Looking great is an essential for many. From the hair, the accessories, all the way down to wearing the latest trends. However, looking stylish comes with a price while eco-friendly fashion ideas can seem unachievable.
With a constant expectation to wear only the latest trends, this has led to the creation of fast fashion which is having a detrimental effect on the environment.
If you are looking for a change and are wanting to take small steps to reduce your impact on the environment, while still looking great, obtaining a more eco conscious mindset is a must.
Becoming more eco conscious is fairly straightforward, although requiring much hard work and determination.
We are already reducing the use of plastic elsewhere in our lives, to using reusable bottles, bags and containers where possible and cycling and walking when we can. But how can you become more eco friendly in the wardrobe department? This is where we can help.
We have put together some top sustainable fashion ideas and the simple steps you can take to ensure that you can continue to look great, without costing the earth.
What is fast fashion?
A term that is frequently thrown around in the fashion industry and one that you are most likely hearing more and more about. For those wondering, what is fast fashion or yet to truly discover the true effects that your clothes have on the environment, then let us educate you!
It may blow your mind, but those £30 pair of jeans from your local high street shop are far more damaging to the environment than you would originally think. Along with 2,630 litres of water that it takes to grow the cotton needed to create the jeans, the dyes added to your jeans are also bleeding out into our water systems whether in the factories that they are creating, but every time that we wash our jeans.
With the way we shop and our shopping habits continuously changing, there had to be a change in the ways that manufacturers developed and created garments for our convenience.
As our demand for new clothing increased, clothes suddenly became cheaper, clothing trends rapidly increased and then emerged the phrase, fast fashion.
Fast fashion is best defined as cheap, fashionable clothes created at record speeds and at a low cost for the benefit of the user. To do this, clothing is often made overseas where the cost of materials and labour is low, rapidly massed produced, with little to no afterthought on the impact on the environment. This can be seen in the polluting of rivers with fabric dye from factories, to the disappearance of the Aral Sea. The disappearance of this once sea was caused by the creation of dams, created to divert water and instead be used to water cotton crops to create clothing for the western consumer.
What clothing is environmentally friendly?
When it comes to incorporating ethical fashion within your wardrobe to help reduce environmental impact, along with looking at what brands you are following, also look at the materials that you are purchasing.
If you are wanting to reduce the environmental impact of your clothes, look for materials such as organic sustainable cotton, bamboo and hemp. Wool is also a fantastic ethical fashion material and is classed as eco-friendly.
Always checking the label of clothes that you are looking at purchasing can ensure that you continue to purchase eco friendly fashion and work to reduce environmental impact.
If you are still feeling intimidated about incorporating ethical fashion into your wardrobe, finding a sustainable fashion brand that you can rely on to find and source sustainable fashion ideas is essential.
What brands are sustainable?
When it comes to eco friendly fashion ideas and ensuring that ethical fashion is at the forefront of your personal style, finding a trusted sustainable brand can allow you to feel confident about the clothes that you are purchasing.
When looking for brands that specialise in ethical, sustainable or ‘slow fashion’, there are an abundance of options out there, allowing you to continue purchasing your favourite brands guilt free. From Levi’s, ThredUP, Alternative Apparel, Polo Ralph Lauren and even H&M Conscious Collection. With highstreet brands that are focusing their attention on the creation of ethical fashion that takes into account the lifespan and creation of your new clothes, you can continue looking stylish even when looking for sustainable fashion ideas. Along with these recommended high street brands, we also recommended People Tree, Weartlondon, Borden and activewear company Patagonia.
When looking around for a sustainable clothing brand, take your time to look around getting a feel for the different styles and to help you find a brand within your price range.
How can fashion be sustainable?
With the clothes that we wear all playing a part in the health of the planet, trying to be eco conscious while remaining stylish is a challenge that we should all try to achieve. When you discover that it takes 1,800 gallons of water to create a pair of jeans, or that the fashion industry produces 10% of all carbon emissions, taking those first steps and beginning looking for sustainable fashion ideas is a must.
Here are some of our recommended eco-friendly fashion ideas for you to try and incorporate into your wardrobe for a more stylish you.
1 – Start with the basics
One of the biggest pieces of advice to looking stylish and that is to shop the basics. Start with basic, sustainably created clothing. From T-shirts, underwear to sports gear, look for bamboo, naturally sourced cotton and recycled fabrics where possible.
2 – Stick to neutrals
To truly be eco conscious, another top step to caring for the environment and that is to stick to neutral clothing. Although wearing a splash of colour is able to cheer us up, even on the greyest of days, this abolishing of dyes from your wardrobe can have a huge impact.
With dyes used to stain our clothes poisoning water supplies worldwide, every time you wash your clothing, these dyes will seep and make their way through your washing machine into the water.
By sticking to neutral colours, the future of dying looks to be created using natural ingredients for minimal impact on the environment.
3 – Reuse and upcycle your clothes
While we are all guilty of living with a disposable mindset, a recommended eco-friendly fashion idea and that is to reuse your clothing. By taking those much-loved clothing, giving them either a makeover or re-fitting them, you can continue to reuse and love them for many more years to come.
Instead of binning unwanted clothing, challenge yourself to find an alternative use for them. If all else fails, consider selling them, giving them a second chance to be loved.
4 – Check the temperature of your washing machine
Another way to remain stylish and to continue wearing your favorite clothes for years to come, and that is to care for them. To care for your clothes correctly, one guaranteed method and that is to wash them to the correct temperature. By reading care instructions and reducing the temperature of your machine, you can avoid shrinking or damaging them when in the wash.
This reduction of the washing machine temperature also requires less energy to use. Combine the lower temperature of your wash with a washing bag, you can reduce the amount of micro fibres that enter into the water system through your washing machine.
5 – Save money and rent that dress
An eco-conscious fashion idea and trend that is sweeping throughout the UK and that is clothes renting. The perfect idea for those wishing to save a few pennies, or those wanting to reduce their clothing purchases, then renting clothes is a must.
Whether you are wanting a stunning silk gown, or a new pair of heels, there are numerous companies online that allow you to browse, borrow and return spectacular garments for your intended use. This new mode of clothes ‘shopping’ allows people to wear stunning and overpriced clothing that they previously would be unable to afford. With many companies out there offering this revolutionary service, My Wardrobe HQ not just allows you to rent the clothes by the day, but also to buy the clothes for yourself.
6 – Pop into your local charity shop
There is something special about a charity shop. From the pure joy of not knowing what you will discover, to grabbing a bargain, visiting a charity shop is a great day out for many fashion lovers.
Another top way to get your hands on some pre-loved beauties and that is to visit your local charity shops. Along with giving a piece of clothing a new home, you are also supporting a fantastic cause and a charity. What could get better!
7- Always go for quality over quantity
Although you might be tempted to splurge and purchase 3 bright new T-shirts for £10 each, stop and think of the consequences of your actions. Instead of thinking about quantity and trends, adjust your mindset to instead think of quality.
What is the quality of the garment, is it durable and is it likely to still be wearable in a few years time? Ask yourself these vital questions and be sure to purchase only the highest quality of clothing every time. Helping you to not just look fantastic, but also a top eco-conscious fashion idea.
8 – Swap clothes with friends
If you are incredibly lucky, that you and your friends are all a similar size in clothing, a top tip to remaining stylish while reducing your impact on the environment and that is to swap clothes.
By piling together your unwanted clothes in good condition, swap and trade with friends.
Reducing the need to go shopping, you are reusing and upcycling clothes that can be modified to help make it unique.
9 – Learn how to fix clothing
Have you snagged or ripped your favourite silk sundress? Instead of fretting and recycling your dress, instead fix and repair it! Allowing you to continue wearing your clothes, learning how to sew and repair clothing gives you the chance to tailor and improve your clothing as they age over time.
By learning the art of clothes tailoring, you can even use your new talents to design and create homemade and one of a kind clothing to express your individual style.
10 – Consciously avoid fast fashion brands
Our final and tenth eco-conscious fashion idea to keep you looking your best and that is to avoid fast fashion brands. By steering clear of high street brands that are notorious for their role in the worsening health of the planet, instead take your time and money to a more deserving business.
By choosing to shop in only shops that source and design sustainable clothing, you can ensure that you are doing the best you can to reduce your carbon footprint.
Fast fashion is not a problem that is going to disappear overnight, but by taking a few simple steps you too can begin to reduce your carbon footprint with these sustainable fashion ideas.
Being eco-friendly does not mean that you have to give up being stylish. Instead by following our recommended 10 top eco-friendly fashion ideas you too can continue looking your best while reducing your impact on the environment.
Have you been inspired to reduce your carbon footprint or perhaps you too are working hard to become more eco friendly? We would love to discover what steps you have taken, comment below and share your experience with us today.