The damaging effects of the fashion industry are more openly discussed and acknowledged today than ever before. A 2016 report found that of the 100 billion garments produced annually, three-fifths end up in landfill or incinerators within a year; while a recent study suggests the industry accounts for 8 per cent of all global CO2 emissions. The treatment of the labour force behind the production of our clothes also remains a huge issue; just last week fashion conglomerate PVH, owners of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, said they will be investigating the alleged mistreatment of workers in supplier factories in Ethiopia.
Here are a few tips that experts share on how to become a more responsible shopper.
Question every purchase
Part of shopping sustainably is considering whether you need to buy anything at all. “Always question yourself, What are you buying and why? What do you really need? Will you wear it at least 30 times? Also consider if the item is long-lasting and recyclable.
Start with the basics
If you’re new to sustainable fashion, attempting to completely overhaul your shopping habits can be overwhelming.
Look for transparency
As with everything, knowledge is key – but this requires transparency from brands on their entire production process, from suppliers to manufacturers.
Don’t just think about the environment
For many, sustainability is about the planet and the environment, but people often overlook labor. Shoppers should look for brands that are taking both social and environmental factors into account.
Take care of what you already own
Shopping more sustainably doesn’t stop after you make a purchase. Taking care of what you own is important.