I’ve always been fascinated with fashion, but there are certain aspects in its world that don’t sit well with me. There is an obvious lack of inclusivity (or to be more straightforward: white supremacy reigns). The need for diversity also extends to sizing as well. And then there’s the one that affects not just people but everything else in the world: textile waste. Of course, the burden shouldn’t be put on just the consumers since the biggest culprits are retail companies but there’s nothing wrong with helping out in your own little way, too. So here are easy sustainable fashion tips you can follow — I sure am going to do these (if I haven’t already started on them).
I don’t really shop all that much, but I came across a beauty brand founder’s interview (which I talked about in this video) where they talked about keeping their product offerings to just the essentials. People are so focused on so many other ways to contribute to waste management but we often forget that the most effective way to mitigate the issue is to reduce our consumption. If you don’t have a lot of stuff, you don’t have a lot to potentially throw away.
If you are going to buy clothes, buy secondhand. Close the loop of textile waste by keeping these already-made garments in circulation. You support small entrepreneurs this way, too. If you can’t go to thrift shops physically (which is understandable because of our current situation), there are now many shops available online. Nothing beats the feeling of treasure hunting when you go to an ukay store, of course, but this will do for now — and this will contribute to something.
Buy from sustainable brands
A part of the reason why sustainable fashion is frowned upon by many and is touted as an elitist practice is that many, if not all, sustainable brands are not as affordable as fast fashion. They’re that way, of course, because, unlike fast fashion, they look into sourcing more sustainable materials, they pay their workers well, and more. So if you can afford it, buy from sustainable brands. Fast fashion, no matter how you look at it, is just not ethical for people and the environment. Even if you do keep the items you purchase from them, the fact that they were produced in a way that’s not sustainable negates the idea of contributing to the planet’s welfare.
Wear the heck out of your clothes
The coming and going of trends make us look at pieces in our wardrobe as seasonal and disposable. So one of the most important sustainable fashion tips I can give is this: find your personal style. It can be easy to get swayed by trends and the pressure to keep up with what the latest is. Once you’ve zeroed in on your style, buy the essentials (whether secondhand or from sustainable brands) that embody it well. The most important part? Wear the heck out of your clothes (and shoes). Invest in products that can last you a long time and use them for as long as you can.
Mend your clothes
If you wear your clothes for a long time, they will eventually break — and that’s okay. You can always fix them. Nothing those sewing skills you got from HELE (TLE) class won’t fix. If the garment’s no longer salvageable as its original form, repurpose it. We turn our old, tattered clothes — those that can no longer be donated — into rags.
Got sustainable fashion tips to share? I’m all ears. Let’s all pitch in to help in our little way.
Jorj is an editor by profession, a b/vlogger on weekends, and a wife to Yop and mom to Cadence always. She's powered by curiosity and is in the process of becoming her best self.