Shopping Sustainably: Reducing Fashion’s Environmental Impact

Decorative ImageClimate Change is a threat we are all aware of in 2020. Luckily, a lot of us want to fight it and change our way of life to save the only planet we have. I feel like most of us know to recycle, to walk or take public transport where possible, and even go vegan – and all of these things are great! However, I think there’s a lesser-known threat to our shared home; the fashion industry. The good news is, you only need to make very small changes to ensure you are shopping sustainably.

For context, the fashion industry is:

I would like to make the statement now that yes, there are plenty of other concerning issues within the fashion industry regarding both human and animal rights. This post is solely focusing on fashion’s environmental impact, and how we can combat this by shopping sustainably.

Avoid Sales

Decorative ImageIt can be so tempting to bag a bargain when you see the big red ‘SALE’ signs on the high street. Though, shouldn’t we think first before buying? Before you even say ‘just a quick look’, consider whether you actually need new clothes at all. A lot of the time, sales dupe you into buying clothing you wouldn’t even consider buying at full price. It’s this “because I can” attitude that causes your wardrobe to overflow with clothes you never wear – and not because of your stylistic preferences changing.

This isn’t to say that sales are inherently bad. There are certain circumstances where sales can be really useful or contribute to something good. Take Tala for example, who recently conducted a sale where 50% of the profits were donated to aid in fighting the Australian wildfires. Or consider the Black Friday sales in November, which are useful for saving money when buying loved ones presents for Christmas.

However, if you know you’re the type of person who is drawn in by sales for no good reason, definitely try not to cave. It’s clear from the statistics shown at the start of this blog post that a lot of good clothing goes to landfill, and I do wonder how many of these items were bought in the sale and worn once before they were forgotten about.

Buy Directly From Sustainable Brands

Decorative ImageI would highly recommend downloading an app called “Good On You” for this. By using this app you can search for loads of brands and find out how kind they are to animals, the environment, and their employees. As a personal starting point, I told myself I would not buy from any brand that has a rating of less than 3/5.

It’s an incredibly easy change to make and you sacrifice very little for it. The cheap fast-fashion brands, and surprisingly, high-end brands seemed to take up a lot of the lower end of the scale. You would think with the amount of money they make, they could at least up their sustainability game.

Research Shopping Sustainably

Decorative ImageWhen I first learned about sustainable fashion a couple of months ago, I followed a ton of Instagram accounts recommended by Grace Beverley. For those who don’t know, Grace is YouTuber/influencer turned multi-business entrepreneur who is the creator and owner of sustainable casual & sportswear brand, Tala. Fun fact: Tala is now my go-to brand for gym clothing after I found out Gymshark has an embarrassing rating of 1/5 (Avoid) on the Good On You app!

By following these Instagram accounts, I’ve learned so much that I had no awareness of beforehand regarding the fashion industry’s environmental impact. Many of the pages I follow post informative pictures with long captions detailing the fashion industry as a whole – or a specific brand’s shortfalls.

I also recommend unfollowing any brands you discover are unsustainable. You can’t miss the stuff you don’t see! As soon as I committed to not buying anything with less than a 3/5 rating from Good On You, I unfollowed tons of clothing brands that don’t fit my ethics. Now that I don’t see them, I don’t find myself wanting to buy anything from them either!

Here’s a handy list of all the sustainable Instagram accounts I followed:

Buy and Sell Second-Hand

Decorative ImageOne of the kindest things you can do for the environment is to sell the clothes you no longer use. My favourite app for buying and selling clothes is Depop. In the past, I’ve bought and sold loads of clothes in perfectly good condition. These may have otherwise ended up in a landfill somewhere.

Not everything you put up for sale will be bought. If something doesn’t sell, I would recommend taking them to a charity shop or clothing bank. As for buying items of clothing, try looking at what other people are selling before going to the shops. It seems among some people there’s the misconception that buying second-hand is ‘cheap’ or ‘tatty’. However, this is simply… Not true.

What Are Your Opinions On Shopping Sustainably?

What are your favourite sustainable brands? Are there any other accounts you recommend following? Please let me know as I’m trying to improve my lifestyle all the time!

I hope you found this post useful and informative in some way. If you want to know more about any of the things I suggested feel free to message me about it! I’m still new to this myself, so if you know more than I do please let me know what I can do better.

Playsuit from Topshop (Old) | Long Sleeve Top from Primark (Old) | Shoes from Koi (Old) | Umbrella from New Look (Old – Gift from a friend)

Lastly, if you want to read more fashion-related posts, click here.

Love, Flossie 

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One response to “Shopping Sustainably: Reducing Fashion’s Environmental Impact”

  1. […] been made aware of the issues surrounding sustainability in the fashion industry. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about small but impactful changes we can make as individuals to combat the…. So, this is where my problem […]

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Style By Flossie

Style By Flossie

Style By Flossie is run solely by Antonia, a.k.a Flossie! This is a personal blog 'just for fun' with an emphasis on cruelty free/vegan fashion and beauty, as well as lifestyle and travel.

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