We all want to make better choices when we shop, naturally we want to feel good about the items we purchase. Making the right choices with our wardrobe can not only feel expensive and overwhelming, but for the average consumer, fully educated purchases are just plain unachievable. Most fashion companies are not transparent with their practices, and often information is “greenwashed” or downright misleading in an attempt to capitalize on growing eco-conscious trends.
At Remake, we want to make sustainable choices in your wardrobe easily achievable by empowering you with knowledge and straightforward, simple ways to take action now. So let’s get to it: no preaching from eco-snobs, no unrealistic expectations to minimize your life, no smelly clothes, let’s talk about how you can be more sustainable with your fashion right now!
Buy less stuff
Not the most fun thing to hear, we get that. But, with most of the clothes we consume ending up in a landfill after just a few uses (some with the tags still attached!), buying less and better is a priority. With their expensive price tags, sustainable fashion brands might seem unrealistic for your budget, but keep in mind – fast fashion is designed to fall apart, while sustainable fashion is built to last! By reducing our overall consumption and impulse purchases, we can invest in quality stylish pieces that will be around for many years to come.
Before making a purchase, take a moment to imagine yourself wearing the item again and again. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it really your style (not just the trend of the moment)?
- Does it flatter your body shape?
- Will it work with other staples and favorite pieces in your closet?
- What does it say about who you are and what you stand for?
- Will you wear it at least 30 times?
By simply taking a moment to thoughtfully consider all purchases, we not only end up with clothes that truly reflect our taste and values, but we end up with less stuff which also means less waste. Oh, not to mention all that money saved too! Think of buying clothes as you would an expensive piece of jewelry because like that jewelry, it should be constructed with quality, go with almost everything you wear, stay in style for years, and make you feel good every time you wear it.
Know your brands, know their values, know what you stand for so that you don’t make compromises at the point of purchase. Yes, it can seem overwhelming to research the companies you wish to purchase from, but truly important purchases merit research (imagine buying a car simply because it was pretty, you would never!). Also, we make it easy for you! When you educate yourself about where a garment is made, by whom, and with what processes, it makes it easier to stand by your values.
You are a powerful force for change. We think, “oh one cheap purchase here and there won’t make a difference,” but consumers, employees, and voters are realizing the power of their single voice. You can vote with your wallet and choose to spend your dollars with a company that supports women, fair wages, clean environmental practices, and is transparent about their production. When we spend our dollars in support of a more sustainable fashion industry, we also take those dollars away from companies that perpetuate the cycle of abuse, pollution, and exploitation. You don’t have to feel helpless about the the abuses in the fashion industry, you can make maximum impact with your wallet!
There is nothing that holds more value, meaning, and allure than a well-cared-for item that has withstood the test time. By spending the hour it takes to drop off an item at the dry cleaner or tailor for mending, you are saving countless hours down the road of shopping for a disposable item again and again. You are reducing waste. You are spending a nominal cost to keep an item fresh and in great condition vs. the cost of buying yet another new garment. You are supporting local businesses. You’re continuing to fall in love with that piece that’s given you so much great use, and will continue to do so!
Thrifting isn’t exclusively for your grandma or hipsters anymore, sites like The RealReal, Tradesy, thredUP (and many more) all have designer, gently used or like new items that can be purchased for a fraction of the original cost. By purchasing used you are not introducing any new items into the production and waste chain AND you are decreasing the demand for fast fashion companies to keep up their supply with overproduction at inhumane costs. What’s more is that you’ll score full credit for a killer designer item that no one needs to know wasn’t originally yours! (it’ll be our little secret…)
Want to keep your closet lean and mean, but itching for something new? Trade in items you no longer love or use for items someone else no longer needs and everyone wins. Ready to cleanse and just make more space? Sites like Material World allow you to fill up a prepaid shipping bag with your items, receive an instant offer, and cash in! Knowing that your items can have a second life and you can use the money earned to buy used keeps the loop closed and ensures that both the items you discard (a.k.a. trade-in) and consume are supporting sustainable fashion.
Need a statement piece to make a big impression at that special event but can’t justify the cost or the #30wears? Rental business models allow you to get that new clothes feeling without the cost (to the environment or your wallet!). Sites like Rent the Runway allow you to feed your cravings for new and special pieces at a price you can afford. Once finished, return it for another wearer to have her own magical moment too, it’s a win/win! Even better, if you truly fall in love with an item, sites like Gwynnie Bee allow to keep the rental and make it a part of your closet. Knowing you have been able to try an item and thoughtfully commit to it ensures you will truly love and wear it forever.
Buy for YOU!
Think timeless, not trendy, when you’re deciding what fashion items truly speak to your personality, style, and persona that you’re presenting to the world. The most beautiful items you wear are those you wear confidently because they make you make you feel your best. Trying to incorporate every trend of the moment will not only make your head spin, it’s just not possible to keep up with! Try to find items that are classic and timeless, reflecting who you are and not who everyone else is being at the moment. Of course we all resonate with a trend now and then, just incorporate the actions above into your purchase and you won’t feel that tinge of buyer’s remorse on an impulse buy.
Show it off
Don’t hide that repeat outfit. Get creative and show off the many ways you can style it by putting together a range of looks! Be proud to be a repeat offender on social media and break down the stigma of being “caught” twice in an item. By using whatever platform you choose to show your pride in caring for, loving, and getting creative with your wardrobe you can help others to feel the same. Compassion for fashion shows that you aren’t just beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well and we all know that is where true change begins. Own it!