BUY ECO-CONSCIOUS AND SUSTAINABLY
Think eco-conscious fashion isn’t for all? Think again. The industry is evolving; see where to buy eco-conscious and sustainable clothing and how we can help it become more accessible.
What does it mean to buy eco-conscious and sustainably?
To buy eco-conscious and sustainably is to make mindful purchases that have little impact on the planet.
Within the fashion industry, this means buying from brands that are ethical and eco-friendly. Sustainable brands follow strict practices such as only using renewable energy resources and paying all employees across the supply chain fair wages.
Buy eco-conscious fashion and you’ll be helping an industry that counteracts fast and harmful fashion.
What type of clothing is sustainable?
Examples of sustainable fashion include the use of eco-friendly fabrics, like:
- Industrial hemp
- Organic cotton
- Soy fabric
The most sustainable fabrics are recycled, including recycled synthetic materials like polyester. They have already been through industrial processes and don’t take much energy or resource to repurpose.
Across our Limited Edition Collection, we use 100% organic cotton sourced from recycled material and natural resources. Producing organic cotton across our ranges has very little impact on the environment, as no pesticides or other harmful chemicals are used.
Where to buy sustainable clothing
Find eco-conscious or sustainable clothing brand. Research to find out their ethical and eco principles. Are they fully transparent or are they greenwashing? Have a look at our advice on how to tell if a brand is sustainable.
Buy locally. One of the best ways to buy sustainably is to support artisan sellers. It helps reduce your carbon emissions and also uplifts your community. When choosing from local sellers, look for those who handcraft items using locally sourced materials. You can usually find sellers in independent shops, markets and online on sites like Etsy.
Go second hand. If you buy pre-loved clothes instead of new ones, fewer new clothes need to be created. It helps eliminate waste, and it can be a thrill to find vintage one-of-a-kind pieces. Visit thrift stores, vintage shops and charity shops, or mobile apps like Depop and Vinted.
Rent instead. Rental companies like Hurr are becoming more popular, for good reason. Similar to second-hand, renting reduces the need for new items to be produced. It saves wardrobe space and gives you the chance to rent high-quality items by brands you might not usually be able to afford.
Is eco-conscious and sustainable fashion accessible?
Eco-conscious and sustainable fashion promotes many great causes. But it is yet to be fully accessible.
To start with, new eco-conscious and sustainable clothing often comes with a bigger price tag, which isn’t financially accessible for everyone.
It’s expensive to produce. Eco-friendly and quality materials are expensive to source. Clothes are made carefully in small batches, more money goes into paying employees well, and brands often spend on green initiatives like supporting charities.
Fast fashion is affordable because clothes are created using cheap resources and methods, which in turn are more harmful to the environment.
Another reason why eco-conscious and sustainable fashion isn’t fully accessible is that there’s a lack of appropriate options suitable for plus sizes, disabled people and the LGBTQ+ community. Only until all people are accounted for – whether that be target consumers or within brand leadership teams – sustainable fashion will not be inclusive and accessible to all.
How can the eco-conscious and sustainable clothing industry be more accessible?
Fashion companies need to be more inclusive and diverse. As consumers, we can help by engaging with brands and influencers that promote representation.
Follow brands that feature a wide variety of people on their websites, adverts and social feeds. Buy from companies that are led by women, people of colour or LGBTQ+ teams. Get in contact with brands and politely ask them to be more diverse. The more pressure they feel, the more likely they will change and improve.
The same goes for affordability. If you’re financially privileged, support the industry by buying from brands that work sustainably and ethically. You can engage in sustainable practices (see examples above) and stop buying from fast fashion outlets. Even if you’re on a low budget, charity shops can be full of bargains.
If more people buy sustainably, sustainable practices should eventually become more affordable. This is true for organic food – over recent years the demand has increased and prices have dropped.
The same thing could happen to sustainable fashion. We have hope.