Hey there! Do you want to change your fashion habits for the better (and for the planet) but not sure where to start? The answer is waiting in your closet. Here at Just Begin Magazine, we are going to show you three ways to switch to eco-conscious fashion.
1. Fall In Love With Pre-Loved Clothing
According to Planet Aid, Clothing consumption in the U.S. is at a higher rate more than ever. The volume of clothing that we now throw away in the United States has doubled in the last 20 years from 7 million to 14 million tons or approximately 80 pounds per person per year. Only 15 percent of this vast quantity of clothing waste is either reused or recycled, a figure that is a mere fraction of the recycling percentages of materials such as paper or aluminum. Now the real question is, “Why go to fast-fashion retailers where you pay high prices to look like everyone else when you can get a pre-loved item, which is still trendy, at a fraction of the price, and be the only one wearing it?” By extending the life of an item in your closet by as little as three months can reduce ten percent of its carbon footprint. One person can make a big difference and we are encouraging people to recycle their clothes, we want to help reduce our carbon footprint one item at a time! We believe that recycling is the way forward for our environment, our planet, and our well-being. So, on your next shopping run, try to think conscious fashion and check out vintage shops, thrift markets, and charity shops which are excellent ways to keep your wallet happy but most importantly, the planet happy.
2. Be Mindful of What You're Buying
The importance of reducing waste is extremely crucial in moving towards sustainability. Consumers (like ourselves) need to need to be aware of what their favorite brands are doing to offset the environmental impacts. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. At this pace, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50% by 2030. We are making much more and selling more but nobody ever calculates the net effect and the true cost of making the product.
3. Be Less Materialistic
When choosing new clothes, there’s no win-win situation. All popular textiles will have an impact on the environment. The goal is to choose those with the smallest impact on the planet. For example, growing organic cotton uses up to 91% less water than its non-organic sister, 62% less energy, and 46% less greenhouse gas emissions. Silk is seldom harvested in an ethical way, and chemicals released during polyester production can have detrimental impacts on waterways. Animal leather contributes to deforestation for farming purposes, and the list can go on. Faux leather is an excellent alternative to leather (as long as it's made from polyurethane) which is biodegradable and recyclable. Vegan leathers are now being made from apple peels, cork, banana tree leaves, by-products of pineapple harvests, and recycled plastic bottles – the choice is yours! Education is truly key, and the best way forward is through sticking to materials with the smallest possible environmental impact. Small steps go a long way, and who said that leading a sustainable lifestyle can’t go hand-in-hand with a passion for fashion? After all, style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.