How To Shop Sustainably?

Sustainability is an important concept to apply to all areas of your life.

With the staggering number of fast fashion brands popping up across the internet, it is easy to contribute to their environmental damage. 

The increased effects of climate change have been felt strongly this year, and it is only going to get worse if we don’t change our behavior.

A good way to incorporate sustainability into your life is to look at your consumption and purchasing behaviors. Take the time to shop sustainably and you will feel a lot better about your climate impact.

Be Organised

It is a good idea to be organized when leaving to go shopping.

This will ensure that you only purchase things you actually need, and are not creating duplicates in your wardrobe or pantry. 

Buy Local

The carbon footprint of your food and clothing will increase with the distance it must travel to get to your home.

Locally produced foods have to make less of a journey and so are much more environmentally friendly.

Where possible, try to purchase foods and clothing that have been locally sourced. This will also allow you to support smaller, independent businesses which is always nice. 

Do Your Research

One of the best ways to shop sustainably is to make purchases from sustainable brands.

You will not be able to know which these are off the top of your head, so you will need to do some research.

Most brands have begun to incorporate sustainability policies into their work ethos, however many companies (particularly fast fashion companies) are still very damaging to the environment.

One of the easiest ways to find out sustainability policies is to check brand websites.

If they have taken steps to improve their manufacturing and processing sustainability they will likely have a page  on their site laying out the policies that they have implemented. 

If you cannot find this information, we advise finding the company on social media.

Drop them a message to speak to them directly. This will give you quick, personalised advice to your queries. 

Purchase Quality Items 

You may have seen the hashtag #30Wears trending on social media. This was begun by the founder of Eco Age, a company established to certify other brands according to their sustainability level.

Livia believes that a good way to make your shopping habits more sustainable is by asking yourself if you will wear the item at least 30 times. 

If you are not able to answer yes to this question, the item of clothing is probably not worth buying.

Invest in purchases that you know will last you well.

Try and purchase pieces with versatility, that can go with a number of different outfits for a number of different occasions.

Buy Second Hand 

It takes approximately 1,800 gallons of water to produce a single pair of jeans.

Making clothes is a resource, time, and labor-intensive process, and with every new item of clothing produced more environmental impacts are felt. 

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to give old clothes a new lease of life.

Some people look down on thrift stores however they can be great. With a little time and patience you can find some golden purchases in thrift stores, for a lot less than you would new.

This will also prevent usable clothes from going into landfills and will give them a new lease of life.

Please be aware that thrift stores are the main source of clothing for many people on lower incomes.

Do not over-buy in an attempt to resell, and please do not purchase size extremes unless you need them.

For many larger-bodied people it is often hard to find clothes, and it is poor thrifting etiquette to purchase clothing you are not going to wear. 

Don’t Over-Consume

In a similar vein to the point above, do not purchase to excess. There is no sustainability associated with over-consumption.

While it may be tempting to purchase all of your favorite clothes, ask yourself whether they will realistically be worn. 

Instead of buying a new outfit for every social occasion, purchase a few key or statement pieces of clothing that can be styled and worn with a number of different outfits.

This will save you space and money, while being more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

If no one donated their clothes then the thrift stores would be empty. Any clothing that is still in good condition can be donated to a Goodwill or thrift store.

This gives someone else the chance to wear and love your old clothes, giving them a new lease of life.

This also prevents fabrics from ending up in landfills. 

A great hack that we love to use is operating on a one in, one out policy on your wardrobe.

This means that you must donate an item of clothing for each new one you purchase. 

Look After Your Clothes So Their Lifespan Is Extended 

Take care to wash your clothes according to the care instructions printed on the label.

This will help to keep your clothes in optimum condition for a lot longer and mean that they do not need replacing as frequently.

It is also a good idea to learn how to perform minor repairs on your clothing.

This will prevent you from throwing away your clothing every time it becomes a little damaged.

We love the appearance of jeans that have been patched up using colorful fabrics to create a unique patchwork look. 

Shop At Zero-Waste Stores 

This is for food shopping instead of clothes shopping.

There are a number of zero-waste stores (also sometimes called wholefood or wholesale stores) that allow you to purchase foods without plastic wrapping. 

Many zero-waste stores require you to bring your own containers to fill with dried produce.

This eliminates the need for individual plastic packaging and massively reduces the amount of overall waste.

They often tend to be much cheaper too!