A Guide to Making Sustainable Fashion Choices
The world is changing and fast fashion is slowly becoming a thing of the past as we move to more sustainable options. While the idea of creating a sustainable wardrobe may be daunting, it isn’t as hard as you may initially think. Just a few simple changes like ditching some unethical brands and fabrics can have a big impact.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
By definition, sustainable fashion refers to clothing, shoes and accessories that have been designed and produced in a way that’s mindful of the environment and human rights, and is animal-friendly, too. The four biggest issues the fashion industry is currently facing are:
- Water consumption – On average, it can take two thousand and seven hundred litres of water to produce enough cotton to make one T-shirt.
- Energy emissions – Factories are huge energy consumers with electricity needed to run machinery and large amounts of heat needed for washing, drying and dying the cloth which all adds to high energy emissions.
- Chemical usage – Twenty-three percent of all chemicals produced are for the fashion industry and the heavy use of these chemicals is causing disease and premature death among cotton farmers.
- Waste – Thirteen million tonnes of textile waste are produced globally every year. Only fifteen percent is recycled or donated with the rest ending up in landfill.
Many companies and luxury brands are working hard and directing their efforts to become more sustainable and create a positive environmental impact. And as retailers and consumers are encouraged to take an ethical and sustainable approach to fashion, now is the perfect time to rethink your choices when it comes to shopping.
How to Shop and Dress more Sustainably
Here, we’ll be sharing ten of our best tips on how to shop and dress more sustainably to help inspire your future fashion choices, without compromising on luxury quality, and discover new shopping habits.
1. Research Your Brands
When making the switch to more sustainable fashion, take the time to research the brands and find out more about their impact on the planet. Are they doing anything in particular to improve their manufacturing process? Do they source local materials? Do they offer good working conditions and pay a fair wage? Are their products cruelty-free? Social media is a great place to start to find the answers and even ask brands directly.
2. Choose Sustainable Fabrics
Some fabrics are undeniably more sustainable than others and knowing which ones can help you update your wardrobe effectively.
- Silk – Although silk does require quite a bit of water to produce, overall, this is a fabric that has a low carbon footprint and little impact on the land.
- Organic cotton – This is a much more sustainable option than regular cotton as it avoids using pesticides, chemicals and less water.
- Wool – As a natural fibre, wool takes minimal energy to create and it’s biodegradable too. The only thing to look out for is whether it has been farmed sustainably with fair treatment of the animals.
- Linen – Made from flax plant fibres, linen is fully biodegradable as long as it hasn’t been dyed, making it a great fabric to add to your wardrobe.
- Hemp – While hemp might not be your first choice of fabric to wear, it’s one of the most environmentally friendly ones as pesticides aren’t used in its production.
- Tencel – This is the closest fabric to cotton, but it’s made from eucalyptus trees grown without pesticides and produced using 80% less water than regular cotton.
- Econyl – This fabric is an eco-friendly alternative to nylon that’s made from waste products. Nylon has a significant detrimental effect to the environment, so this fabric aims to reduce those effects by using the recycled base materials.
- Plant-based leather – There are many leather alternatives but plant-based leather such as Pinatex or Mylo is becoming increasingly popular as it causes no harm to animals and uses leftover waste from harvesting plants.
3. Remember Quality Over Quantity
We understand how tempting it is to buy into the latest fashion trends. With models, magazines and Instagram influencers flaunting the newest Valentino boots, Burberry coats or YSL bags, many are turning to more affordable replicas and dupes which then get thrown aside when something new comes along again. While buying higher-quality, sustainable pieces will be more expensive, it’s far better for the planet as you’ll likely have it for longer and buy less each season. For example, if you buy one luxurious piece of clothing or accessory per month rather than multiple items in one go, not only will that item feel more special but it can help to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint too.
4. Shop Preloved
Circular fashion is all about extending the life of a garment that’s already in the system, rather than introducing brand new pieces into it. When you buy a pre-loved piece that’s well-made and has lots of years left in it, you’re participating in that circular economy.
5. Purchase Trans-Seasonal Clothing
Think about exactly what you’re buying and how it will work for you all year round. Rather than spending your money on a brand new summer or winter wardrobe every year, invest in high-quality pieces that will see you through several seasons. A few classic dresses that can be worn with tights, boots and a coat in the winter or sandals in the summer. Light jackets for both spring and autumn. Neutral coloured bags to match every outfit throughout every season. Timeless items like these will always last the longest.
6. Change Your Perspective on Shopping
More and more brands are recognising the importance of creating sustainable products which means you won’t need to compromise on the quality of your clothes. Eco-friendly fashion is no longer something that means it’s of low quality, so it’s time to change your perspective on shopping and start building an exceptional, sustainable wardrobe.
7. Organise Your Wardrobe
Wardrobes can very easily get cluttered which makes it much harder to find a particular top or pair of jeans. This then often leads to people buying something else instead. By simply spending the time and organising your wardrobe, you’ll be able to actually see what’s in it, meaning you’ll be much more likely to wear something more than once and style it in multiple different ways.
8. Look After Your Clothes Properly
We all know that when buying better quality clothes, they tend to last a lot longer. But, if you want to go that extra mile and ensure your designer items stand the test of time, looking after them properly is the way to go. From hand washing your cashmere jumper or silk shirt to ensuring your denim jeans are washed inside out and your designer bag is cared for and maintained properly, you’re much less likely to have to replace items as often.
9. Learn to Repair and Alter Clothing Yourself
If your jeans rip or your heel breaks or your jumper gets a hole, don’t automatically throw it away. Oftentimes, these problems can be fixed if you know how – or if you know of an excellent tailor who can help. Learning to repair clothing is a valuable skill and can help the items in your wardrobe last longer. Altering your clothes is a great way to bring an old item to life and see you through many, many years.
10. Give Something Back
If you feel that you no longer want an item, whether you’ve outgrown it or have had a change in style, rather than throwing it away, why not give something back. By using our reliable, end-to-end shopping service, you’ll earn from your once-cherished designer pieces while allowing them to be loved again by someone else. Here at Cudoni, we make selling your pre-loved luxury goods simple, convenient and effortless. From the moment you call, we’ll take care of the rest, so your clothes, shoes and accessories don’t have to go to waste.
If you’re after something in particular, view the designers we currently have listed for sale on our marketplace.