Sustainability has become the ultimate bandwagon and it is great one to be on as it can greatly help the planet. The fast fashion industry is harming the world in more ways than one, not paying workers a living wage, creating garments cheaply from plastic and oil, rapidly burning fossil fuels and of course promoting a linear economy.
It’s a lot to take in, I know. It becomes very hard to justify fast fashion when there are so many negatives associated with this kind of production and consumption. Sustainable fashion is the way forward and many of us have no idea where to source sustainable clothing. Although we may be happy altering our purchasing habits, we still want some resources for the likes of special occasions or even just when we need to treat ourselves.
In this article, we are going to talk about exactly that so that when you are finished reading, you will have a ton of places in mind for your next ethical haul!
Use What You Have First
Before we get into where to shop for sustainable clothing, it is very important to mention that the best way to be sustainable with your wardrobe is simply by using what you already have. You should look at your clothing items differently and think about upcycling them if you no longer wear them. You should also think about pairing different items in your wardrobe together. When it comes to sustainable fashion, it is essential to look in your wardrobe first before you go out to buy new goodies.
One of the best ways to be more sustainable with your wardrobe is to buy what is already on the planet. This generally means buying second-hand and one place you can buy second-hand garments is a charity shop. The best part about buying from charity shops is that while you are buying cute clothes, you are also donating money to a worthy cause.
There is an abundance of charity shops around Ireland and in other parts of the world so you have lots of different causes and places to pick from. You just have to be strategic, check out the item fully for any stains or rips. In addition, always wash the item when you bring it home! Also, even if an item has a rip or broken zipper, you can still buy it and take it to the alterations.
There are many mobile apps and websites out there where you can sell or buy second-hand clothing. The one we would recommend is Depop. Depop is an amazing app that features absolutely any garment. They have amazing vintage pieces, handmade designs and clothing from fast fashion outlets that can be given a second home. The app is so easy to use and completely safe. It’s great if you are on the hunt for something specific as you just use the search and generally you can find the item instantly. Depop also falls in line with buying clothing that already exists.
Yesssss, vintage clothing is sustainable, woohoo! There are so many physical vintage shops as well as online websites that you can buy from. Vintage clothes are always in such great condition and are often not made of materials made from plastic and oil. They are clothes that are extremely unique and have lasted years already. Also, when buying vintage, often you are the only person with that item making you stand out in a GOOD way!
Sustainable Fashion Brands
If you are not into pre-loved, second-hand goodies then your best bet for buying sustainable fashion is to buy from sustainable fashion brands. There are a variety of brands out there with strong ethics. From teen clothing to adult street wear brands to kids sustainable clothing brands. There are even sustainable underwear brands. The only thing with sustainable fashion brands that you to be aware of is that it’s not cheap fashion, you pay for what you get because they are using high quality materials that don’t damage the environment and are paying their workers a living wage.
Let’s talk about a few sustainable clothing brands. Although I cannot mention every brand out there, I will give you a few across the world and explain what they do. The first brand that comes to mind is Lucy and Yak, they sell womenswear and their unique selling point is that they sell beautiful pieces made from organic cotton. They have some of the most beautiful designs and are based in Yorkshire. However, there is still the option to order from them online.
Next up is Pact. They refer to themselves as ‘earth’s favourite clothing’. They are based in Colorado and clothing made from organic cotton. They cover womenswear, menswear, kids and baby clothes. They are a great place to shop for activewear in particular, however, they also sell more casual staples. A great part about their shop is they actually sell sustainable underwear and socks too which can be difficult to come by. Although based in Colorado, there are options to order online from them also.
Eileen Fisher is a good online website to purchase sustainable womenswear. They have gorgeous clothing from every day staples to dresses. Bogman Beanies are an online shop that sells unisex beanies that are made ethically in County Donegal. Their hats are made from 100% tweed yarn. Fresh Cuts Clothing is an ethical and sustainable clothing shop located in Dublin. They sell womenswear, menswear and children’s clothes. Next up is Jill and Gill, they are award winning Irish illustrators and printmakers. As the award suggests, their clothing has the most amazing and unique prints and designs.
There are many more amazing sustainable clothing shops, however, we don’t have room for them all! One tip we would recommend is to use a website called Good On You. The website tells you about what clothing brands in the world are sustainable and you can search any brand to find out how they score on their sustainable rating. They rate three categories for each brand: planet, people and animals. This relates to how their practices help the planet, whether they pay their workers a living wage and how they treat animals. Each brand will receive a rating which guides consumers on whether that particular brand is in line with their ethics. They also have an app for your phone if you want to find the information out on the go.
To Sum It All Up..
There’s a lot of information here, so let’s just sum it all up. Sustainable fashion is the way forward but many of us do not know how to shop sustainably. It can appear to be a challenging task when the fast fashion houses are so accessible. However, shopping sustainably is not as difficult as it looks. You can shop in charity shops, make use of buy and sell websites and apps like Depop, you can buy some nice vintage pieces that have lasted the test of time. Finally, you can buy clothing from sustainable brands and use the Good on You website to access whether the brand is in line with your own personal ethics.