Updated: Sep 15, 2020
As you may know, the fashion industry is a dirty, dirty business. Everything from sweatshops to treatment chemicals are causing an issue across the globe.
As more and more people learn about the dangers of fast fashion we see an increasing amount of people seeking out fair trade, sustainable, organic and vegan clothing brands. But the questions still arise, how do you really create a conscious closet?
1. Buy Sustainably This is an obvious tip, but also the best place to start. With the rise of slow fashion, brands are making it easier for people to enjoy their retail therapy while also supporting ethical businesses. It may require a little more research on your part, but look for companies with good ethics, that pay fair wages, use organic, sustainable (and obviously vegan) materials. A step further would be also support companies making an effort to reduce their plastics and wastes. Everything from the buttons they use to how they ship their products can say a lot about a companies dedication to having a sustainable business all around. (Shameless self plug here ;) ) 2. Buy Secondhand As Heidi Klum’s famous goes: In fashion, one day you’re in, the next you’re out. When trend’s fade these pieces end up at the local secondhand store. Maybe it was fast fashion at some point, but picking up a discounted top from your local thrift shop not only keeps an item out of the landfill, but it is also not adding any MORE damage to the planet. I am also all about creating a classic, eclectic style which means last year’s IN item fits just fine in my wardrobe. Vintage finds are always a HUGE love for me too. My absolutely fav vintage finds are usually jewelry. To find stores near you, just go to Google! Type in second hand, thrift or vintage stores and let the deals and steals hunting begin. 3. Buy it to Last If you still can’t find what you are looking for, shop at high quality stores and buy pieces that will last a lifetime! Also, only buy things you love 110% and will stay “in style” for years to come. Things in this category for me are typically shoes, jackets and luggage. Although, there are new up and coming brands that fit this bill over in the ethical shopping category, too! Hopefully someday everything can be found from an ethical brand. Even when shopping traditional brands you can also keep impact in mind. Check fabric labels and choose materials like linen, cotton or other natural (vegan) materials over polyester, leather or wool. Linen and cotton have a significantly smaller eco impact than man made and animal materials. Yes, high quality pieces are more expensive, but in the end you will save tons of moolah because the quality is great! 4. Value Your Clothes Now that you have a perfectly curated closet, take care of your items. Increase the lifespan of your clothes by hand washing them when possible. Store them properly and follow all care instructions. Sorry if I sounded like a mother telling you to fold your laundry, but seriously, take care of them! This in part with buying high quality, classic pieces will keep your wardrobe in tip top shape for decades. 5. Become a Minimalist This probably sounds weird coming from a fashion brand, but keep your wardrobe (and life) minimal! Buy essentials that you can mix and match and layers for every season. I like to stick to neutrals for the most part, but will buy crazy prints if I find something I just LOVE. I have a few plaid blazers and floral printed pants that I will keep for all of my days. But by buying minimally you help keep your clutter to a minimum and getting into the frame of mind that you don’t NEED a lot of stuff is a good life goal. Keeping these things in mind about sustainable shopping, and it will have a positive impact on the environment and you!