3 effective ways to make clothing sustainable

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Posted on: 22 February 2018 by Amy Smith Brown

Vivienne Westwood – the fashion designer with more eccentricities than an insane inventor from a children’s television show – was once asked if the expense it took to purchase her clothes was wasteful for consumers.

Vivienne Westwood – the fashion designer with more eccentricities than an insane inventor from a children’s television show – was once asked if the expense it took to purchase her clothes was wasteful for consumers.

Her response? The high quality of her clothing means consumers can wear it until it falls off their back.

While it’s a charming riposte, Westwood’s claim dodges questions of sustainability in clothing – an issue which, as the environment becomes a more pressing issue, is a growing concern for consumers.

As An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power shows, the world is on a precipice of environmental harm, and without immediate action the result may be fatal to the planet.

But the fashion world, despite Westwood’s protestations, is inherently wasteful. As autumn collections become winter collections, many people with more money than sense will throw their clothing out and buy a whole new wardrobe’s worth of material.

None of this means that you can’t be an eco-friendly consumer. With the right outlook, you can stay green while maintaining your swish sartorial style.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve come up with a few ways to keep your fashion up to date without compromising your carbon footprint.

Get thrifty

Thrift shops and charity shops are the perfect way to pick up cut-price clothing – and the mish mash of styles you’ll find in them has come back in vogue.

There’s little more satisfying than discovering a one-of-a-kind jumper or dress and pairing it with clothes you already own.

What’s more, purchasing an item from one of these shops is essentially recycling. So every time you find a dashing blazer in a thrift shop, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.

Go online

The breadth of choice online is hardly a new concept, but it can sometimes feel overwhelming when all you want is some kind of ethical clothing service.

While not committed to eco-friendliness per se, a brand like AX Paris are ideal if you’re searching for one outfit that will last a long time. Their selection of dresses and other fashion items won’t break the bank and are perfect for multiple nights out. They’re proof that the online world is diverse enough to track down sustainable items of any stripe.

Know the source

When you purchase a carrot from the supermarket, it’s highly unlikely that you pay attention to its country of origin. The last thing you want to think about is the journey your root vegetable has taken from the farm to your plate.

But that shouldn’t be the case with clothing. If you want to know the truth about your fashion choices, it’s important to know the source of all materials.

Ideally your clothing materials should be from sustainable environments that are minimising your carbon footprint. This could be hemp, bamboo or even Tencel, which is made from wood pulp.

The more you know about the clothing you buy, the happier the planet will be.

Can you think of any other ways to make your clothing more sustainable? Then let us know in the comments below. 

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