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Thinking sustainably when shopping

Molly Fairclough, 9th Aug 2020
Tags: Life Blog Charity Environment Fashion

When I get dressed in the morning, there are typically a few things that go through my head: "Is that toothpaste on my jumper?", "Have jeans always been this uncomfortable?", "Will I need a coat or can I chance it?".

However, up until recently, there was one big question I was failing to ask: What is the impact of my clothes?

Someone making clothes
Image Credit: Giphy

I don’t mean this in a "wow, I’m so moved by your choice of a blue cardigan! How impactful!" kind of way, but more in the sense of, what is the impact of my clothes on the earth and those making them?

Truth is, I wasn’t asking the question because I didn’t want to know the answer.

We are all responsible for the impact of our own choices.

I feel pretty good in my PLT joggers and Nastygal jumper, so the last thing I want to think about is the negative effects this ensemble is having on the earth and the people who made it. But as uncomfortable as it is for us to think about these things, it’s so important that we do. We are all responsible for the impact of our own choices, so we must make them wisely.

Woman choosing clothes

The fashion industry as a whole is pretty disastrous for the environment.

According to Greenpeace, the industry’s textile production accounts for global emissions equivalent to 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 every year, which is a "bigger carbon footprint than all international flights and shipping combined."

This is because of the model of overconsumption that the industry promotes, which dictates that we have to be constantly buying new clothes to keep up with the ever-changing trends. This cycle of overproduction and overconsumption is why sustainable fashion is so important.

Considerate of humanity and the environment.

Sustainable Fashion Matterz talks more about this. They explain that sustainable fashion refers to brands that create products in a way that is "most considerate of humanity and the environment."

Nowadays there are so many amazing sustainable fashion brands to choose from. Moving away from shopping fast fashion has never been easier.

Here are a few of my favourite sustainable fashion brands.

TALA

PROS

  • It’s a female-owned business
  • They are very open about the sustainability of their clothes
  • They are size inclusive
  • Their activewear is cute and practical

CONS

  • They’re a small business so a lot of their stock is often sold out
  • They mainly focus on basics so don’t have a huge range of styles
  • Be warned the Nova Trackies are very short (for reference, I’m 5”1 and they hit me right at the ankle which is concerning for anyone of a normal height)

Lucy and Yak

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PROS

  • They are size inclusive
  • They have really fun designs
  • Their workers are paid 4 times the state minimum wage

CONS

  • Their styles aren’t for everyone

Charity Shops

Charity shop

PROS

  • You’re literally giving to charity as you shop
  • All of the clothes are ridiculously cheap
  • You can find some really unique piece

CONS

  • There is a distinct charity shop smell, so you’ll definitely have to wash the clothes before you wear them. It’s nothing gross, just kind of...musty.
  • You do have to search through a lot of weird stuff to find something good. However, if you’re like me, this is actually part of the appeal. It makes finding a good piece even more rewarding.

Choosing to shop sustainably is a great way to make a difference.

It can be easy to feel helpless in the fight to save the environment and get fair pay for all workers. But choosing to shop sustainably is a great way to really make a difference.

So, put your money where your mouth is and think before you shop!

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