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As we become more aware of the mounting environmental disaster, it has never been more important for us to make mindful, conscious decisions when it comes to our buying habits. And when it comes to fashion, our judgments actually go a long way towards protecting our planet for the future. From social factors to environmental impacts, here are three ways to make your fashion choices more sustainable.

  1. Say no to fast fashion

Fashion brands are becoming increasingly aware of the demand for more sustainability in the industry. That requires them to produce quality garments that will last for years as opposed to their current fast fashion production line that sees garments disappear into landfill not long after they are made. Saying no to societies desire for quantity and opting for quality instead is a sustainable practice that serves the planet well. Choosing pieces that are both timeless in style and are durable is a big step towards reducing carbon emissions.

Research shows that even extending the life of your clothes by an extra 9 months reduces carbon, waste and water footprints by between 20 and 30% for each person. And considering it takes about 7,000 litres of water to produce just one pair of jeans, the fashion industry has a substantial damaging impact on the environment. The more that buyers commit to purchasing less and the more they go against choosing trend-led throwaway pieces, the likelihood is that more brands will respond to the demand for better quality garments that won’t end up in landfills. A great example of such change comes from Bonds, who by 2020 aim to reduce their carbon emissions by 40%.

  1. Recycle, go retro and wear vintage

Of course, the price tag of quality fashion is invariably higher and not everyone has the income to buy more expensive clothing. But there are other ways that you can make your choices more sustainable. Consider swapping clothes you’ve grown tired of with friends who are willing to give them a new lease of life or scour second-hand clothing stores for retro pieces that you can revive. And if you have a passion for hunting down one-off pieces, spend time trawling carefully curated vintage stores that sell items with luxurious detailing such as French seams, lace, silk and beads. Before the advent of polyester in the 1950s, clothing was made from natural fabrics including cotton, silk and wool instead of the harmful synthetic fabrics that contribute to ocean plastic pollution today.

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  1. Go organic with your fashion

Millennials and Gen X are keener than ever to choose fashion brands with a transparent story behind them and those that promote greener practices. Perhaps you already go organic when it comes to your food choices but did you know you can also go organic with your fashion? Ethical fashion has sustainability at its core. Look out for new items made from organic bamboo silk, Fair Trade cotton, linen and eco-friendly hemp. These kinds of fabrics are produced with little or no toxins and go a long way to reducing the chemicals that are cast off into our ecosystems. And as consumers start craving more sustainable products, brands are getting creative using everything from recycled materials to pineapple leather. Choosing environmentally friendly fabrics is not only a greener choice for the planet but is also healthier for your skin and body.


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