The fashion industry is one of the largest consumer industries that play a big role to the detriment of our planet. First of all, there are the problems within the industry itself: fast fashion cycles, high output factories, and unsustainable clothing production practices. Not all of the blame can be shouldered by clothing brands and retailers though. We as consumers and how we interact with clothing are equally responsible.
How often and where we shop, and how we approach and care for our wardrobes are all important factors in our ecological footprint. The good news is, with a rapidly growing number of eco- and ethically-minded designers, changing our habits has never been easier.
Be a wise consumer
Understanding what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from is the single most important change you can make as a fashion consumer. Do your research online and find out what the company’s practices are and if they don’t make them readily available, that’s also a sign that something is likely wrong.
Mindfulness is not something we typically associate with fashion, but that segregation is partly how we got to this level of irresponsible consumerism. Most of us shop with an individualistic mentality, only thinking about the item at hand. A great first step to avoiding this is organizing your wardrobe. Take stock of what you have and care for it. Your closet, like your home, is a direct reflection of your mental state.
One of the simplest ways to influence our consumer habits is to remind ourselves what we’re doing it for. Spend time outdoors. Planting trees is a great way to offset your footprint in its own right. The more time you spend appreciating the source, the more you’ll be motivated to ask the question.
Be A Leader of yourself
When it comes to a topic as overwhelming as the environment, affecting change can seem impossible. The truth is, not all of us have the platform to influence policies or brands. But there is one platform we all share: our selves.
The easiest measure we can take toward making a change in how the world approaches sustainability is changing how we approach it: to set an example for others, and to make it our responsibility to educate those around us.