Sustainable Fashion: How To Up Your Game Without Buying Into Fast Fashion

This post is all about sustainable fashion.

Many of us have an interest in fashion, and we like to look good. In recent years, fast fashion has become increasingly commonplace, with brands selling cheap clothing and encouraging buyers to update their wardrobe continuously.

While it’s fun to experiment with new trends and to switch up your look, there are ways to up your style game without buying into fast fashion. If you’re keen to shop and do your bit for the planet, here are some tips to take on board.

6 Tips To Get Into Sustainable Fashion and Stop Buying Fast Fashion

1. Embrace the ‘quality over quantity’ mantra

sustainable fashion wardrobe

With social media documenting our every move and brands bombarding us with special offers and promotional posts and emails, it can be tempting to get into the habit of buying new clothes and accessories all the time.

If you’ve posted a photo in a dress, you might think that you need to wear something different next time you’re on camera. With discount brands becoming more popular, it’s easier to expand your wardrobe, even on a student budget, and it’s difficult to resist the lure of retail therapy.

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, but try and embrace the ‘quality over quantity’ mantra. Instead of spending $50 on a load of tops, skirts or shorts you might only wear once, use your money to invest in pieces you love that you will wear time and time again. It’s better to have a smaller collection that is packed with items you know you’ll wear for years to come.

Try and ask yourself whether you really need the clothes you buy and whether you would still buy the top or the dress if it was more expensive. If the answer is no, take it out of your cart.

2. Create seasonal capsule wardrobes

sustainable fashion tips

Creating a capsule wardrobe is one of the best ways to stay on-trend without shopping up a storm and spending a fortune every season. With this option, you can add a couple of statement pieces to your collection every season to celebrate new trends and freshen up your look.

Start by investing in high-quality basics and essentials to form the foundations of your capsule wardrobe. Good examples include a couple of well-fitted pairs of jeans, tees, camis and vests, a tailored blazer, midi and maxi skirts and simple, chic dresses.

Once you have your basic framework, you can mix and match pieces to create an array of different looks, using accessories to dress items up or down and add personality and flair to each outfit.

Take an understated, easy-to-wear jersey maxi dress as an example. For a casual coffee with friends, you can add gladiator sandals, a mini backpack, bangles, and oversized shades. For a dinner date, add instant glamor with block-heeled sandals, drop earrings, a waist belt, and a leather tote bag. 

3. Search for ethical brands

Research suggests that consumers are increasingly keen to shop with brands that stand for good causes and support initiatives and charitable schemes. If you’re looking to invest in new clothes or accessories, search for ethical brands and look for products that are made from sustainable materials.

There are companies that donate a portion of their profits to good causes, there are businesses that support specific local or national initiatives to protect wildlife or plant more trees, for example, and you can also buy individual products that are linked to charities or programs.

Depending on the brand and the offer, you may find that every time you buy a t-shirt or a sweater, the company makes a donation to a nonprofit, or they give something back to a community.

It’s worth spending some time researching different brands and using the Internet to read up on businesses that are working to protect the environment, save endangered animals, or support struggling communities.

4. Learn to accessorize

sustainable fashion accessories

Many of us admit to buying clothes because we get bored with our wardrobes, even though they may be overflowing with items. If this scenario sounds familiar, learning to accessorize is an excellent idea. With accessories, you can create a raft of different looks using the same pieces.

Look for investments that will stand the test of time. Classic, stylish sunglasses and glasses are a popular choice. You can also use jewelry, shoes, bags, hair accessories, hats and scarves to vary your ensembles.

A simple cami and jeans can be dressed up or down in an instant with the right accessories. For a casual, cool look, add pumps, a cross-body bag, aviator shades, and oversized hoop earrings. By night, go for heels, a clutch, and simple studs and add a fitted blazer to keep you warm.

5. Recycle

Most of us now recycle plastic bottles, tins and paper, but how good are you when it comes to recycling clothing? If you’re on a mission to reduce waste and buy wisely, it’s a great idea to reuse old clothes and to donate or swap any items that you don’t want anymore.

Instead of throwing t-shirts or skirts away, donate them to charity, organize a swap shop event in your neighborhood or list them online. You can also buy vintage, second-hand clothes. If you’re a creative sort, you could also consider revamping pieces that have seen better days by flexing your sewing skills and using your artistic talents.

You could transform a top with embroidery, embellishments or badges, repair ripped jeans or jumpers, or customize jackets to create unique items.

6. Check the labels

When you’re out shopping, or you’re browsing online, it’s always a good idea to take a moment to read the label or the product description to see where the item has come from and what it is made from.

As consumers, we all have a responsibility to support brands and businesses that employ ethical practices and adhere to manufacturing and fair employment guidelines. 

There is no doubt that fast fashion has become a feature of modern-day shopping. If you’re keen to look the part and experiment with trends, while also supporting sustainability, there are ways to update and refresh your look without buying cheap clothes.

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