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5 ways to reduce your fashion footprint


With every clothing purchase you make you are subconsciously making hundreds of other decisions, tracing those pair of jeans all the way back to the farm where the cotton fibre was grown. Did you know that it takes up to 1,800 gallons of water to produce just one pair of blue jeans? Now imagine that on a mass-producing scale by thousands of money-hungry fast fashion brands. Sounds a lot more damaging right?

I believe that everyone can become more sustainable in their shopping habits. The main objection people face when choosing to become more sustainable is that it's too expensive, or that they're too lazy to buy sustainably when they're SO used to buying online from the same fast fashion brands because it's affordable, fast and convenient for them.

Becoming a sustainable shopper isn't something that can happen overnight, it's a process by which you recognise what you can be doing differently and implementing it into your shopping habits. This may be a slow process, or this may be something you want to put into effect immediately, either way, doing something is better than nothing at all.

1. Support sustainable independent brands


The amazing thing about buying from independent brands, whether it's in person or online, is that the money fuels the business to grow more and more. I'd rather support an independent brand than a fast fashion brand, because the clothes are usually better quality and have a lot more thought, effort and dedication put into them, rather than a piece of clothing from a fast fashion brand that is produced as fast as it sells.

Here's a list of some new sustainable indie brands I'm loving:

Aliss Creations (@aliss_creations on Instagram), local to where I live which is a bonus, Aliss Creations upcycles clothes from charity shops to create girly and trend-driven items.

Indego Africa (indegoafrica.org), supports women and youth in Africa with training to build and sustain independent lives whilst ensuring their supply chain uses local, raw materials for eco-friendly artisan clothes and accessories.

Reenew clothing (@reenewclothing on Instagram), makes gorgeous, unique, upcycled fashion.

Laura Grace Fashion (lauragracefashion.com), another cute and inclusive sustainable brand.

@vintagesisters_ on Depop, sells 80s, 90s & 00s style clothes that are sustainably sourced.

2. Loststock.com

As well as saving the planet we also need to consider the impact Covid-19 has had on garment workers in places like Bangladesh, home to many sweatshop factories for fast fashion retailers such as Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo. These brands have cancelled orders for over $2 billion USD worth of clothes that have already been produced, leaving millions of workers unpaid and at risk of starvation. 

Lost Stock has been set up to sell these clothes and most importantly support the workers and their families during this hard time. When you order a Lost Stock box, a minimum of three items of clothing are chosen for you based on your style, age and colour preferences; these clothes usually come from well-known brands and could otherwise be headed for landfill. The clothes also come with a massive 50% discount off RRP; this supports the workers and prevents textile waste.

What I love about this concept is that it's not only supporting garment workers but is also preventing masses of clothing heading to landfill, which is already a HUGE problem in the fashion industry. Did you know that 5% of all landfill space in the world is textile waste?

You're also getting a fun mystery box of clothes to look forward to! And if the clothes you receive aren't quite your thing, you can always give them to a friend or family member or upcycle them to make something more your style. Whatever you do DON'T THROW THEM AWAY!

To buy your box go to https://loststock.com/

3. Charity shops = your new best friend

At one time I couldn't think of anything worse than walking into a damp smelling charity shop trying to find nice clothes, however, since apps like TikTok have popularised the thrifting experience I am constantly on the lookout for cool clothes I can find in my local Oxfam.

It may be tricky, but with persistence you can strike gold, and even if the items you decide to buy are not up to scratch, you can always upcycle them yourself by cropping them or watch a tutorial on Youtube for something a bit more complicated or more suited to your style.

4. Buy from sustainable brands

Despite there being so many large companies out there that are fast fashion, there are brands that are striving to make a difference by saving the environment and ensuring an ethical supply chain.

Reformation is a brand that champions sustainability. Their design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure with sustainability being at the core of the business, they use sustainable materials and rescue deadstock fabrics and repurposed vintage clothing, making it a brand loved by many.

Brands like Levis have a whole section of their website dedicated to sustainability and are using more than 20 water-saving finish techniques; they have saved more than 1.8 billion litres and recycled more than 129 million litres of water, find more information at www.levi.com/GB/en_GB/features/sustainability

5. Do your own research!

Your fashion footprint is something defined by you; therefore, you can be sustainable in whatever way you feel. Research your own sustainable brands, educate yourself by watching documentaries like The True Cost, find eco-friendly alternatives to what you're buying at the moment, any way you are actively learning about fashion sustainability is better than nothing and will slowly but surely help to save the world.

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