As promised, I am here with another post focusing on sustainability within the fashion industry. It has been an issue that has been growing interest for me and also for more and more brands. I first addressed the issue with a post on 5 sustainable labels you should be buying from a couple of months back where I, not only shed some light on some amazing sustainable brands, but also discussed how my thought processes behind the way I shop have changed (and are continuing to change) over this year.
1. SPRING CLEAN
First and foremost and probably one of the most obvious first steps to have a big clear out (you know those ones where you start to question your decision halfway through? Yeah, those ones). Life gets busy and so wardrobes get messy overtime - and items you wear on the regular gather in the most accessible parts of your wardrobe so I guarantee you'll find some old favourites and items you totally forgot about. Equally you'll uncover old pieces that you haven't worn in years or months that is worn considering getting rid of. So bite the bullet and push this the all the mess and start the 'keeping', 'maybes' and 'donating' piles. Either way, you'll end up with a more streamlined wardrobe (with pieces you actually wear) or actually room for those pieces you will wear on the regular.
2.. SHOP YOUR STASH
This one goes hand in hand with spring cleaning and is the natural next step to becoming more conscious about the way you shop, however, they are certainly not mutually exclusive. I should really heed my own advice and follow this step more, but shopping your stash is a really great way to feel inspired and create new looks without having to spend a dime. If you have a large amount of clothing (like me) then it is also the opportunity to mix pieces you've owned for a long time with new season purchases. By shopping your own wardrobe I think you would be surprised as to how many different looks and outfits it may provide!
3. ALWAYS LOOK AT THE COMPOSITION OF CLOTHING
Own that inner old lady of yours and start caring about what your clothes are made out of! This is something I have started doing over the last few years and it has helped me to stay informed about my purchases. However, this also relies on knowing your fabrics. Opting for natural fabrics as much as possible is the best way to go, as generally synthetic fabrics don't stand the test of time and are environmentally unfriendly. You'll find cottons, wool and silks are the fabrics that will last, feel better on your skin and are worth investing in. Not all synthetic fabrics are bad, such as nylon, however the main culprit is polyester. Polyester is a type of plastic and when you wash polyester clothing, very small fractions go down the drains and are detrimental to the environment. Not only is is bad for the environment, but pieces made out of polyester have a short lifespan and the fabric does not breath or feel comfortable on the skin. Polyester is also an extremely cheap fabric to produce, that's why you'll many of the pieces from high street brands such as Zara, Topshop and H&M all use it, so it is always handy to check the care label to make sure you aren't wasting your money.
4. BUY LOCALLY
I am discovering so many smaller and amazing brands on Instagram on the daily and there is nothing more exciting than finding great Aussie or local brands. Generally, the smaller brands that place more focus transparency and quality fabrics. It is also equally important to support smaller businesses as well. My favourites that have a particular sustainable approach are Aussie brands, Arnsdorf and Kacey Devlin.
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH
It is always really important to do your own research whether it be on a particular brand, fabrics or sustainability in fashion generally. A lot of information will be scarce but it pushes brands to be more transparent about their supply chain and production and even their pricing. Brands such as Everlane and Reformation actually provide a lot information on their websites about the factories and usage of natural resources. It's not about knowing the ins and outs of every brand you buy from, but developing the awareness behind what goes behind each garment.
6. X ITEMS IN, X ITEMS OUT
Undertaking blogging over the past few years has meant my wardrobe has grown considerably at a much faster rate than I anticipated. Many brands are willing to gift pieces in exchange for content. And just due to the fact that I honestly have no more space, I developed a X items in, X items out policy. To be honest, I am pretty laxed about it but it helps me be more aware about how much I shop and consume clothing.
7. SHOP VINTAGE
What better way to shop but more consciously, than to snag some pre-owned (and loved) pieces? Not only will you find completely unique pieces and new home for them but you'll be helping the environment and reducing waste. I have scored some amazing new pieces over the last few months (these pants!!!) and I am over the moon. You can definitely score some great bargains too, but I don't mind spending that bit extra at certain retailers that provide a more curated collections and take a lot of the hard work out for you.
And that rounds up this #shopconscious post! If you made it to the end, thank you! I hope you found it helpful and interesting and inspires you to shop a little more consciously.
Photography by Jordan Lee