Being the New Year n’all, we’ve been thinking about how we can make 2020 a bit more green. Many of you might have already got the eco-ball rolling with stylish tote bags, eco-friendly water bottles and reusable cotton pads, yet – understandably so – you’re still reluctant to let your wardrobe take the hit.
Well hun, we’re big believers that it’s possible to make your style more sustainable and still look fucking incredible! And here’s how…
Second Hand Clothes
Charity shops are a two-way street. When you’re tired of your clothes, don’t throw them out. Put your unwanted clothes back into circulation by donating them to a charity shop. That shirt you bought on impulse last summer, could be exactly what someone else is looking for! And while you’re there, if you’re looking for a vintage winter jacket, how about a charity shop bargain? There are some wicked charity shops with hidden gems in, you just have to spend a bit more time looking.
But, if you’re struggling for time and don’t fancy rummaging through the rows of donated clothes in charity shops, and like us, you love the ease of ordering something from the comfort of your own home – there’s always re-sale platforms such as Depop? Although, often more expensive and you don’t have the added bonus of that money going to charity, but – it’s still a damn sight better than fast-fashion.
When was the last time you went looking in the attic at either your parents or your grandparents’ house? If your answer is never, why not?! If there’s one thing time has told us, it’s that fashion goes round in circles. Who knows, perhaps ‘trendsetter’ runs in the family ;).
Upcycling & Repurposing
‘But I’ve got nothing to wear!’ Let’s face it hun, we both know that’s not true… Sometimes all your garments need is a little bit of TLC. So, if you’re no longer a fan of that maxi-dress you bought for a wedding last year and haven’t taken it out of the wardrobe since – no problemo. How about fashioning a pair of swanky new trousers out of it?
If you don’t know your way around a sewing machine, but would like to start somewhere, there’s a bunch of wicked workshops you can attend to help you to get going. How about attending a `sewing surgery social` at Make Mee studio in South East London?
While the best option for the environment would be to avoid buying new items as much as possible (asides from our undies of course!). You don’t have to tell us twice, that it’s just too damn hard! Thankfully, there are lots of brands out there with a mission to reduce waste and save the planet. Here are a few of our favourites…
‘New Year, New Me’ fitness resolution? No problemo, Girlfriend Collective have got you covered. They believe that ‘good things come to those who don’t waste.’ Each pair of their sleek Leggings are made up of 25 recycled plastic bottles. Getting sweaty has never looked so good. Go get your sweat on!
Nobody’s Child are helping us to ‘shop with a conscience’, all the while looking pretty fucking cool! Based in London, they source their materials locally with the help of their UK based manufacturing partners. You can rest assured that the journey your order takes to get to your front door isn’t going dent in your carbon footprint, or your wallet for that matter. That’s not all there is to their eco ethos; They upcycle too! Nobody’s Child re-purpose leftover fabric to prevent it from going to landfill. And, if they don’t find a use for it, they donate leftover materials to fashion colleges. Waste not, want not!
Sustainable and affordable without compromising on quality. Ucon’s sleek, minimalist style is timeless. These backpacks are the perfect accessory to brighten up your dreaded daily commute. As the brand themselves so perfectly state, ‘simplicity is the key to sustainability’. They’re super practical too, with different pockets and compartments. They’ve even got a hold for your eco-friendly water bottle! Ucon’s are also made using recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton and are completely vegan. Oh, and they’re from Berlin – so of course, we think they’re fucking cool.
Brands that Last
The topic of ‘sustainable fashion’ is a tricky one when it comes to bigger corporations. But some of them are taking small steps in the right direction. Here are a few of our faves, who’s products have proven to stand the test of time.
- Dr Martens: Now, we’re not saying they’re perfect, but Dr Martens undisputed timeless boots, are so confident that their product can stand the test of time that they offer a lifetime warranty on selected lines and all their packaging is made from 100% recycled waste materials. Not to mention their kick-ass vegan collection too! – As their products are built to last, we think investing in a pair of Dr Martens could, quite literally, help to reduce your environmental footprint.
- Patagonia: This well-known brand is on a mission to reduce unnecessary harm to the environment by creating high-quality, long-lasting products. They even have their very own repair and reuse program, Worn Wear. Although Patagonia is most commonly known for being an outdoor and adventure-wear brand, they still manage to be pretty damn cool, while keeping us warm. Keep it up, guys!
- Levis: Since being named and shamed by Greenpeace in 2012, this denim giant have become committed to sustainable denim production, including dramatically reducing their water use and pledging to completely eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals. They’re also actively encouraging their customers to treat their jeans as a long-term investment. Our thoughts? It’s a start.
Keeping your garments happy
Truth be told, the environmental impact of fashion, doesn’t stop once the item leaves the store. We’re responsible for the washing and drying of our own clothes, right? Well, every time we wash our clothes millions of microfibers (tiny strands of plastic) are released into the water system and make their way into the oceans. Oh, shit!
So, regardless of how and where we buy clothes, here are our top tips for reducing their impact on the environment, after leaving the store:
- No half measures – Did you know that a wash cycle that’s only half full uses almost as much energy as a full load uses? Fill it up hun!
- If you can’t stand the heat… – Try washing at 30 degrees instead of 40. Not only will this reduce C02 emissions but it’s also more likely that your clothes will last for longer.
- Ain’t nobody got time for that – Avoid super long wash cycles as they’re likely to damage your clothes and increase the microplastic fibre released.
- Bag it up – purchase a Guppyfriend wash bag. They catch the microfibers as they come off your clothes in the wash, and they help to prevent damage to your clothes. Pretty cool, ey?
Happy sustainable shopping!