Even the tiniest actions can have a powerful impact. Here are 3 ways you can use your influence as a consumer to help the planet.
March 19, 2022
The fashion industry has earned the not-so-noble reputation as one of the most polluting industries on the planet. Producing the latest trends and ever-changing collections that feed the fast fashion machine requires an exorbitant amount of finite natural resources, energy, and water.
While the detrimental effects of our addiction to fast fashion have become more widely known, the transition to sustainable fashion has been painfully slow.
We can huff and puff at big brands and point the finger at others all we want, but the true is that the power lies in our own hands and the choices we make as consumers. Until we take responsibility for our own actions and start demanding more sustainable practices, many brands will continue to tout the unsustainable products that are irreversibly damaging our precious planet.
This is where we, as consumers, can step in and evoke change. Even the tiniest actions can have a big impact. So what can you do to personally make a difference? Here are 3 ways you can use your power as a consumer for the good of people and the planet.
Spend a little extra on quality rather than quantity
Stop buying fast fashion and instead support slow fashion. We’re all familiar with the endorphin rush that comes with finding an absolute bargain. But when those savings come at the expense of the garment workers or the natural environment, the pleasure quickly wears off.
Those few extra euros you spent on high-quality long-lasting garments, instead of cheap disposable alternatives, are only a fraction of the immeasurable cost that fast fashion is having on the Earth. Buy less, buy second hand instead of new wherever possible and shop from sustainable brands.
Be conscious of what clothing is made of. Some fabrics are biodegradable and can be disposed of responsibly, while others will likely end up in landfills, where they can spend up to 200 years decomposing, shedding plastic microparticles and emitting dangerous greenhouse gases.
But what if brands aren’t willing to tell you the whole story?
Hold fashion brands accountable
As they say, always read the label. But beware of greenwashing. If brands don’t provide enough information, send them an email asking about their production practices, sourcing methods, and packaging. Demand to know were and by whom your clothes were made.
Transparency and accountability will be key to transforming the fashion industry. Make a point of knowing how your clothes impact the environment and what your favourite brands are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. If you feel your favourite brand is doing enough, let them know. Consumer advocacy can be a powerful tool when enough people are willing to take a stand and speak up.
But how can we get more people to join the slow fashion movement?
Spread the word
If you’re as concerned as we are about the impact that fast fashion is having on the environment, why not shout about it? That doesn’t necessarily mean protesting on the streets, unless that’s your jam, of course. One of the best ways to help Mother Nature is by talking about your concerns with friends and family.
Simply sharing your knowledge with others in a non-judgemental way can be enough to change another mind. Help others rethink that rash purchase and start shopping more sustainably. By spreading the world and growing the slow fashion community, together we can make the world a greener place.
As individual consumers, we can effect big change. Become an everyday activist by buying less, choosing better and asking more questions. Spark conversation about this important topic with others. Let’s work together to build a greener and more sustainable world.