Most people are aware of the ‘carbon footprint,’ they may have, in effect, it’s how you might be contributing to emissions based on your lifestyle. A smaller footprint is better. So for example, someone might make sure all of their devices are switched off at night instead of leaving them on standby, installing motion-sensitive lights to prevent them from being left on all night, or time their heating units to only come on in the morning to save energy.
But of course, sustainability is much more than just using the energy of this nature, but also our buying decisions. Cycling to work is better than purchasing a new gas-guzzling car, for instance, provided you can use this within the parameters of your lifestyle.
Moreover, limiting your ‘fashion footprint’ is a similar principle. If you love fashion as we do, it could be that focusing on more sustainable efforts can help you lower your net carbon footprint, make use of items for longer, and enjoy the creativity in working with older garments. In this post we’ll discuss how to do this and more:
Donate To Charity Stores
A great way of supporting charity and finding another home for your clothes is donating to charity stores. Provided the item is in good condition, clean, and wearable (of course, don’t donate underwear), then this charity can sell it and put that money towards the good work they do.
In some cases, you may be able to help specific causes by this. So certain cancer research charities may run charity stores or those dedicated to other important issues. Not to mention that in some cases, the donations you see that have been made by other people are genuinely interesting and good, even offering designer brands for a cut-rate. When you purchase from these stores, of course, you’re donating to the charity yourself. It’s one of the rare win-wins you’ll find in any store, so don’t be afraid to use them more often.
Thrift Or Try Second-Hand Apps
Thrifting is of course similar to charity stores but often found in large thrift warehouses or retro stores that aim to bring something new and interesting to the market. Second-hand apps like Depop can also help you sell your clothes or purchase directly from other people, giving you the chance to save a little money or to find some real retro inspirations.
Build a small seller’s profile on there, and before long the positive reviews you get will aid your further sales. This means if you don’t really know what to do with a clothing item, you could get back almost all of its value by using a platform like this.
Try To Lessen Bad Habits
It’s good to try and lessen your bad habits when investing in fashion, for instance, this guide on fast fashion and its harmful effects can help you avoid cheap, disposable trends and instead build a more robust style for yourself.
Not everyone will be able to follow this next piece of advice, and that’s no judgement on you if you think it is less than helpful. However, if you can, then shopping for more robust, well-crafted items from better stores than the uber-cheap rotating stock in cheaper discount stores (which often use overseas, sometimes mistreated workers to provide that discount) can provide you a better item that will last longer.
A good pair of boots you buy may last for many years more than a cheap pair, and have a better chance of being repaired to an appropriate standard should they become damaged or worn. Over time, you save money because of that and contribute less disposed-of items.
It’s good to repurpose items if you can. Sometimes, it’s quite an effective strategy. For example, cutting jeans into jean shorts for the beach (especially if they’re a little old so you don’t mind getting them dirty) can be a helpful use at the end of their life cycle.
There are countless more ways to repurpose old clothes, especially if you wish to use them for outdoor activities. You might cut a t-shirt into a vest in order to wear for gardening, for example, without caring about stains. After all, a garment doesn’t necessarily lose its value just because you wouldn’t wear it as part of your ‘main wardrobe’ – as the materials are still there and may be used quite capable.
Purchase From Sustainable Sources
It’s helpful to purchase from sustainable sources if you can too. Certain fashion retailers will often be very vocal about their ability to do this, where they source their garments from or how they manufacture them.
After all, it’s a hot-button marketing benefit that many consumers are looking for, so you don’t have to apply much legwork here. A simple Google search for the best sustainable fashion brands can go a long way, and with online ordering, you don’t necessarily have to have that retailer within your local town or city.
Repairs & Alterations
Having clothes repaired or altered, such as resizing, can be helpful. You might not have the skills to do that to every garment you own, but a seamster service will be able to do that, and this may cost much less than having many clothes in your wardrobe replaced.
In some cases, this may even save age-old heirlooms that you really care about. If your grandparent gives you their watch, for example, you might have the gears returned and the strap replaced to make sure it lasts many more years going forward, as a professional watch repair service will be happy to do that for you. It will certainly save you from having to replace it.
In other cases, you may have jewellery resized, for example making sure a ring fits on your finger if you’ve gained or lost weight – many women have this done during and after pregnancy, for instance.
With this advice, you’re sure to limit your fashion footprint and also look fantastic in every styling decision you make.