Sustainable fashion Tips – How to reduce your environmental impact and shop more sustainably?

May 20, 2022

Sustainable fashion Tips – How to reduce your environmental impact and shop more sustainably?

If you’re looking for sustainable fashion tips, then first off – congrats! You’ve made the conscious choice to be a better human and we love to see it! Did you know that the average American throws away approximately 80 pounds (36 kg) of clothing each year, most of which can be recycled or reused? That’s a lot of waste! And it’s not just clothes that end up in the trash; according to the EPA, Americans generate more than 25 million tons of textile waste each year, most of which is sent to landfills.

And these are stats only from the US, can you imagine what the totals add up if we look at the whole world? Nearly 20% of global wastewater is produced by the fashion industry. And according to Green America, textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally. These are some depressing statistics, which is why we think it’s extremely important for everyone to learn some sustainable fashion tips to incorporate into everyday life.

sustainable fashion tips - fashion and textile waste
Image via WTVOX

The good news is, there are lots of easy ways to shop fashion sustainably, without sacrificing style or breaking the bank. And we will be going over some of the ways and tips on how you can shop for fashion more sustainably as well as reduce your fashion waste. Let’s not forget that we only have one planet and it’s our responsibility as a civilazation to do better and be kind to the environment. And while a lot of change needs to happen at a governmental level to combat fashion waste and climate change, there are many things we can do as consumers to make sure we have good practices when shopping for clothes. As well as demanding sustainable practices from fashion brands. So let’s dive in and look at some sustainable fashion tips that you can start following today!

The environmental impact of the fashion industry

Before we go over specific sustainable fashion tips, lets discuss the environmental impact of fashion manufacturing. The fashion industry has a major impact on the environment. The growing demand for new clothes has led to an increase in production, which has in turn resulted in more water and energy consumption, as well as an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The textile industry is one of the most water-intensive industries in the world, with clothing production alone consuming more than 2.5 trillion gallons of water each year. And as we mentioned earlier, the fashion industry is responsible for nearly 20% of global wastewater, that’s insane!

Toxic Textiles Scoreboard major US Apparel Companies Green America
Scoreboard of Environmental and Social practices by major US apparel companies. Compiled by

In addition, the use of toxic dyes and chemicals in clothing manufacturing can pollute local water supplies and harm workers’ health. There are over 8,000 different chemicals used to to manufacture clothes. And 43 million tons of chemicals are used to dye and treat clothing textiles every year. Just look at the Toxic Textiles Report from Green America. Green America claims that textile dyeing is the second largest source of water pollution globally.

And finally, the mountains of textile waste produced each year are often incinerated or sent to landfills, where they release harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Approximately 15% of fabric intended for clothing ends up as scraps on the cutting room floor. This huge amount of waste has been widely tolerated industry-wide for decades.

So what can you do to shop more sustainably? Here are a few sustainable fashion tips:

Let’s go over some of our top tips for sustainable fashion. Most of these tips are very easy to implement into your daily life and have to do with clothes you already own. And while sustainable clothing brands can be more expensive, there are many different ways how to shop in a more sustainable way. And lets not discourage ourselves, sustainability unfortunately isn’t something we can flip like a switch and get immediate results. But we can do our part to make the world a better place. Here are some of our sustainable fashion tips:

1. Choose natural fibers

When shopping for new clothes, look for items made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp. Natural fibers like cotton, wool, and linen are more environmentally friendly than synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. They require less energy and water to produce, and they generate fewer emissions.

2. Avoid fast fashion

Fast fashion is the practice of producing cheap, trendy clothes in large quantities to meet the latest fashion trends. This business model relies on constant newness, which means that clothes are often worn only a few times before being discarded. This creates mountains of textile waste and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of buying from fast fashion brands, try shopping at secondhand stores or investing in higher-quality, timeless pieces. Some examples of fast fashion brands include Shein, Boohoo, Primark and Fashion Nova. Not only are fast fashion brands bad for the planet, they also have horrible working conditions and underpay and exploit their workers in developing countries.

Honest the Label sustainable fashion
honest the label slow fashion
Honest the Label is an ethical and sustainable clothing brand from Bali

3. Shop secondhand

Buying secondhand clothes is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and one of our top sustainable fashion tips. Secondhand clothing doesn’t require any new resources or energy to produce, so it has a lower carbon footprint than brand new clothing. Plus, you’ll be saving clothes from the landfill! Depending on where you live, most bigger cities have a ton of options to shop second hand. There are even shops specializing in vintage designer pieces in pristine quality. There are a number of ways to shop secondhand! Such as thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like thredUP, Poshmark and Depop.

4. Repair and recycle

When your clothes start to wear out, don’t throw them away — repair them or recycle them instead. You can mend ripped seams, replace missing buttons, and patch holes. And when you can’t repair your clothes anymore, donate them to a local textile recycling program. There are even some stores that accept your old clothes for recycling and will give you a discount coupon!

5. Research brands before you buy

Before you purchase any new clothes, take some time to research the brands you’re considering. Find out where they source their materials from and how they manufacture their products. There are a number of online resources that can help you with this, such as the Good on You app and website, which rates fashion brands based on their environmental and social impact.

Emma Watson Good on You app conscious fashion
Emma Watson is a supporter of the Good on You app and a spokesperson for sustainable fashion

6. Choose quality over quantity

It’s better to have a few well-made pieces that you love and will wear for years to come than a closet full of cheap, trend-based clothing that you’ll only wear a few times. Whether because they lose their trend status quickly or are such poor quality that they won’t survive more than a few wears and washes. When shopping for new clothes, look for items that are made to last from high-quality materials.

7. Rent or borrow instead of buying

If you’re only going to wear an item once for a specific event or just a few times, consider renting it or borrowing it from a friend instead of purchasing it new. There are a number of online clothing rental services, such as Rent the Runway and Le Tote, that allow you to rent designer clothes for a fraction of the price.

8. Care for your clothes properly

One way to make your clothes last longer is to take care of them properly. This means washing and storing them according to the care instructions, and mending them when they start to show signs of wear. We also recommend to use environmentally friendly detergents. Which are not too harsh on your clothes, as well as the environment due to the chemicals they use and less plastic packaging waste.

By following these sustainable fashion tips, you can make more sustainable fashion choices when shopping for clothes. You’ll be helping the environment and supporting ethical practices in the fashion industry. It’s a win-win! So what can you do to shop more sustainably? We are sure you can apply at least some of these sustainable fashion tips into your life and make a difference.

Pro sustainable fashion tips: How to recycle or reuse clothes

Many people don’t realize that clothes can be recycled or reused. In fact, the average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of clothing each year, most of which can be recycled or reused. Clothing recycling is a great way to reduce the amount of textiles that end up in landfills. There are a few different ways you can recycle clothes, so here are a few more sustainable fashion tips!

Next time you are cleaning out your closet and you’re not sure what to do with your old clothes, here are a few ideas:

  • Donate them to a local charity or homeless shelter
  • Sell them at a consignment shop
  • Recycle them at a textile recycling center
  • Give them to friends and family members
  • Sell them online or at a flea market
  • Use them as rags or cleaning supplies

There are many ways to recycle or reuse clothes, so there’s no excuse for throwing them away. By recycling or reusing clothes, you’ll be helping the environment and keeping usable items out of landfills.

Macy Eleni Blazed and Glazed youtuber
Macy Eleni is a digital creator showcasing ethical and sustainable fashion through thrifting on her social media channels

Sustainable fashion tips – Conclusion

The fashion industry has a major impact on the environment. From the amount of water needed to produce a single pair of jeans to the toxic dyes used in clothing manufacturing. But it doesn’t have to be this way! There are lots of easy ways to shop fashion sustainably, without sacrificing style or breaking the bank. So let’s summarize what sustainable fashion tips we learned.

  • Buy secondhand clothes whenever possible
  • Shop at environmentally-friendly stores that use sustainable practices
  • Avoid fast fashion brands that produce low-quality clothes quickly and cheaply
  • Choose natural fibers like cotton and linen over synthetic materials like polyester
  • Buy timeless pieces that you will wear for years instead of trend driven items that will go out of style quickly
  • Repair your clothes instead of throwing them away
  • Donate or recycle your old clothes instead of throwing them away
  • Educate yourself about the issues and talk to others about the importance of sustainable fashion

If we all take these steps, we can make a major impact on the fashion industry and help protect our planet. Change isn’t gonna happen overnight, but we can start today. What are some of your favorite sustainable fashion tips?

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