Most of us are blissfully unaware of the effects of fast fashion on the world around us. Sadly, the fashion industry, mixed with the unattainably perfect world of social media, have a terrible affect on both our self esteems and our wallets. Its easy to be caught up with wanting more, longing for the next hot new trend to come our way. It can be a rude awakening when you realize just how terrible things are and have become. But many struggle to see how they can help, bring change, or even break free of the cycles. So here are 5 small steps to an ethical wardrobe.
Value the Clothes You Already Own
The cheapest and most simple way to start your ethical, sustainable wardrobe is to enjoy what you already have. Read and follow care instructions. Your clothing will last longer and look better longer as well. Take care of what you have already invested your money in and really treat your clothing like investments. Do not just throw out all the things that aren't made ethically, wear them, care for them and then use them until they are completely worn out or donate them so someone else can wear them too.
Try to wear all of your clothes at least 30 times. The average woman keeps a piece of clothing in her wardrobe for only 5 weeks.
Shop Vintage, Second Hand or Trade with Friends
Sometimes we just want to change things up or replace a damaged or worn out item, and we cannot avoid shopping all together. So when possible, shop vintage! Not only are you reducing waste, you are finding exciting new clothes to enjoy without breaking the bank. Many of the clothes you can find have been worn less than 30 times and you are giving them the chance to be used and enjoyed to their full potential.
Hopefully we call can find a friend in a similar size range that we can trade clothes with every once and a while. Its nice to do swaps or closet shopping nights with the girls instead of buying something you may only wear a few times.
This may be hard for many to do as we often treat shopping as a fun hobby or something to do on the weekends. This is wear we need to shift our thinking and our habits. We need to take time to really think about what we actually need and not just buy on impulse. We need to examine our lifestyle when we are shopping and not buy just for our fantasy lifestyle but the one we actually live in. (Example: I should not buy white tees (or anything white really) I have kids and they are still in the very messy stage of life which leaves me very messy = NO WHITE! even though I love the idea of a crisp white shirt)
Stop and ask yourself, will I wear this 30 times? Give yourself time before you buy, leave something in your cart online, or in the store, then think about it and go home. If you still want it later, then buy it. This will help to avoid impulse shopping and buyers remorse.
Invest in Quality over Quantity
When you do need to purchase something, think of it like its an investment, try to find something that is the best quality that you can afford. Make sure its something you are going to both love and live in. High quality clothing often costs more but lasts longer when you take good care of the clothes. But be sure you are actually getting quality not just the high price tag. Expensive clothes are not always quality clothes learn how to find quality.
Support Ethical Brands
There are so many ethical brands out there, here at Evy James we are working to do better, bring in clothes that are organic and made by skilled artisans who are paid fairly.
Ethical means different things to different people so find an area that works best for your personal ethics. Environment, People, Animals, do your research and decide for yourself.
Even when shopping ethical, look for pieces that can last and are classic staples.
This doesn't happen overnight! Give yourself some grace. We have all made mistakes and have fallen for fast fashion. Don't just throw everything out and start over, keep what you have, if anything it can remind you to do better.