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How to transition to quality eco wardrobe

April 21, 2021

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How to transition to quality eco wardrobe

The fashion industry is the cause for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions, with fast fashion coming out with a new collection every week to satisfy our insatiable needs, most of which we never wear. By 2030, there will likely be 149 million tons of waste from the fashion industry, with 3 out of 5 new pieces of clothing being thrown away. The industry is only supplying the high demand created globally, with labor exploitation still being common as a humanity, we are not doing a good job of thinking before acting. Our rash decisions based on the need to satisfy beauty standards are causing harm not only to the planet and the wildlife, but on the health of those living next to the dump piles. Holistic, organic fashion is really to become the next trend, with the accessibility to different methods to deal with this issue. Here are some ideas on how to create a wardrobe filled with loved pieces, that will bring you joy for many seasons:

Handmade pieces

A wonderful way to support small businesses during a tough time like now, buying handmade pieces gives you the possibility to have pieces created that scream YOU. The uniqueness that comes with all different types of home-made pieces of clothing that are available on marketplaces like Etsy, will leave you more than satisfied with. The manufacturing process of making a polyester shirt for example, has 2 times more carbon footprint than a cotton one. Considering how much water is used to make a pair of jeans - 7 000 litres, a handmade piece leaves all of that out, opening the possibilities of creating custom pieces, where you choose the material and design. Acquisition of these pieces cuts down the chance you will get tired of it and will want to throw it away. Although costlier in some cases than typical retail, the organic way of making it, uniqueness of design and love put into all steps of the way makes it highly worth it. 


In a time of a pandemic, fortunately social media has been blooming with creative and inspired talents, putting their works out there not for big-scaling, but for the sake of loving to do it. For example, knit-ware is a wonderful way to add a hipster colorful touch to your wardrobe. Easy to repair, extremely open to variations of design and thread, there is not one item that cannot be made from threads, from scarfs to coats to cosy homeware. There are cardigans and dresses made from a gentle, soft thread, there are intricate patterns on your new favourite chic cosy sweater.

Conscious and slow fashion

Ethical, cruelty-free and organic are the 3 pillars of positive impact fashion. A company or brand that creates their pieces consciously, will display how they approach the manufacturing process through the choice of materials, their acquisition and the treatment of their workers. You know a company has something to hide when you do not find information about these important factors unless you write to them directly. It might be a good idea to have a look into your favourite brands philosophies and approaches to product creation, to get a better understanding of what you have been supporting and ponder on what you want to support. 


It is known that many clothes are made by underpaid and often underage desperate to survive workers, you closing your eyes on this when you purchase leads to normalisation of this treatment. Pushing forward awareness of more holistic fashion methods puts pressure on the brands and retailers to better the working conditions and terms. Cruelty-free means that no animals were hurt in the process of manufacturing, while organic fashion means that highly toxic and harmful pesticides were avoided during the growth of plants for production of pure fibres. 


 A lot of big brands like Zara and H&M are starting to incorporate conscious collections into their sellstream, although definitely behind many others like Everlane and Levi’s. Jeans manufacturing requires the most water supply out of all garments and a brand like Levi’s has taken the conscious approach so seriously that they found a way to decrease water consumption in the process by 96%. You can start with conscious shopping by keeping in mind that what you buy is more than just a piece to put on and do the necessary research beforehand. 


Biodegradable materials and low impact dyes used in garments means that when the piece has finished serving you, if it is not in state to be passed on or sold to someone, it will not be an excess pollution addition. Another way to deal with unneeded pieces is giving them another purpose, or up-cycling. Garments can become kitchen napkins, rags and furniture covers. Slow fashion is the philosophy that combines ethics with sustainability by producing garments respectfully and often in house, to cut down on transportation and production cost and effects, while keeping the collections small. The goal is to reduce waste post sales and offer you a piece that will ideally last a lifetime. Choosing quality over quantity is more expensive in the short-term, saves you money and the planet's health long term. Keeping in mind that there are numerous brands which are creating with integrity and morals, you are left with a wide selection instead of the typical go-to brands.

Rent or swap pieces

The widespread notion of mistake buys has given rise to another side of the fashion market, clothes renting. From platforms on which you can rent and rent out privately owned pieces on a monthly basis, to platforms where runway pieces and smaller brands offer the most unique selections. Have a fancy event to attend but want to spare on a lux dress? Check out Style Land, you can get a membership and select the pieces you love and even purchase them if you change your mind on returning it. Make money on your bad decisions and reduce your carbon footprint! 


Although the idea of wearing someone else’s worn clothes with personal history might freak some people out unless it is a you-won’t-find-anywhere-else old model, there are really some gems out there which have never been worn and are waiting for your attention and their turn to serve. You can find completely new or one-time worn clothes in absolute perfect condition, for a much smaller price than a store one - thank you depreciation! It is only reasonable to have a glance through some e-shops like Vintedd and Depop. Many people make brands out of items they picked out on their scavenger hunt, creating truly unique collections.

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