With Earth day being Monday, I felt this was the perfect time to talk about this topic. This is something that was brought to my attention by some of my followers and other bloggers in the community that I follow. I felt that a major part I was missing from my blog was focusing on sustainable fashion. This is such an overwhelming and overarching topic. Over the past few weeks I felt overwhelmed by it. I wasn’t sure how to relate it to my blog, keep it affordable, or transition to sustainable fashion in my own life.
I am still very new to the sustainable lifestyle and I think that’s where we all are! I’m trying to make the best choices possible now as I make this transition, but I still have all my old clothes and products that aren’t so sustainable. I’m not just going to throw out all of my clothes/products since they’re not sustainable! I’m also not going to avoid buy certain things because they’re not from a eco-friendly company. I want to integrate this into the lifestyle I already have and make the best choices for myself, where I’m at in my life, and for the environment.
I didn’t want to talk about this on my blog until I really dived into this and found out how I could really put my money where my mouth was and I think I’ve found a happy medium that works, not only, for myself, but I think it will be easy for you guys as well!
The way I wanted to approach this was making sure we all could fiscally make good choices, be conscious of the choices we already made, and not feel guilty if we don’t make the best choices in the future in regards to sustainable fashion so this is my guide to how we can implement this into our own lives.
1. Don’t buy what you don’t need
There is a large over saturation of poorly made and bad quality clothes on the market now from the “fast fashion” industry (I linked a really great video on this topic). We all try really hard to stay on trend and keep up with what everyone else is wearing, but we pay a price for this; not with our wallets, but in another way. We influx tons of cheap clothes that we hardly wear and then donate, throw away, or try to resell. In reality, how many black v-necks do you need? Don’t over stuff your closet just because something is trendy and really grabbing your attention. Take a second and really think about if you need that purple faux leather jacket from H&M for $29.99 because it probably came from fast fashion and is having a horrible impact on our global economy and our environment.
But on the other side of this, if you really will wear that jacket, then buy it! Wear the heck out of it and love the heck out of it! If that’s what you can afford that do it, but don’t make this your first option and don’t feel bad about all the fast fashion you already have! I have tons of cheap clothes in my house! You would not believe the amount of t-shirts I have for NO REASON! I’m still going to share clothes from amazon, forever 21, H&M, Zara, and other fast fashion companies, but I want you guys to remember that I’m sharing them if you need an affordable alternative or if you really want them and feel you will get the use out of them. As long as it’s not your go to thing and you make the effort, that’s what counts!
2. Buy second hand/ rent/ or swap
Whoa never though this was helping the planet did ya? Well guess what?! It’s helping the fashion economy as well! Buying second hand means less clothes are coming into the market and more clothes are being used as they should! I agree there are lots of clothes that are not what I want to wear in thrift stores and I don’t have time to go digging through thrift stores to find stuff that I like and that fits me, so guess what? Someone put it all online for you! Yes! You herd me there are online thrift stores sorted just like Forever 21 online where you can find cheap clothes that are up-cycled, clean, quality, and ready to be shipped to you. I know I was just as mind blown as you are!
(blog post reviewing some of these coming very soon)
There are also websites where you can rent, share, or swap clothes with people as well! This way if you have a special occasion, you can rent an outfit, wear it, and return it! It doesn’t take up space in your closet, you save money, and we keep extra clothes out of the market!
3. Make the investment when necessary
Last week, I asked a lot of you guys on my Instagram what you invest in, and a lot of you said different types of clothes like jeans, bikinis, athletic wear, or designer handbags. If you’re willing to spend money on quality, why wouldn’t you want to put that money into the hands of someone who is doing good? Why wouldn’t you want your athletic wear to be made with fair trade goods or your purse to come from an independent artisan who makes one of a kind bags? Think about where your money is going and the impact it has. Personally, I splurge on athletic wear sometimes and now I think I may be finding a new favorite brand of leggings.
4. Buy timeless
What I mean by this is remember classic style. A classic white tee and jeans will never go out of style. Sometimes it’s so easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is wearing and think that we need it and we don’t. Especially with how much influencers push products these days. There’s nothing wrong with sharing products/clothes you love, but I think we are so bombarded with this on social media that we forget about the good stuff we already have hanging in our closets! Even a $30 pair of brown sandals probably won’t go out of style for a solid decade so if they will last you, then why do you need 15 pairs of rhinestoned, bedazzled, funky brown sandals that won’t be in next year? Remember when an influencer is sharing a product with you, that you don’t have to buy it. Remember why you have the stuff you already own, what makes it great, and that you don’t need 40 scrunchies because you only have one head to wear them on.
What I really want you guys to take away from this is that we need to be conscious consumers. We are so disconnected from where our things come from, how they get to us, and who makes them. Even as a college student on a budget, I feel that I can make smart choices that, not only save me money, but that are better for the environment and for our economy. I was not aware of this and I am an affordable and SUSTAINABLE lifestyle blogger! We need to be aware, we need to be smart, but we still have to stay fashionable. I hope this helps.
If you want to learn more, I thought these were some really great articles about sustainable fashion. I also read lots of interesting research papers on the subject! If you’re in college or have access to scientific journals I can share the articles with you as well!