Everyone likes to indulge in some retail therapy now and again. But, although it might feel great in the moment, the clothes we buy may not be the best for the planet. Considering that 18.7% of all millennials are prone to impulsive shopping, take a second to slow down before you buy! Of course, by now we all now know the impact of fast fashion. We don’t want to play into that trap! Luckily for us, there are a few sustainable fashion questions we can ask before we buy.
These questions will clear up whether your purchase will be useful in the long run, and environmentally-friendly. In this article, we’ll break down the three most important sustainable fashion questions to ask before you buy. These will act as a checkbox for you, putting your mind at ease and helping you realise if you actually need that new product.
Sustainable fashion question number one – where is this sourced?
Some fashion brands are more wasteful than others. According to sustainable review company GoodOnYou, Primark is ‘not good enough’ when it comes to ethical fashion practices. This rating takes into account the brand’s environmental impact, labour conditions, and animal welfare. Shopping at brands that don’t pay attention to sustainability is a big no-no. Similarly, as reported by The Guardian, Boohoo pay their workers illegally low wages. Do you really want to buy into a brand that doesn’t pay its workers a fair wage?
The working conditions that clothes are produced in do matter! If you buy from brands like these, you’re feeding back into the machine at the heart of ethical misconduct. Make sure to check the history and goals of the brand before you buy.
It’s also always a good idea to look into the materials used in a piece of clothing. Some materials are better for the planet than others. From production processes to carbon footprints, not all materials are equal. Take a look at our list of most environmentally-friendly textiles article if you want to know about which materials to keep an eye out for! If you’re not sure where to find information, always check the label.
Is this piece of clothing trans-seasonal?
When it comes to fashion, having some staple pieces really goes a long way. Have you ever bought a jumper, only to wear it once or twice in winter? Although it’s nice to have certain outfits for certain seasons, that season is only going to last you a few months! Clothes that are trans-seasonal, that will work across many different climates, are great additions to your wardrobe. Good examples are environmentally-friendly backpacks and vegan bum bags. You’ll take them everywhere and use them on multiple occasions, especially if they’re waterproof.
Clothing that you can wear across many different contexts will get you more bang for your buck in the long term. Alongside that, you’ll also be fighting fast fashion by getting multiple wears out of a piece. For the second of our sustainable fashion questions, don’t forget about the second term in the famous mantra, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ – reuse!
Do I have anything like this, or will I even want this in a year?
If you see the new latest trend and rush out to the store, take a second to think before you buy. Will you actually want this in a year, or does it just look great right now? Trends come and go, but pieces you love will last you a lifetime.
Sustainable fashion often does cost more money, but when you wear something multiple times, it feels justified. I like to think of a piece as an investment. Let’s say you buy something for £60. If you only wear it once, that has essentially cost you the full £60 just for that one use. But, each time we wear something, that cost per use goes down, halving down to £30, before dwindling completely! The more times you use something, the more wear you get out of it, and the further your money goes.
If you can see yourself wearing something a full year from now, think about how many uses you’ll be getting out of it. So, before you buy, run through the checklist. Where does this piece come from? Could I use it across many seasons? And finally, would I still be wearing this in a year?
Let us know down in the comments if this list helps you out next time you buy!