For the last few years, we have been conditioned to believe that fashion is disposable, favouring shopping methods that contribute to exploitation, landfill waste and the increasing of greenhouse gas emissions. Every year, close to 92 million of clothing related waste enters the landfill, with a garbage truck of clothes either incinerated or sent to the landfill every second. While we may not have grand solutions, we can all participate in small changes that break this damaging cycle. Looking into our own closets and altering a few shopping habits can help build a sustainably-conscious closet.
Building a sustainable wardrobe should always be driven by filling a gap within your wardrobe. Whether you are a minimalist or love to curate a bright and fun closet, it is always important to evaluate if a new purchase will be used for years to come. This may be an obvious point, but studies show that in the last 20 years, clothing utilization has dropped. With the rise of fast fashion, clothing is not always purchased with longevity in mind, resulting in many garments entering the landfill.
With a few small changes to how we shop and care for our clothes we can have a huge impact.
Source: Preloved Toronto
One of the easiest ways to shop more sustainably is to browse what has already been produced! One of the most sustainable ways to shop is clothes already produced, preventing some great pieces from being discarded. Shopping second hand supports a circular fashion cycle rather than newly produced garments. By increasing the lifespan of a garment for around 9 months longer, it reduces 20% of its footprint. There are so many second hand stores available to shop in person as well as online sources such as Poshmark, Depop and more. Not only is secondhand great for the environment, but it is also a great way to add unique pieces to your wardrobe!
Share with Friends
Rather than browsing the endless racks in a store, sharing with friends and family can be a great and affordable way to play around with purchases. This is a great option for items you do not foresee yourself wearing on a daily basis such as evening wear or a statement top for a night out. Choosing pre-owned over new is one step towards circular fashion and an obvious way to extend the lifetime of an item.
Source: Preloved Toronto
One of the best ways to shop newis to shop local! Shopping local helps to cut down on waste produced during transportation, supports your local economy and can help ensure ethical wages for workers! When you buy local, 68% of your money stays in the local economy.
Source: Preloved Toronto, a Toronto Small Business
Look for natural materials such as organic cotton, wool, linen, silk or even recycled fibers when you can as they are less harmful to the environment than plastics!