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5 Changes To Shop More Sustainably

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Jun 17, 2021
09:00 A.M.
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Over recent years, an increasing number of people have become conscious of the devastating impact of the fashion industry on workers and the environment.

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However, making a sustainable fashion choice isn't exactly cut and dried, and in some instances, it might be difficult to say with certainty that you made the "right" choice. For instance, have you made the "right" choice by thrifting if your newfound desire for second hand-clothing contributes to price increases, subsequently making it difficult for people who rely on thrifting as a primary source of getting clothes to afford them?

Or, if you buy a handcrafted purse by a Peruvian artisan, the leather tannery might have poisoned the local river. But still, becoming more conscious about your impact on people and the environment is vital to preserving life and resources. It's certainly going to take a lot to address some of the issues that the fashion industry has but as an individual, you can make changes in your life to support sustainable practices. Here are five small changes you can make:

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Do Your Research

Photo by Cherie Birkner on Unsplash

Photo by Cherie Birkner on Unsplash

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It's important to do your research to understand what materials or ingredients you should avoid or consume more. Furthermore, you'll be able to discern beyond what brands tell you is "good" by making your own mind up.

Knowing your facts about the resources that go into making jeans and being mindful about your fashion choice, especially since the industry is notorious for its harmful practices, can help you make informed decisions.

Fabrics To Avoid

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Photo by ev on Unsplash

Photo by ev on Unsplash

Polyester is typically made from oil. Most synthetic fibers (excepting a few alternatives mentioned in this piece) shed microfibers into waterways. Acrylic is even more toxic to produce.

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Viscose rayon (this includes bamboo rayon) turns plants into a textile through a toxic process and contributes to the dissipating rainforests.

Create A Capsule Wardrobe

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

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The logic is straightforward. If you've created a smart collection of versatile clothes that you can stylishly mix and match, you'll essentially buy less.

Be mindful of what you want and what you need. Having ten pairs of jeans and ten T-shirts among a full closet of dresses and blouses and more might not be the most sustainable choice. It's about changing your shopping attitudes.

Give Your Clothes A Second Life

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

If you no longer want your clothes, instead of tossing them in the trash, donate them, or sell them if they're still in good condition.

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Alternatively, think out of the box by revamping your clothes, turning them into another interesting piece, or repurposing your old, worn-out clothes by turning them into a rag.

Research brands

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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Make sure you're shopping quality over quantity to reduce the frequency you have to buy new clothes. But also, when you are shopping, research brands that are committed to sustainability.

This might be more pricey at the moment, but if you're making smarter choices, it'll pay off in the long run.

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