Like most girls I have always loved dressing up and buying (or better say collecting) clothes. A few years ago, I just realised that I could not eat locally produced food, talk about energy saving and buy so many clothes!
The fashion industry uses a number of different chemicals for everything from dyeing fabrics to printing and finishing*. As several of these chemicals can negatively affect human health, wildlife, and ecosystems, here are some tips to better clothes shopping:
1) Buy high-quality clothes: I know how tempting it can be to buy cheap clothing but think about this for a moment: How long is it going to last you? How was it made? Buy less but spend more per items – high quality timeless basics can last forever.
2) Think before you buy:
Ask yourself: “Do I really want this? Do I really need this?”. Stop and think about each piece before buying it: How do you plan to wear it? Do you own anything that goes with the item?
3) Avoid one-occasion pieces
Always make sure you can wear an item for different occasions before making a purchase. Before buying a new working dress, think how it can be changed with accessories, etc.
4) Go for natural fabrics and more specifically for silk, organic cotton, wool or linen. Natural fabrics are softer, more confortable and kind to your skin. They are also sustainable and biodegradable materials!
5) Read clothing labels:
– Look for all fabric content (see above)
– Look for organic certifications (but don’t be fooled by marketing trick!)
– Buy close to home: Clothing made on the other side of the world uses energy for shipping (not to mention social issues!)
5) Go for vintage clothes
Dressing entirely in vintage is difficult (if not impossible). I never wear more than 2/3 vintage items at a time but I like the idea to wear an item that tell a story (and that hasn’t be made for me!)… I also think that wearing vintage clothes push you to be more creative…
I will publish an article on environmentaly friendly clothe shopping in Dublin at the week end but if you have any more tips please share them with me.
* If you want to know more about it, you can also read “To die for: Is fashion wearing out the world?” by Lucy Siegle – A real eye-opener.