Sustainable fashion and its close cousin, slow fashion, are definitely more than a passing fad – they are a revolution in the fashion industry and a response to the damages caused by fast fashion. There is a wide range of steps you can take in order to become a more sustainable consumer of fashion, from being mindful about the fabrics you shop for to purchasing from eco brands that are transparent about their practices. Next, we’re taking a look at 5 simple ways to transition towards sustainable fashion this spring – without compromising on style.
1. Embrace Natural Materials
Natural materials are not only resonating perfectly with the cornerstones of slow fashion, but they are also trending this spring. From lightweight wool sweaters to the peace silk camisoles worn under them, the range of natural fabrics is full of possibilities. An extra step you can take that will benefit you, the workers and the environment: think ahead and shop for your spring and summer outfits in sustainable cotton. Switch from cotton to organic cotton whenever possible, as the non-organic fabric’s production involves a substantial amount of pesticides.
2. Go Thrifting Instead of Buying New
Buying new, trendy and disposable fashion once you’ve embarked on a sustainable path is a thing of the past. But if you want to satisfy your craving for shopping for trendy, unique garments, thrifting is the best option out there. This spring, make sure to look for vintage blazers or boyfriend blazers when hitting the thrift stores – the bigger, the better. Other hot items to look for: vintage leather (the most sustainable option when purchasing real leather that does not increase demand). Make sure to set a budget and go with a list whenever thrift shopping in order to avoid overcrowding your closet and consuming more than you need.
3. Opt for Innovative Fabrics Like Cactus Leather
Looking for gifts for grandma or for treats for yourself? Or perhaps looking for a special, unique gift for a bestie who is tying the knot? This spring, innovation is at high ranks – so shop for the newest in the field: cactus leather handbags, pina fabric goodies (a fabric made out of pineapple leaves) or other bio-based materials such as rose petal silk. The big plus: all these innovative fabrics come with biodegradable properties. This area of the fashion market is currently expanding, so make sure to always check out brands that are investing in original, eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics.
4. Say Yes to Natural Colors and Dyes
Naturally-colored garments? YES! Reducing toxins and chemicals is one of the main goals of sustainable fashion. Many brands dedicating their work to sustainable practices are navigating more and more towards natural dyes, ranging from lab-produced pigments made from flower DNAs to orange peel dyes and from avocado pits to onion peels. Why switch to natural dyes: traditional colorants include synthetic dyes, which are made using petroleum and coal. These are not only harmful to the environment, but the azo dyes are suspected carcinogens.
5. Forgo Shopping, Rent Instead
There are various platforms out there (with the most notorious one being Rent the Runway) that are designed to satisfy your craving for trendy designer items – at a much smaller price. There is no need anymore to save a few paychecks and splurge on a fashion-forward piece that will simply collect dust in your closet. The obvious alternative that is far more sustainable: renting instead of purchasing. Extra tip: invest and purchase garments that you will wear 20+ times (basics and staples), but choose to rent when shopping for a dress or an outfit for a special occasion (that you will likely wear less than a handful of times).