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So you want to become a more ethical shopper?
Change isn’t going to happen overnight and the journey ahead isn’t always going to be easy. However, if you make some small changes to your shopping habits, ethical shopping is sure to become second nature and you can feel great about the good you’re doing for the planet (as well as your bank balance).
Here are five simple tips on how to make your wardrobe more sustainable, without compromising style and fashion:
1. Invest in quality clothing
Take a good look at your wardrobe; how much of it do you actually wear? Sustainable shopping is all about choosing quality over quantity, investing in items of clothing that will last a lifetime instead of garments that end up in the bin after one wear. You might be tempted by cheap deals and flash sales, but it’s better to save your money and spend it on items of clothing that you actually need.
2. Upcycle your garments
If you want a more sustainable wardrobe, then you might have to get creative. It’;s natural for clothes to become worn and old; not every item of clothing will last a lifetime. It’s estimated that more than 235 million tons of clothes end up in landfill every year, but this can be avoided. Think about how you can upcycle certain items of clothing; an old pair of jeans can easily be transformed into a quirky pair of shorts, perfect for summer. If you can’t reuse clothes, donate them to charities before throwing them away.
3. Pay attention to what your clothes are made of
The next time you go online shopping, pay close attention to clothing labels and what your items of clothing are made of. If you have a love for fur clothing, opt for faux fur instead of the real deal. More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year, some breeds of which are nearly extinct, and farming them for their pelts simply isn’t sustainable. What you should be looking for is organic materials, preferably made of 100% natural fibers like cotton or wool; clothes manufactured with polyester and plastics can be of poorer quality and make take hundreds of years to decompose.
4. Invest in sustainable brands
When you’re becoming a more sustainable shopper, it can be difficult to say goodbye to your favorite brand but it’s essential if they don’t have an ethical ethos. Instead, invest in brands with sustainability goals and respect for all of their worker’s rights. If you boycott the unethical brands, they might reconsider their business plan and try to produce clothes more ethically and sustainably.
5. Find some second-hand bargains
You don’t need to buy brand new clothes in order to have a trendy wardrobe; second-hand clothing is a much more sustainable option, and you’re also likely to find some really unique and beautiful garments. Charity shops and markets aren’t the only place to get some stunning second-hand clothes, as major brands are also selling pre-loved items. In fact, 70% of clothes sold on ASOS Marketplace are vintage or pre-worn.