Are you an eco-friendly individual who happens to also care about fashion? If so, you may feel as if you’re stuck in the middle. That’s because modern fashion is far from sustainable. Resource-intensive textile manufacturing combined with poor-quality design contributes to what is commonly referred to as fast fashion. What’s more, demand for cheap yet stylish clothing leads to little to no change in the methods we use to produce clothing items for the masses.
If you want to be both fashion-forward and eco-friendly, your options are, unfortunately, very limited. In the end, it comes down to whether or not consumers demand changes. However, in the meantime, the average individual has a few options available in terms of making their fashion choices more sustainable.
Let’s take a look at six sustainable fashion essentials for 2023:
What happens when the lenses in your favorite pair of sunglasses crack into pieces? Chances are you will buy a whole new pair. Over time, this leads to an excessive amount of waste, especially if you keep buying one cheap pair after another. A more sustainable solution is to purchase high-quality sunglasses that can be repaired over time. Replacement lenses for iconic styles like Oakley Straight Jacket are affordably priced and keep your sunglasses looking great for years. As a result, you won’t buy nearly as many pairs over time, reducing the amount of waste you generate through fashion.
Thrift stores and secondhand shops are potential gold mines in terms of scoring hard-to-find vintage clothing as well as affordable modern fashion. What’s more, they help extend the life of clothes and shoes that would otherwise end up in a landfill. With this in mind, we encourage anyone interested in being a more sustainable consumer to consider browsing their local thrift stores before heading to the mall for new clothes. While the process can be a bit labor intensive, especially when you’re out to find something specific, it’s certainly more eco-friendly than buying brand-new clothes all the time.
Quality over quantity
There’s a saying that goes, “Buy once, cry once.” It refers to buying an expensive item of exceptional quality. You may not like paying so much, but the quality of the product means it will last much longer than cheaper alternatives. It’s a concept that often applies to clothing and leads to greater sustainability for those who put it into practice. For instance, if you buy one pair of designer jeans built to last, and it means you won’t buy replacement pairs for years, you’re reducing your role in the unsustainable nature of the modern fashion industry.
Some clothing brands have questionable records in terms of ethics and environmentalism. Others are well-known for their dedication to sustainability. It goes without saying that those concerned with the eco-friendliness of their fashion choices should make a point to buy clothes and shoes from sustainable brands and avoid those with a reputation for waste and abuse. Examples of sustainable clothing brands include Everlane, Organic Basics, and Reformation.
Of all the items we wear throughout the day, nothing is subject to more abuse than boots, shoes, and sandals. When being worn, footwear is constantly striking hard surfaces with the weight of the wearer bearing down. They’re also exposed to untold amounts of dirt and debris. Lastly, modern footwear is designed using various materials sewn and glued together, leading to an increased chance of pieces coming apart due to the abovementioned wear and tear. Given the number of different materials used to manufacture a typical pair of shoes, those concerned about sustainability should make a point to purchase durable high-end vegan footwear that stands up to the elements over time.
Proper care and maintenance
Every article of clothing comes with a tag providing instructions on how to properly clean and wash that item. If you want to develop a more sustainable sense of fashion, it’s time to take those instructions seriously. Doing so will prolong the life of your clothes and shoes and avoid damaging them in the process. The longer your clothes and shoes last, the less likely you’ll buy replacements. And the fewer replacements you purchase, the more sustainable your fashion choices will become.
Do you want a more sustainable lifestyle but also love fashion? If so, it’s time to take steps to achieve a more eco-friendly approach to clothes, shoes, and accessories. The good news is doing so is easier than most people think.
Alex Farina is a freelance writer from Ohio. He enjoys writing about design, fashion, nature, and technology.