Sustainable Fashion: The Rundown

by Hailey B.

In the year of pressed juices, recycled denim, and cycling, I have become more conscious about my impact on our planet Earth. Before this summer, I never thought of how my clothes were made or where they came from. This consumer “more, more, more” culture we live in invites us to wear new trends as soon as possible, but how much is being consumed? 80 billion items each year.

Tyler W., senior, considers himself to be environmentally conscious, but said he would only change the way he dresses if it was, “financially viable”.

One of the best ways to support the environment under a budget is to buy vintage. Consignment shops and vintage boutiques offer a range of prices and clothing in good condition.

I making baby steps towards a sustainable wardrobe. Today, if a dress becomes too short, I cut it into a shirt. I try to support home-grown businesses that reduce their carbon footprint by actually making their clothes where their business is located. Most importantly, I feel more comfortable investing in a handmade necklace than a $3.99 piece of plastic at Forever21.

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American Apparel: try buying clothes made in the USA. Photo via americanapparel.com

 

Model-of-the-moment Bella Hadid wears jeans from Re/Done, an undeniably expensive brand that reworks old Levis.

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Re/Done Denim Skirt. Photo via shopredone.com

Of course, if one still wants the best, newest style, ethical brands are coming forward to offer consumers sustainable options. Last year, I bought my prom dress at Reformation. While the clothes are definitely more expensive, they are high quality. The brand focuses on minimal water consumption and environmentally friendly fabrics. ASOS offers a collection with a variety of organic cotton, fair trade, and upcycled pieces.

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The People Tree. Photo courtesy of  peopletree.co.uk
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Reformation Beckett Top. Photo courtesy of thereformation.com

 

What fabrics should one avoid? Unfortunately, most fabrics today are made in a way that pollutes the air and wastes natural resources. That includes synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester and spandex. Fibers like cotton are natural, but are made using fertilizer, which in the long run destroys soil. For a full list of go-to, eco friendly fabrics, go here.

Anyone interested in learning more about the effects of “fast fashion” on the world can watch The True Cost on Netflix.

 

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