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The textile industry emits 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. 20,000 litres of water is needs to produce a kilogram of cotton to make a pair of jeans or a t-shirt. This is our reality accordingly to the World Wildlife Fund. Materials like cotton can be found in nearly half of all clothes. Synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon are also found in close to 75% of garments. The production process from farming to dyeing and manufacturing consumes a lot of water, pesticides and energy.
How can we reduce our fashion footprint that is contributing to these stats?
If you’re new to shopping sustainably or feel that sustainable or ethical fashion is out of your budget, here are our tips on how to take baby steps towards being more sustainable with fast fashion and where to look for affordable sustainable fashion.
- Buy timeless pieces or pieces true to your style. Spend your money on the items you know you will wear for years to come; which won’t go out of style and which match your personal style. This way, you’re more likely to keep an item in your wardrobe. Trendy fast fashion items may be cheap to purchase but you may not want to wear it once the trend has passed. To reduce your fashion footprint, shop with a long term view in mind.
- Buy higher quality fabrics / materials and construction. When shopping, feel the fabric of items – does it feel rough? Flimsy? Do the colours look like they will fade after one wash? If shopping for fashion jewellery, consider the beads and facets used as well as the quality of the metal. Also consider the construction of the item. Is it made well? Does the cut of the garment suit you? Does the jewellery sit well on you? Focusing on materials and construction can help you avoid buying items that may not last long in your closet.
- Buy items made sustainably or using recycled materials. Many stores and online shops are carrying items that are made sustainably, for example, by using less water or natural dyes. There are also more items available, which are made using recycled materials like polyester, recycled metals and so on. These items don’t necessarily come at a price premium!
- Take care of your items to extend their life. Follow the label instructions on how to care for your garments. Avoid getting perfumes and water on fashion jewellery so as to not let it tarnish. Store your garments and accessories properly. A few little actions everyday can help extend the life of your fast fashion items.
- Our last tip is to shop online for affordable sustainable fashion. Websites like Etsy as well as many small retailers carry ethically made and sustainable fashion that is surprisingly affordable, including us! Check out our ethical and sustainable fashion accessories at bayandharbour.com