We all want to tread lightly on our planet – but often our shopping habits can add to the problem of our natural resources being eaten up at an alarming rate. It doesn’t have to be this way. From renting your next designer dress to investing in antique jewellery, here’s some easy ways to revamp your wardrobe and shop sustainably…
Buy only what you love
Fast fashion may offer a cheap shopping hit, but the buzz soon wears off. Buying less and picking better quality pieces takes strain off the environment by reducing the amount of materials, dyes, water and labour consumed to create your wardrobe. You can also enjoy the sense of delayed gratification in saving for a few lusted-after items. With slow fashion becoming a fast-growing trend, it’s easier than ever before to build a chic-yet-sustainable wardrobe. Opt for select pieces to build outfits around from the likes of Gabriela Hearst, DAI and Oshadi for the ultimate capsule collection.
In the words of Dame Vivienne Westwood: “Buy less, choose well, make it last.”
Go back in time
Shopping vintage creates a low-impact closet by giving existing clothes a new life. There’s also the benefit of knowing you’re investing in one-off pieces – often made with better construction techniques than their modern-day fast fashion counterparts. Decking out your home in up-cycled furniture is another classic, and uber-stylish, alternative to buying new. In London, we suggest Alfie’s Antique Market for picking up rare gems, from jewellery to interiors. Online, look to trusty eBay for a world of preloved vintage.
Sharing is caring
There’s a reason celebrities can get through a dizzying number of outfit changes in a day – their stylist is usually borrowing the clothes. While us civilians might not be able to borrow from brands, renting is an option. Particularly useful when it comes to event and wedding outfits, renting a designer dress means you can enjoy it and then hand it back, rather than have it collect dust in your home. Browse the online rails of Chic By Choice or Girl Meets Dress for your dream rent-a-closet.
Already splashed out on that special occasion dress? If you’re not going to wear it again share the love, and earn a few pennies, by selling online. Designer threads get snapped up over at Vestiaire Collective, while Depop adds a fun, social element to second-hand shopping. You might even find some new wardrobe treasures yourself.
Take into account just how many steps it takes for your item of choice to reach you. Do your research and reserve your spending for those which make their processes clear. This means buying from brands which place their fair practices front and centre of their work, like Positive Luxury brands to trust Hattie Rickards and for ethical travel, Rusticae Hotels. By only investing our money in transparent brands we then encourage others to follow suit.
Keep it in the family
Spend with companies who know who made their products and work with small teams. For little ones, Positive Luxury has found a clutch of labels from around the world making gorgeous, ethical products. Swiss toy brand Leggybuddy’s cute crocheted frogs and mice are designed by founder Suzana Pezo Sommerfeld in her Zürich based studio. Afterwards, small series are manufactured by highly skilled crocheters in Europe. We also love Hevea’s all natural, non-toxic rubber baby products.
Take your sustainable shopping even further with Natural Fibres: A Need-To-Know Guide