Every day, our actions get us either one step closer to a cleaner, greener planet or ten steps away from it. With rapid growth in consumption, the overall composition of waste materials and other pollutants in the atmosphere has severely increased over the last decade while causing pressure on limited availability of natural resources. Bearing this in mind, it is more important today, than ever before, for us to reconsider our regular practices and be conscious towards embracing a minimalist lifestyle. A minimalist mindset encourages us to be selective of products that we buy and consume and be mindful of the activities that we endorse. This also helps us to be responsible, improve our finances and work towards building a healthier and sustainable lifestyle.
In recent years, the fashion industry has been criticized for its negative impact on the environment and the exploitation of workers in developing countries. However, there are ways to shop for clothing that support sustainable and ethical practices. Shopping for clothing can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s important to consider the impact of our choices on the environment and the people involved in the production process. The good news is that all we need to do to tackle this industry is consider a wardrobe makeover!
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.-Robert Swan
We often believe that a makeover of any kind must be extravagant, which makes bringing change a complicated process. Shopping is something that we do regularly, and we generally do not think twice while purchasing something new. Fast Fashion has been the prominent source of clothing for most of us. It’s a convenient way of achieving instant gratification. However, what we often do not realize that although fast fashion is favorable to us, it has some damaging implications on society.
Impacts of Fast Fashion on the Planet
- Depletion of non-renewable resources
- Supports child labor and poor working conditions
- Promotes unhealthy beauty standards (negative body image)
- Heavy use of plastic
- Regular disposal of chemical waste into water bodies
This week we bring you simple ways in which you can acknowledge the platform you hold and replace unhealthy shopping habits to create a cleaner, greener future.
Ways to build sustainable wardrobe
1. Identify the purpose of your shopping spree
Before shopping for something new, ask yourself why you need this item and whether it is extremely crucial for you to have it. If not, reconsider and work with what you already have. Reusing a certain item for a longer time means less waste and you get your money’s worth!
2. Look for sustainable materials
Choose clothing made from natural and organic materials like cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, or recycled fabrics. These materials are biodegradable and have a lower impact on the environment than synthetic materials like polyester, which takes hundreds of years to decompose.
3. Buy clothes that are made to last
Invest in high-quality clothes that are well-made and durable, rather than fast fashion items that are designed to be worn a few times and then thrown away. Choose classic styles that won’t go out of fashion and can be worn for years.
4. Shop second-hand
Second-hand shopping is a great way to support sustainable practices by giving clothes a second life. You can find unique and vintage pieces that are not only eco-friendly but also affordable.
5. Donate clothes which you hardly use
Sometimes we feel like buying a new item just to experience some retail therapy. While we feel better about buying something brand new for ourselves, we are also creating a huge pile of unnecessary items at home. To prevent this from happening, donating items might be worth a thought. This way, items that we no longer need, or use are being put to good use and have reached someone who is in need of them.
6. Get to know your locality
Local shops are often overlooked, and the reality is that they are sometimes the most planet conscious businesses. Shopping from local designers and retailers can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping and support the local economy. Local businesses are often more transparent about their production processes and may use sustainable and ethical practices. Furthermore, associating with local businesses allows us to be aware of the company’s practices and where and how they use their profits. We have greater control over our money and are able to give back to the community.
7. Visualize more
We frequently purchase clothing that we believe will complement our overall appearance or look nice on us after a time. This is common when we use social media to research new market trends. To avoid this, reviewing the kind of clothing we regularly wear offers us a better understanding of what we actually like.
8. Evaluate the products at the checkout
Make sure to check the trolley before checkout. This gives us the opportunity to ensure that we haven’t invested in something that will be left unused. It’s also a chance for us to make sure that the product meets our expectations, for instance: the colour, size and design of the product.
All in all, we urge you to recognize the larger implications of your actions. Shopping for clothing can be done in a way that supports sustainable and ethical practices. Small changes in our shopping habits can lead to significant positive impacts on the planet. These conscious changes in our daily lives can make a great difference in the future.
So, live simpler, waste less, shop sustainably!