Freelance writer Eve Stein shares her thoughts on recycling, fashion...and saving money...
We all know how important it is to recycle. Recycling is one of the most significant ways that individuals can have a positive impact on our society and help ensure the survival of the world that we live in.
In many countries it's mandatory to separate our trash appropriately and think about the sustainability of the production of the food products that we buy.
But it's less usual to consider sustainability when we get dressed in the morning or when we hit the stores to purchase the latest fashions. The great news is, you can be fashionable and help the environment at the same time...
And, far from dowdy and the stigma of 'second-hand' trendsetters globally are now wise to the truth. Sustainable fashions are now just as trend led and innovative as their unsustainable counterparts, but with much less impact on the environment.
Sustainable products are usually produced using sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, organic wool, and even recycled polyester. These fabrics are created in the most environmentally friendly methods possible, using sustainable farming and manufacturing practices.
Organic wool is made without the use of toxic sheep dips, while organic cottons are free from synthetic dyes and chlorine based bleaches.
So sustainable and unsustainable garments could look identical but that the sustainable garment would have a lower impact on the environment.
Good for People
Sustainable fashion options are also much better and kinder to the people that manufacture them. Fashions produced under the fair trade label are produced with more than simply bottom line in mind; so that the company’s manufacturing them general care more for the wellbeing of the people making their products.
Sustainable production methods, such as the lack of harsh chemicals used, have fewer health impacts on textile workers. Any company making textiles under the fair trade act umbrella in the US and other places should pay a living wage to workers. So their health and standard of living are better.
So when you choose to buy sustainably you’re helping the environment and the people who really need that support too.
Think Outside The Box
If you don’t like the idea of purchasing new clothes because of the impact that the manufacturing methods of even the most sustainable fashion brands, think about purchasing vintage and second hand clothes. Shopping at second hand shops and specialist vintage fashion stores will all ensure you have a carbon neutral and completely sustainable shopping experience.
The planet has a finite number of resources, and reusing those by buying second hand is one way to lessen resource depletion.
Some fantastic second hand fashion options are available; just because the garment you’re looking for has served its purpose for someone else doesn’t mean it’s not in incredible condition and won’t look amazing on you.
Vintage fashions are also very in vogue this season, so it's easy to create your own distinctive style and look fashionable while minimising environmental impact. Purchasing vintage clothes will save you money, as vintage and second hand clothes tend to be much more inexpensive. You'll may be amazed by the savings you make and the positive impact this has on your bank balance.
Thinking green when it comes to your fashion choices really doesn’t have to mean giving up being fashion forward and trend led. Put your best foot forward and show off your fashion credentials in the latest sustainable fashion offerings? Buy second hand...and help save the planet!
The views expressed are those of the writer.