Ever wondered how to buy clothes that don't have a damaging carbon footprint?
Why be conscious when buying clothes?
There are various Sustainable ways to shop for clothes. Sustainable buying in clothes is one of many ways we can lessen our carbon footprint. At the moment, new and cheap clothing dominates the majority of clothes bought in the UK where most of them contain polyester, a synthetic fibre. Creating synthetic fibres creates around 706 billion kg of greenhouse gases per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of 185 coal-fired power plants (World Resources Institute). Adding to this, cheap clothes get binned all the time. It is projected that by 2030, the total amount of fashion waste is expected to be 148 million tonnes – equivalent to 17.5 kg per person across the planet (Global Fashion Agenda). Knowing this, a change in behaviour is needed. Hence, there are various ways that people can do to offset the growing amount of environmental impact that fast-fashion is causing.
NOTE : Shopping for clothes sustainably or for Ethically-made clothes is NOT cheap
Buying clothes sustainably means you have the money, time and effort to access it. Also, ethical clothing can work out to be more expensive for most people which puts them off from transitioning to this lifestyle. On top of this, over-consumption is still a problem even though you can afford to buy sustainable brands. The main point of ethical buying is to create awareness that most brands encourages our obsession of buying, and disposing clothes every time a new style comes in. This is where we can start; to recognise that we don’t need to buy things we do not need or we can keep re-using our clothes multiple times; we can mend them when they need fixed and we can continue keeping them in our wardrobes, or upcycle them.
Behaviour change needs to be accessible for everyone because sustainable living does require access, money, effort and time. But if we can make the effort as consumers to keep our clothes and things away from landfills, and using them to the point that they are no longer usable then this is just as important as shifting our interests to sustainable products and services. If more people follow suit this can then, shape businesses’ and retailer’s design and manufacturing policies to suit the public’s demand.
Buying sustainable clothing can overtake the Fast-Fashion industry
Sustainable buying is becoming more popular for consumers all over the world. A change from clothing retailers is expected where people are increasingly aware of the harmful processes cheap clothes go through before it gets to our wardrobes. We are rearing into making better decisions that protects not only our environment but the people involved in making our clothing, while we work towards living a more sustainable lifestyle.
How can I buy clothes sustainably?
Buy Natural Fibre clothing, not Synthetic
Clothing made from natural fibres are better for the environment and for some, our skin too (linen, cotton, hemp, silk are hypoallergenic)! Processing natural fibres have a lesser impact to the environment than clothes made from oil-based fibres such as polyester, nylon and elastene.
Buy less of your online cheap-made garments and consider buying quality-made clothes that can guarantee longevity while doing your bit to take care of them. Check our link on:
Buy From Ethical Clothing Brands.
Shopping online now has a huge market for clothing brands that are strictly ethical! This market is increasingly getting bigger all the more people are becoming eco-conscious. These brands commit to fair-wages and environmentally-conscious production.
Its not everyone’s style but because clothing manufacturers in the 70s to 90s didn’t quite materialise a heavier take on fast-fashion, Vintage clothes are mostly better quality than today’s clothing. It is a great way to refresh your wardrobe with clothes that don’t rip so easy and are not made cheaply.
Although be weary of people who have seen a rise in popularity for vintage clothes and exploit this by bringing the prices up. Here are two links if you want to find out more!
The 30 Wear Test
How many times do you wear your clothes? Wrap UK reports, £30 Billion worth of clothing are sitting in people’s wardrobe unused. So, before buying a new item, ask yourself if you are going to wear it more than once. Top tip to buying new clothing is to: wear them 30 times over 2 years. In the UK, continuing to actively wear a garment for just nine months longer could diminish its environmental impacts by 20–30%.
Don’t bin the receipt
If you are gifting clothes to others, keep the receipt, it always helps whenever sizes don’t fit or the style just wasn’t their thing.
It’s not a new concept, renting clothes,suits, dresses or kilts are common and can work out to be cheaper than buying one every time there is a special occasion. This also saves you from cleaning and washing it every time you use it too!
Buy (and Sell) Second-Hand!
Charity shops have loads of clothing that needs a home, where some can even be upcycled. Thing is buying second-hand is projected to get more popular in the next few years!
With the power of social media, many online platforms now allow you to buy second-hand in the comfort of your home! Bottom line, you can buy clothes fairly cheap as they are second-hand, where some people have had clothes sitting in their closet untouched. So you never know, you might get a fresh set of unwanted garments!
Another thing that online second-hand websites allows you to do is to sell your unwanted or pre-loved clothes instead of binning them. So why not make some money along with saving the environment! Here is a list of online markets for you!
- Depop – Great for second-hand vintage and quirky items. It is set up like Instagram where you can scroll through items you might like and negotiate with sellers to discount some items. If you are a seller, you can upload items and set your own prices. There is a 10% for each value item
- Vinted – Operates the same as Depop. Great for vintage and new trends too. No charge apart from a Buyers fee.
- eBay – Buy and sell literally anything. Clothes bought here are usually new and tend to go pretty quick depending on the style and condition. You can place bids for clothing that you always wanted but never got before. They have a 5p listing fee plus 10% charge on all sales.
- Preloved – No fees. Same as eBay where any second-hand clothing and items can be sold. Also there’s a strong emphasis on location, so you might be able to sell clothes to people in your area and save on postage.
- Facebook Marketplace – No Charge. Buy and sell clothing that are uploaded in tailored locations near you. Meaning less carbon footprint compared to items being delivered all over Scotland.
- Etsy – Great for people looking for second-hand unique styles, hand crafted and customised garments. You can also buy lots of upcycled clothing and accessories. If you want to sell your clothing, there is a 5% transaction fee on the sale price (including the delivery price you set) when items are sold. If you accept payments through Etsy Payments, they also collect a 4% + £0.20 payment processing fee when an item is sold.
- Rebelle – Great for people who want to buy second-hand Luxury brand clothing and accessories. If you are a seller, they charge 17% to 33% selling fee per price tier, as well as a £15 service fee for the concierge service as you have to send them your items to check that they are authentically made.