I love clothes and shopping so much! I also know that every year thousands of tons of clothes end up in landfill. We have to change our relationship with clothes and shopping to protect our planet and own our piece of making a difference. Here are some facts on the current state of play.
McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2022 report states that 43% of Gen-Z’ers say they actively seek out companies that have a solid sustainability reputation. Great news!
77% of shoppers surveyed in a 2022 report by Drapers say they consider sustainability when buying fashion, either all the time or sometimes.
In the UK, there has been a 50% rise in online searches for ‘second-hand clothing’ year-on-year from June 2021 to June 2022. This is a real shift in our perception of second hand or pre-loved clothes.
A whopping 75% of Gen-Z respondents said that reducing consumption was one of their primary motivations for buying pre-owned clothes.
In this blog I wanted to highlight some options to help you make eco-friendly fashion choices.
1. Shop second-hand first - Buy pre loved clothes from charity shops, vintage markets, and online resale market places. By doing so you’ll be reducing impact on the environment and waste from the overproduction of new clothes. Here at Denim Library we have a great range of womens jeans, all pre loved and all set for their next chapter.
2. Buy fewer clothes - Value what you buy. Buy clothes you know you will wear many times because they look good and fit well. With carefully chosen clothes you can mix and match items to create a sustainable and timeless wardrobe. Fewer, well made clothes with great accessories is a winning formula.
On a similar note invest only in clothes you really like and need. When shopping (especially online) pause and really consider - do I love this product? Think about if you have a similar piece in your wardrobe already.
3. Go natural - Buy clothing made with natural fabric fibres instead of synthetic fabrics. Natural alternatives to synthetic fabrics include cotton, linen, bamboo, flax, jute, silk, wool, and alpaca. Also look into low impact materials such as Modal and Lyocell. Avoid polyester, nylon, spandex and acrylic. These materials are made from petroleum, a high-emission fossil fuel. Naturel fabrics feel better too and will last longer.
By shopping natural you’ll help reduce the amount of microplastics in rivers and oceans that come from synthetic fibres that shed during washing. Look to buy clothing made with organic fabrics when you can as this will reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides as well as keeping the Earth’s water sources clean.
4. Shop sustainable brands - Choose ethical brands that care about the environment, pay their workers fairly, and are transparent across their entire supply chain – not just one part. Many companies promote certain clothing lines as having been made with renewable materials, but still use unethical labour practices to make the clothing. Make sure to do your research on a brand before you buy from them. By doing this you’ll be taking business away from companies that pollute our planet in favour of ones that care about people and the Earth. Read about Denim Library and sustainability on our website.
5. Swap with friends and family, have a swap shop party! - You can then divert waste from landfill while having fun and adding pieces to your wardrobe!
6. Donate, don’t throw out - One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Donate unwanted clothing to charity shops or local shelters instead of throwing them out. This will divert waste from landfill while supporting your local community.
7. Upcycle clothing - You can work wonders with a pair of scissors and a needle and thread, and give new life to an old garment.
8. Invest in trans-seasonal clothes - Only buy items that you know are going to work for you all year round. Don't shell out on a new wardrobe each season. Instead, spending your money on pieces that will see you through all the seasons, like jeans, T-shirts, classic dresses, timeless coats and jackets, will make for a much more sustainable wardrobe. Items you can layer too will help as you transition through each season.
A great way to keep following the eco-friendly fashion trend is through Sustainable Fashion Week which happens each year across the UK. Originating in Bristol, it has today extended to Brighton, Plymouth, Manchester, London and Cardiff. Sustainable Fashion Week is on a mission to change the fashion industry for the better and to promote small businesses and concepts that will help save our planet.