How to be more eco-friendly when shopping for clothes

Brightly is the ultimate destination for the conscious consumer. In partnership with Well+Good, we bring you stories to realize that small everyday actions make a huge impact on the world around us—and help us (and live) sustainable health.

Every day, we’re flooded with new trends and the next “it” clothing items to add to our cart. So much so that it’s almost impossible to keep up. That is the main problem facing the fashion industry in today’s world: Its endless cycle of overproduction and overconsumption causes harm to both people and the planet.

“The speed and volume we wear and discard our clothing has led to an unsustainable system that relies on resource extraction,” says Alyssa Beltempo, a slow fashion expert and sustainable stylist. people and planet. “Two-thirds of our clothing is made from synthetics derived from fossil fuels and 20% of industrial water pollution is caused by garment manufacturing and dyeing. Millions of apparel professionals work in unfair and unsafe conditions, just so we can wear a piece of clothing an average of five times before throwing it away.”

Every year, 21 billion pounds of textile waste is sent to landfills. That’s 85 percent of all textiles produced, and to better understand it, it’s the equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothes that ends up in a landfill every second. Much of this waste can be attributed to fast fashion brands.

“The trend cycle has moved from four seasons to 52 micro seasons, with new styles launching weekly—even daily—from a number of fast fashion retailers. The only way to maintain this pace is to produce large quantities of clothing at low cost and encourage rapid turnover,” Belttempo said. “With the rapid growth of social media, many retailers design old-fashioned things into their clothes so that we continue to shop instead of discovering and asserting our own personal style. .”

By forgoing trendy clothes and focusing instead on shopping for eco-friendly options that will stay in your wardrobe for years to come, you can help stop the cycle. that hangover. Here are five ways to make eco-friendly choices when shopping for new clothes.

1. Shop your own wardrobe first

One of the most planet-friendly things you can do is take advantage of what you already have before you buy new. “Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, said it best: ‘The most sustainable clothing is the one you already have,’” says Beltempo. Before buying new clothes, Belttempo recommends figuring out what’s in your wardrobe and using some creativity to find new looks.

“Sustainability is something that everyone can participate in, because it is a choice, not a product,” she said. “Everybody has different financial, time, and physical perks, and I believe our strength lies in reducing fashion consumption through creating and finding joy in fashion. what we already have in our closet.”

Belttempo says that even if you wear short, you will have a better understanding of your personal style and any gaps that exist in your wardrobe. She adds: “If you don’t know where to start, my stylist advice is to see your clothes as the defining element of style. “Search for popular themes like cuts, shapes, textures, and colors to help you focus on what you like and need.”

2. Make a list or create a vision board

We get it—whether you’re scrolling through your favorite clothing website or directly browsing the shelves, it’s easy to get more than you need by the time your shopping session is over. That’s why Belttempo recommends making a list of essentials before stepping foot in the store.

“Preparing a list is the best way to reduce your chances of over-shopping and buying clothes you don’t need, or even like,” she says. “I recommend having some items on your wish list, as well as practical items to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe. A list softens the noise of trends and reduces unplanned purchases.”

If you’re a visual person, start a vision board—or a Pinterest board—of looks you love and want to replicate one day. Then, as you discover patterns from those collections over time, you can build your dream wardrobe slowly and sustainably.

3. Ask yourself some important questions

Sometimes we need to actually talk to ourselves before making a purchase. Belttempo recommends pausing to ask yourself some questions that can help you make a more deliberate choice and ensure what you buy will remain in your wardrobe in the long run. Before clicking “buy now,” consider the following:

  • Do I like this item and feel great in it?
  • Will it work with things already in my closet or will I have to buy something else for it to work?
  • Can I make 3-5 new outfits with this outfit using what I already have?
  • Does it match my values? (Example: Is it used or sustainably produced?)
  • Could I see myself wearing it in 3-5 years? If not, is it easy to change?

4. Buy second hand first

Besides not buying anything at all, shopping second hand is arguably the most sustainable way to buy new clothes—even more so than buying from sustainable brands. By choosing used clothes, no new resources are needed. Instead, you are extending the life of clothing that may have been discarded. “Shopping second-hand keeps clothes from going to landfill and is a great way to define a true personal style identity,” says Belttempo.

Saving for your perfect wardrobe is easier today than it was years ago. Not only can you shop in person, but dozens of thrift stores online make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. “Just remember to ask for measurements before you buy, and make sure you know your own measurements to avoid bounces,” she says.

5. Prioritize brands with quality and sustainability certification

In a world of green cleaners, finding sustainable brands to support is not always easy. That’s why it’s important to keep some sustainability credentials and certifications in mind to show that the brand is really prioritizing people and the planet, not just talking. Belttempo says to start by looking at how transparent the brand is.

“Transparency doesn’t guarantee sustainability or mean a brand is in charge, but it helps to shop with purpose and aligns with our values,” she said. “Fashion supply chains are complex, and many brands use this complexity to bypass the problems of fashion exploitation and waste. The more information shared, the better. And don’t hesitate to contact us and ask for more information before making a purchase.”

Next, take a look at the brand’s clothing production rate. While fast fashion brands like Shein produce millions of new pieces each year, many sustainable brands have smaller collections and fewer drops, focusing on high-quality, durable pieces. long. “Even if a company is selling apparel made from recycled materials, if they are producing at speed and in bulk, they are operating with a fast fashion mindset—and here’s one way to do it. unsustainable,” says Beltempo.

Finally, check out the certifications. While Belttempo says it doesn’t always equate responsible manufacturing, some wins include being B Corp certified (which shows the company adheres to high standards of human and environmental practices). certified), is certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) (the leading textile treatment standard for organic fibers) and is OEKO-TEX certified (the treatment standard applies to all products). textiles, not just organic fabrics).


News5h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button