Sustainable Fashion has become quite a buzzword in the last couple of years, but what does it really mean for fashion to be sustainable? Well at its core sustainable fashion is a growing movement that aims to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
But what does that mean in practice? That is what we are diving into in this article where we’ll take a closer look a 12 different examples of sustainable fashion that you can use to create a more sustainable wardrobe.
Commen examples of sustainable fashion
Sustainable fashion is build on a lot of different principles, and comes in all shapes and sizes.
From recycled materials and low-waste production methods to fair labor standards and humanitarian initiatives, sustainable brands are leading the way in creating a more ethical and eco-frienldy fashion industry.
One of the key principles of sustainable fashion is the use of sustainable materials. This includes organic materials like organic cotton and linen, which are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and other chemicals.
LEARN MORE: FAST FASHION VS SLOW FASHION
It also includes recycled materials like recycled plastic and recycled wool, which are made from waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Another important principle of sustainable fashion is the use of natural dyes. Conventional dyes used in the fashion industry are often made from synthetic chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.
Sustainable fashion brands, on the other hand, often use natural dyes made from plant-based materials, which are safer for the environment and create more vibrant colors.
In addition to using sustainable materials and natural dyes, sustainable fashion also focuses on ethical production practices.
This includes fair trade practices as well as animal welfare. This ensures that worker are paid a fair wage and work in safe conditions, as well as no animal is harmed in the production.
Examples of sustainable fashion also includes slow fashion, which encourages consumers to buy fewer but higher-quality items that will last for years.
By choosing to buy clothing and accessories that are made in a sustainable way, as well as buying less new clothes , you can help to protect the planet and reduce the amount of clothing waste that ends up in landfills.
But what are some examples of sustainable fashion? That is exactly what we are going to dive into now.
12 Examples of Sustainable Fashion
There are many different aspects to consider if you want to build a more sustainable wardrobe since sustainable fashion can’t be boiled down to buzzwords such as ethical or organic.
I have previously covered different types of sustainability here, so check out that article, if you haven’t already read that. But this article will take a closer look at some examples you can use to create a more sustainable wardrobe.
Here are some examples of sustainable fashion:
1. Organic & Natural materials.
Using materials like organic cotton, linen, and hemp, which are grown without the use of harmful chemicals, can reduce the environmental impact of fashion production.
However just choosing natural materials isn’t enough. You should also try to choose organic fabrics since that will decrease the use of harsh chemicals even more.
One of the most commonly used natural materials in the fashion industry is cotton, but conventional cotton is often grown using pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is grown without the use of these chemicals, making it a more sustainable option.
Bamboo is another a sustainable and renewable resource that can be used to make a variety of clothing and accessories. It is fast-growing and requires little water to grow, making it a more eco-friendly option than many other materials. Bamboo is also naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skin.
Linen is another sustainable plant-based material that is often used in sustainable fashion. It is a durable and versatile material that can be used to make clothing, accessories, and even home goods beacuse of its strength.
2. Recycled materials.
Instead of using new materials, many sustainable fashion brands choose to use recycled materials in their clothing and accessories. This can include recycled plastic, recycled wool, and recycled cotton. Using recycled materials helps to reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
This involves taking clothing and textiles that are no longer usable and breaking them down into their raw materials, which can then be used to create new clothing or other products.
3. Natural dyes.
Many conventional dyes used in the fashion industry are made from synthetic chemicals that can be harmful to the environment, cause health problems for the workers using the dyes as well as affect your skin and lead to allergies.
Sustainable fashion brands often use natural dyes made from plant-based materials, which are safer for the environment and result in less water pollution.
These natural dies are also safer for the workers to work with and much better for your skin. Natural dyes are therefore not only better for the earth but also for its residence.
You might have come across the Fair Trade logo when shopping for food, but did you know that clothes and accessory brands can be Fair Trade as well?
Many sustainable fashion brands are committed to fair trade practices, which means they pay their workers a fair wage and provide safe working conditions. By choosing to buy clothing and accessories from fair trade brands, you can support workers in developing countries and help to improve their lives.
You can learn more about what Fair Trade means at the organizations website here
5. Slow fashion
The fast fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution and waste. Slow fashion, on the other hand, is a movement that focuses on quality over quantity and encourages consumers to buy fewer but higher-quality items that will last for years.
Slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion as the name indicate, and is a a more sustainable alternative to the mass production and overconsumption that fast fashion stands for.
Slow Fashion is often used as a synonym to sustainable fashion, since this movement involves an ethical practice, the use of sustainable fabrics and recycling and upcycling.
However slow fashion also has a big focus on investing in locally produced items as well as supporting small local shops.
Upcycling involves taking pre-existing clothing or textiles and repurposing them into new, fashionable items. This can involve cutting up and resewing old clothes, or adding embellishments and details to give them a new look.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a wizard with a sewing machine in order to upcycle clothes. You can find a ton of beginner-frienldy step-by-step guides only on how to upcycle your clothes.
You can choose to upcycle your old clothes that needs a bit of love and glitter, or you can find some items at thrift stores that easily can get a new life with a few upcycling tricks.
7. Ethical Practices
It is no secret that the fashion industry is known for inhuman working conditions and wages that doesn’t meet a living wage.
But by supporting companies that prioritize fair wages and working conditions for their employees you can help promote social sustainability in the fashion industry.
Ethical fashion also includes animal welfare and therefore lots ethical fashion brands are vegan and do not test on animals.
If you want to learn more about ethical fashion and how to support brands that truly follow an ethical practice you can check out our guide to ethical fashion here.
8. Repair and maintenance:
One of the easiest (and the cheapest) ways to live more sustainably is to buy less and instead take good care of the clothes you already have in your closet.
Encouraging the repair and maintenance of clothing, rather than constantly buying new items, can help extend the life of garments and reduce waste.
The best part? Not only does maintenance of your clothes help make less garments ned up in landfills, it also saves you money.
9. Secondhand and vintage clothing
Buying secondhand or vintage clothing helps reduce demand for new clothing, and can also be a more affordable and unique alternative to buying new items.
Choosing to buy vintage instead of mass-produced items not only has a lot of environmental benefits but also a bunch of benefits for you, as it can save you money and help you create a more unique wardrobe.
Luckily, there are a lot of options today, if you want to buy vintage or second-hand clothes. If there aren’t any great vintage shops in your neighborhood you can even buy second-hand clothes online We even did tha hard work and made a complete guide to online vintage shopping here.
10. Swap clothes
I know the thought of never adding new items to your wardrobe can seem a bit dull – even scary – if you are used to buying new clothes every month.
But there is a way you can make your wardrobe seem and feel brand new without buying a single item. That’s right – Clothes swapping!
Clothes swapping is actually really fun, especially if you make it into some kind of event. Invite your favorite people over, and tell them to bring items they don’t wear anyway. Cause you know what they say; One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
You can set up some rules like you only swap the clothes for a month or a year or you can swap the item forever if you prefer. That is totally up to you.
11. Invest in quality over quantity
Sustainable fashion is not only about buying organic or recycled clothes, it is also about buying less.
So one of the main tips, when trying to build a sustainable wardrobe, is to invest in quality over quantity. Not only will this in the long run save you a lot of money, but quality pieces can last for years whereas trend items mostly last a season.
But this will also make it so much easier to pick out outfits and make you love your wardrobe much more since you only add quality pieces you truly love.
12. Build a Capsule Wardrobe
As described in examples of sustainable fashion above, the concept is indeed also about buying less. So here is where the capsule wardrobe comes in handy.
You might have heard about the concept of a capsule wardrobe before since the concept has become pretty popular, and for good reason.
A capsule wardrobe is a small, carefully curated collection of clothing and accessories that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. The goal of a capsule wardrobe is to streamline your closet, making it easier to get dressed in the morning and simplifying your clothing choices.
If you want to try it out, we’ve created a complete guide on how to create a capsule wardrobe you can check out.
These 12 examples of sustainable fashion are just some examples of things you can do to create a more sustainable lifestyle and wardrobe. But what they have common is, that they all are easy to implement in your life – you can actually start today.
So have fun with it and be creative. Enjoy!