Fashion Sustainability Series: Shopping Consciously

by - 18:42

Cardi - Vila Clothing (secondhand)
Wide-leg Jeans - Mango
Stacked Rings - Gifted (made in Spain from recycled metal)
Hi, my lovely lot!  So this week I became another year older... Tuesday marked my 23rd birthday, and what a special day in lockdown it ended up being!  After a chilled day filled with glorious food, wonderful gifts, video calls, and quizzes (something that has rapidly become a lockdown staple), I happily passed out on the sofa watching one of my favourite movies - When Harry met Sally.  Sure it was odd not spending the day with my friends and family but the virtual love, kindness and birthday wishes I received left my heart feeling so full of love and gratitude that spending a birthday in lockdown wasn't so bad after all, in fact, it'll be one I remember for a long time. 


As another post in my fashion sustainability series, I wanted to discuss conscious shopping.  Now, I've spoken previously about the wonders of charity shops and how purchasing secondhand is the perfect antidote for satisfying one's shopping needs and for extending the longevity of clothes (click here if you want to read more).  But, with the current lack of accessibility to these shops, I wanted to provide an alternative insight into mindful and conscious shopping, because of course, this has not stopped.  The availability of the internet has allowed for continuity in online consumerism, whether that be for essential items, wanted but not needed items, and gifted items.  So, here's a couple of online options for your sustainable/ethical shopping needs:

Shopping Secondhand Online
Even though your local charity shops may not be open, there are plenty of online platforms in which you can purchase high-quality secondhand items - Depop, Vinted, Thrift+ and ASOS Marketplace are just some of the sites where you can find great vintage, designer and high-street pieces that are looking for a new home.  By mindfully and consciously shopping secondhand, it creates a ripple (albeit small) in the industry; with items being passed from person to person, they remain in circulation rather than in landfill and it becomes a step into turning the fashion industry into a circular economy. Additionally, with the rapid growth of fast-fashion, we are a society that looks for bargains and cheaper items when shopping.  Secondhand shopping thus becomes a perfect solution for achieving this (especially if one's bank balance is on the emptier side), and it allows us to continue wearing pieces that represent our image and style whilst caring for our environment. 

Shopping Ethical Fashion Brands
A second option for you shopaholics is buying products from ethical fashion brands.  Now, buying ethically does come with an increased price tag and understandably, a higher price tag needs more justification to make the purchase.  Well, here's that justification - you gain an investment piece.  An item that remains in your wardrobe as an 'essential' piece for years to come, and carries a story that you just wouldn't get from a fast-fashion product.    

As a side note, you may be wondering why ethical and sustainable fashion (or 'slow fashion') comes with a higher price tag, so I just wanted to provide you with a little more insight.  The general term 'fashion sustainability' is not solely focused on improving the ways to look after our planet, it includes bettering policies and practices of workers throughout the supply chain so that they work in safe and fair environments, it includes ethically sourcing materials which includes the mistreatment of animals for their fur, feathers or skin.  Because 'sustainable fashion' encompasses so many areas, products created under this initiative thus incur the costs of better practices. 

If you're interested in shopping from slow fashion brands but unsure where to look, I would like to direct you to a site/app that I use to locate ethical and sustainable fashion brands.  Personal style and shopping needs vary from person to person so I'd argue that providing you with the simplicity of the "top 5 ethical fashion brands" is rather subjective.  Instead, here's a tool to help you start your search - GoodOnYou enables you to find ethical brands similar to your favourite store and it enables you to search via category, e.g. activewear, so you can find new brands that meet your shopping needs.  With this, you'll then be able to create your own list of the best ethical fashion brands which is individually suited to you. 


Whether shopping in lockdown has left you with a slightly different outlook on life or you've just gained some interest in the sustainability of the fashion industry, I hope this post has given you some ideas on ways to shop consciously and be slightly more mindful of your fashion footprint. 

Until next time, Lyds xx

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