When it comes to supporting our planet, what you wear counts. If you want to make a difference with your wardrobe, BentallGreenOak Residential Services has 4 tips for how to dress sustainably.
Just like recycling, shopping vintage is a conscious choice you can make for the planet. When you buy vintage, you are usually buying something used or at least old. This means that the clothing didn't require the use of new energy, materials, resources and production labour to make its way into your closet. You are also preventing those items from winding up in a landfill somewhere -- which happens all too often with fast fashion these days. You can shop vintage in second-hand shops, charity shops, vintage clothing stores, online, and if you're really feeling motivated you can trade with friends and family.
Only buy items you'll wear often
This point speaks to the culture of fast fashion. Our society pumps out cheap clothing items at an alarming rate without fail, season after season and year after year. This contributes to a huge volume of waste that we need to curb to help our planet thrive and requires the use of toxic chemicals and hazardous manufacturing processes. It is also dependent on child labour and other abusive work circumstances. If you're going to buy new clothes, make a conscious choice with each purchase to only buy items you know you're going to get a lot of use out of -- ideally for years. Avoid succumbing to the temptation of buying what's trending each season as many of those items will likely wind up in your trash next season.
Shop sustainable brands
There is a growing number of clothing brands out there that are sustainable. These companies go to great lengths to ensure that the materials they use are eco-friendly, their manufacturing processes are sustainable and that their labour wages and conditions are fair. All this means a higher price tag for you, so prepare yourself mentally before you buy. Think of these items as an investment. They are usually well made which means they'll last much longer than fast fashion items. Fantastic sustainable brands we recommend include: Allbirds, Preloved, Yoga Jeans, Outland and Everlane.
Shop quality over quantity
Another point that speaks to fast fashion, try to shop for fewer high-quality fashion items rather than more low quality, fast fashion items. Keep your eyes peeled for craftsmanship like handmade items and high-quality fabrics like organic cotton. If you want to really make a small number of items work for you, research trends like capsule wardrobes which emphasize having a small number of timeless staple items in your wardrobe that make many looks possible. When you buy fewer fashion items, you can justify spending more on them and buying high-quality pieces that will last years.
We hope these tips from BentalGreenOak inspire you to dress sustainably!