How to be a Sustainable Fashion Consumer?
For my previous blog article 10 Sustainable Fashion Myths Explained I gathered round a panel of experienced sustainable fashion experts. I used the great opportunity to ask their tips for being a sustainable fashion consumer. Learn their best practices in this article.
Sustainable Fashion Tips from Our Expert Panelists
Sustainable Fashion Expert at Clean&Unique, The Netherlands
1. Follow Fashion Revolution on their website and in social media.
2. Buy your clothes at Project CeCe. They have more than 400 brands on their website!
3. Think before you buy. Do I need this? Think well, buy less!
Freelance Fashion Production Expert at My Concept, Finland
1. Always check where the garment is made. Made in EU is safer choice in terms of fair pay for the workers.
2. Choose recycled polyester or polyamide for your workout clothes. It is nowadays widely available. Recycled PA and PE are made of plastic waste, and we have plenty of that.
3. Don’t buy polyester fleece. When you wash it it releases microfibers that spread into our ecosystem. Wool is a much better choice as a warming layer. It’s functional features are superior comparing to many other fibers. And it doesn’t release plastic microfibers to the nature.
Corporate Responsibility Expert at MODINT, The Netherlands
1. Ask yourself critical questions regarding your buying behavior.
2. Take a look at the Corporate Responsibility pages on the websites of your favorite brands. If there is no info, ask the company to communicate about their corporate responsibility policy, activities and targets.
3. Reward the brands or collections that have proven their responsible behavior. Buying better means you support the industry to do good.
Sustainable Fashion Terminology Explained
1. Ethical fashion
- Roosmarie Ruigrok: Fashion made under good worker conditions and under environmentally friendly conditions.
- Nienke Steen: Ethical refers whether being morally right or wrong. So this term refers to the full package of responsible fashion.
2. Sustainable fashion
- Roosmarie Ruigrok: A term for all fashion what is better made than fast fashion.
- Nienke Steen: Sustainability refers to 2 things: 1) Fashion that is here to stay over longer period of time and 2) Fashion that is produced with low impact for the environment. But it is nowadays often used to include also socially responsible fashion.
3. Fast fashion
- Roosmarie Ruigrok: Fashion what is made under price and time pressure.
- Nienke Steen: It is often used these days to indicate fashion consisting of fast changing collections to fulfill consumer demand and it comes with low quality and prices. It has gained the image of fashion with a high social and environmental impact. Fast fashion could also refer to fast changing collections that are produced close to the consumer market. They are not necessarily be cheap, low quality or impactful.
4. Ecological fashion
- Roosmarie Ruigrok: Fashion what is made under environmentally friendly conditions.
- Nienke Steen: Ecological refers to a better environmental performance.
5. Vegan fashion
- Roosmarie Ruigrok: Fashion without any harm for animals. However this does not mean that it is made under good conditions.
- Nienke Steen: Vegan relates to the fact that no products of animal origin have been used in the material nor in the processing.
6. Circular fashion
- Roosmarie Ruigrok: Fashion made to come back as a new product. It can also be another product type and not only a fashion item. The term originally says that it has to be made under good worker conditions. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
- Nienke Steen: Circular fashion is fashion that can be re-used after wearing for a new (high value) product.
Sustainable Fashion Tips from Jenni at I on Image
- Shop in your own wardrobe. Have a fun afternoon sorting out your wardrobe in a whole new way.
- Style unexpected looks from the items you already own. Keep a style journal of your best looks. I like to save items on Instagram and Pinterest for my fashion inspiration. If you are short of ideas you can follow my Pinterest boards or save my Instagram looks.
- Wash your clothing less often and learn to take good care of them.
- Create a strong personal style. It will add strength to your image. Aim for a timeless look.
- Educate yourself. You can start by reading this article for more sustainable style ideas.
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Enjoy being stylish and sustainable!
Your image consultant who loves fair play in fashion