4 powerful changes making fashion more sustainable
The vast majority of us understand the negative impact fashion is having on the environment. With an increased urgency to promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, innovative figures and businesses in the industry are sharing the impactful changes they're implementing to make fashion more sustainable. These powerful, creative changes can help us maintain our love for fashion whilst having a more positive and progressive impact on the planet.
1. Shop with made-to-order fashion brands
Custom made clothing means we can own our ideal garment with a guarantee that it fits perfectly. Have you ever had to buy a dress for an occasion but ended up ordering a couple 'just in case'? And then sent every dress back because it wasn't the correct style or didn't fit quite right? Don’t worry we have all been there.
The fast-fashion culture encourages us to over-consume in pursuit of finding the perfect outfit. But nothing feels better than owning a one of a kind dress designed by you that fits your shape perfectly.
Purchasing a custom-made piece of clothing is much kinder to the environment and ensures that it is designed to a high standard and will be long lasting. This will also help to reduce materials, waste and carbon emissions around the world. The vast majority of made-to-order fashion brands are small, independent businesses that promote mindful shopping and ensure each piece is made with care and attention to detail. These start-up companies understand the value of the customer and the worker. Unlike major fashion houses, these brands prioritise ethical working practices and customer-client transparency. By placing an order with a small business, you will better understand the sourcing, manufacturing and shipping of your items. These small businesses help put take control of your personal fashion footprint.
2. Prioritising fair, ethical fashion
As we've established, smaller businesses are much more transparent and open when sharing the story behind their brand and how their clothes and materials are sourced. This has become increasingly important for consumers and helps you to learn the brand's origin, the ethos and the mission behind it. However, shopping with dedicated sustainable businesses isn't always easy. The consumer demand for brand transparency means even high-street shops and their partners are now sharing what happens behind the scenes. Big companies know they need to implement changes if they want to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer which is why it is so important to research these brands as much as possible before making any purchases. This will allow you to understand if it is a business you want to support. You should also check the company's stance on human rights, labour laws, animal welfare, amongst other ethical and environmental information which should be publicly available.
Many high street shops are even transitioning to make their clothes more eco-friendly, ethical and vegan. Whilst this is positive for the environment, it is the consumers responsibility to make sure these brands are actually doing what they say and aren't greenwashing and making false statements.
3. The rise of re-commerce
Re-commerce has revolutionised the second-hand clothing industry. Rather than throwing away old clothes, it is becoming increasingly popular to re-sell pre-owned apparel online via popular websites like Depop and Vinted. Consumers are now prolonging the lifespan of their unwanted garments and are helping reduce the amount of clothes being dumped in to landfills each year. The re-commerce industry currently has a growth rate of 11.2% and it has become clear the rise of second-hand fashion isn't slowing down online.
We love the increase in ways to shop second hand as it not only reduces plastic pollution but significantly reduces our carbon emissions. Even those who are less eco-conscious are attracted to the individuality of pre-loved clothing. Shopping second hand reduces the risk of turning up to that party wearing the same dress as someone else. Investing in one-of-a-kind pre-loved items can elevate our outfits, giving them a unique cultural touch.
If you love fashion but want to make an impactful change on the planet and how you shop for clothes, re-commerce might be the solution you're looking for.
4. An Increased popularity for repair services
The slow fashion movement encourages us to invest in quality items we will have in our wardrobes for a number of years — made-to-order garments are an example of this. However, purchasing high quality pieces can often mean paying a much higher price than what you would pay on the high street. It is important to learn how to care for and mend clothes of such good quality and learn to not throw away items that might need a little attention every now and then.
Learning a few simple stitches will allow you to mend any rips or tears so you can keep wearing them as normal. If you struggle to get to grips with the needle and thread, reach out to your local sewing shop or department store and see if they can assist you. It is also important to remember that if you decide to buy from a made-to-order service, enquire about the guarantee. Many independent businesses offer free repairs on their products and will happily help you to fix any issues you might have.
It is so important to understand the environmental impact of your wardrobe as it allows you to gain a clearer insight into your fashion consumption. Implementing these 4 changes into your life can help slow fashion consumption and production down drastically and help protect the environment and it's limited resources.
If you are serious about living a more sustainable lifestyle and learning more about the fight against fast fashion, then you might also be interested in our blog post on 5 tips from our Bon and Berg team to help create a more sustainable wardrobe or if you would like to keep up to date on what's happening here at Bon and Berg click here to join our mailing list.