What does sustainable fashion look like to me?
I’ve wanted to touch on this for a while now for a few reasons:
1) because I am certainly not perfect in this department and I want to show that
2) sustainable clothing can be expensive
3) because fast fashion is a HUGE problem that needs to be highlighted.
So, nope I’m not perfect. Who is? I’ve fallen down that rabbit hole as a youngster of trying to ‘fit in’ with fashion trends (don’t know why, I’m not the fashionable type and it never suits me anyway!) I’ve bought items that I’ve never worn. I’ve bought new just for one night out or wedding. I’ve bought cheap because I could and not necessarily because I’ve needed it. Who hasn’t?!
I don’t yet know enough about how each and every high street store treats their workers or how polluting their factories are and I know that the research is going to take an awful lot of time and effort so I can’t advise on that side right now but I know there are many others on here who will know far more than me. All I can do is give my perspective on how to make your wardrobe more sustainable without overwhelming yourself.
For me sustainability is:
– buying for the long term
– buying items I’ll reach for all the time
– picking prints I love and won’t go out of fashion
– buying good quality items that will last and can be passed on
– buying secondhand
I’ve had these wedges from Clarks for around ten years now I’d say. They come on holidays with me and are perfect for a summer evening. They still look amazing because they’ve been made well and they are comfy which means I know I’ll reach for them over a cheapy pair.
The same goes for the bag. Another Clark’s purchase (in the sale) which is a pretty colour that will always fit in with what I wear, it is hardwearing and of course, useful.
The skirt was purchased from a charity shop last year for £2.50!! If you can’t afford to fully stock your wardrobe in the best sustainable and ethical clothing please don’t feel bad because I can’t either. I’m doing the best I can with what is on offer right now and by just following these simple steps and staying away from ‘fashionable’ items you’ll be making a difference.
Sustainable Fashion For Kids
So, that’s sustainable fashion for myself covered but what about the kids? Well, first things first- honesty. Baby number one was mostly bought brand new from high street stores or supermarkets. We did have a few hand me downs but as a new mum, I wanted new. As most of us do.
With my second, it was all different. For starters, he was also a boy which meant that everything I saved from my first could be used again- win! This then made me far more open to accepting others hand me downs and also shopping in charity shops. Secondly, I had become far more eco-conscious by this point and wanted to shop more sustainably. By supporting small businesses like I’m not only helping out another mum but I’m also helping the environment… and getting gorgeous funky prints! (Trousers pictured are from her collection)
Of course, sometimes I see something in a shop and still buy it but it will have to be something that I know will last and can go on to be given away later on (like his jumper here). Buying new has to be worthwhile, useful and well made. If it can stay in circulation that is a huge positive.
I’ve also found some amazing bundles for both boys on sites like eBay and on Facebook Marketplace.
As for shoes, it’s Clarks all the way here. Well fitted shoes are so important and I cannot steer away from that. However, the stores offer a recycling service in collaboration with Unicef so I am more than happy to go in and donate them, otherwise (if they are still ok) they can again go to a charity shop. Buying fully sustainable outfits for kids who grow incredibly fast would be far too expensive which is a huge shame but, just as with my clothing, finding different ways of sourcing clothes is far better than always following those fast fashion trends and sending items to landfill.
It can be so easy to feel anxiety about not being able to buy all ethical and sustainable clothing but until ALL clothing uses better practises, until ALL factories reduce their use of chemicals and control their pollution and until ALL high street stores begin to use organic materials we can only do our best with what time and budgets we have at our disposal. I feel much happier that my shopping habits are going in a better direction and I will now only look to improve on this. Small sustainable steps all the way.
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