Let’s be honest, New Year’s resolutions are looser than the yoga teacher who we won’t be seeing after January. But this doesn’t mean we can’t make a solid wish list for the year. Change is a comin’ in fashion, so there’s no time like the present to join the movement for less textile waste, more respect for workers and a smaller environmental footprint. Here is a sustainable fashion wish list that everyone can follow to get the ball rolling.
Curate your closetThink of your wardrobe like an art collection. Instead of a full closet with nothing to wear, add pieces that you value and will last longer than the current trend. You end up with a more valuable wardrobe and the world ends up with less textile waste (we call that a win-win).
Re-use packagingDid you know that 10-20 million tons of plastic end up in oceans every year? You can improve on this number by bringing your own bags when you go shopping, re-using plastic packaging for storage, and recycling anything you can’t use. According to the UN Environment Programme, as North Americans and Western Europeans we consume on average 100kg of plastic each per year - let’s try to keep those kilos out of the landfill in 2017.
Clear out your old clothes responsiblyClothing donation has become a weirdly opaque industry, and facilities for recycling textiles are hugely lacking in North America. If your town doesn't have a textile recycling programme, it's best to look up organizations that do justice to your pre-loved pieces. For example - do you have old office clothes that you don’t use anymore? What about an old purse? What about old running shoes? Get googling, and if you can't find an organization you trust, shoot us an email and we'll point you in the right direction.
Check your laundry habits!Whether or not your fashion is sustainable has a lot to do with how you care for it. Machine washing, drying and ironing can be responsible for nearly half of the environmental damage caused by a garment. If you need to dry clean, always choose a green dry cleaner that doesn't use a chemical called PERC (trust me, it's nasty). Check out our basic tips for garment care here.
Don’t settle for mediocre sustainable fashionBuying clothing because you agree with its ethos is great, but we need to break the perception that ethical clothing is shapeless or boring. Don't buy mediocre clothing just because it's sustainable, find the companies that share your values and your style. This, my friends, is the future of fashion.
Happy New Year!
Collage elements used: Planet Illustration (Pintrest), Ocean (Water UCI), Clothing Pile (Pintrest).