of sustainable brands that offer designs and styles for everyone. Fair fashion for men, women or specialisation in certain products such as sunglasses or sportswear show that conscious consumers have long had a wide choice. By buying sustainable items, you can set a sign of demand and contribute to changing the industry.

7. Recognize and avoid greenwashing

While many brands have understood the trend and need for more sustainability, other brands are trying to follow the trend without taking the necessary steps. Therefore, it is important to recognise vague or misleading marketing phrases and avoid greenwashing. For this, it is helpful to do your own research to determine how transparent the company really is in its communication.

8. Understand materials

The more educated you are about the individual production steps and, for example, materials, the more confident you will be about sustainable consumption. Do without garments with plastic-based materials such as polyester or nylon altogether. Recyclability, origin and processing play a major role. Also regenerative fabrics such as Econyl® or recycled cashmere. But also natural fibres such as organic cotton are already more widespread, while more and more innovative materials that offer more environmentally friendly alternatives are developed.

9. Proper and environmentally friendly care

The careful handling of clothing or shoes not only guarantees that the quality of the items is maintained, but can also benefit nature through eco-friendly washing. Microplastics should be avoided, organic detergents should be preferred and water and energy consumption should be reduced through low temperatures and unnecessary washing.

10. Mind-set shift instead of impulse buying

Often, it is mainly impulse buying that does not fit in with a sustainable wardrobe. However, it requires a great deal of willpower to resist one's own impulses. Therefore, this should be avoided by working on the mind set beforehand. Once you have convinced your head and gut feeling of the need for sustainable fashion, it is easier not to give in to the urge to buy something thoughtlessly.

Implementing sustainable fashion tips doesn’t happen overnight

Overall, the many tips and application recommendations for sustainable fashion should not overwhelm, but inspire. It is not about turning everything upside down. Sustainability is a journey in which every small step leads to the goal. It is especially important to be aware of one's own consumption and its consequences. This makes it much easier to change one's purchasing behaviour.

NEWSLETTER
REGISTRATION

Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

[ninja_form id = 3]

Related topics
Art and sustainability
ArtColLab: Art & creativity meet sustainability & philanthropy The ArtColLab project stands for creativity, philanthropy and sustainability. In an interview, co-founder reveals ...
NATASCHA VON HIRSCHHAUSEN
Natascha von Hirschhausen on locally operating & globally networked fashion In dialogue with Natascha von Hirschhausen, founder of the fashion label of the same name and the designer network Aethic -...
New Luxury
Groundbreaking changes in the luxury industry According to Bain & Company, disruptive trends are set to radically change the landscape in the luxury market and create new values ​​...