Your Guide to a Sustainable and Ethical Wardrobe
Leading a conscious lifestyle opens up a whole new world of experimentation. Whether you’re looking to explore new kinds of food or revisit your personal style, you are going to come across many interesting, niche, and healthy options. When it comes to revamping your closet to meet your sustainable goals and conscious lifestyle, we’ve put together some tips to get you started.
Keep in mind is that there are no hard and fast rules to sustainable living — different schools of thought have different guidelines and you just have to pick a combination of habits that work best for you, and the environment. Having said that, there are a few ways to know if you are on the right path.
1. Go ‘slow’
To begin with, if you are being more mindful of your fashion choices, switch to slow fashion. The fast fashion industry, which has been on a disturbing rise in recent years, sources its labour, raw materials and products at the cheapest possible costs. Most of the labourers who work tirelessly to mass-produce these garments are severely underpaid, work in harmful conditions and are often underaged. This industry is also the second highest polluter of clean water. A simple way to give up fast fashion is by supporting brands that share the same values as you do. Stay informed about the homegrown brands in your area that employ local artisans and treat them fairly. If you find a brand advertising heavy discounts, clearance sales or knock offs of luxury products are surprisingly cheap rates, it is more than likely that the products will not suit your standards of sustainability and conscious living.
2. Raise your (ethical) standards
As of 2018, the rate of species extinction on our planet has grown to one species per minute. Maintaining diverse ecosystems is the best chance we have at ensuring a habitable planet for future generations, and the onus is on us to do our best to preserve indigenous flora and fauna. Believe it or not, our governments are doing what they can to set reasonable standards for all the adverse by-products of consumerism but now it remains our job to know what we’re consuming.
Get to know your country’s stance on the permitted amount of air and water pollution, fuel emissions, carbon footprints, etc., and support brands that comply with those standards. For instance, the use and trade of palm oil, a crop that is constantly contributing to global deforestation, is now highly monitored and regulated in the United Kingdom. Increased awareness of environmental conservation and sustainability has also led to innovation in fashion technology. There are brands making products using sustainable fish leather, organic cotton denim, sustainable fabrics, and more. When shopping for fashion, give brownie points to companies that use ethical standards and sustainable materials for production.
3. Empower those who empower you
You are what you wear. When you’re making a fashion choice, you’re choosing products that makes you feel more confident in your own skin. Moreover, your clothes and accessories are a reflection of your personality, and ideology. When you choose products that resonate with your sustainable and ethical goals, your decisions seem worth it.
When you support a brand, you also support the people behind the scenes in factories, tanneries and workshops, ensuring every intricate detail suits you. If someone’s craftsmanship can make you feel so empowered, the need for consciousness expects you to encourage their effort and talent!