Whether you are supporting homegrown brands, buying vintage or investing in timeless classics, changing your fashion habits can help build a more sustainable future. By Mughni Che Din
Fashion is a growing industry, and with the increase in demand for affordable, fast fashion is taking a toll on the environment. With sustainability being a “hot button” topic, some brands are making necessary change to reduce environmental impacts through innovation, using alternative eco-friendly and exercising ethical business practice. However, the burden of responsibility should not rest solely on the fashion brands, in order to make fashion more sustainable, both consumers and the industry must work together.
If you think your fashion habits wouldn’t make a big difference, now is the time to shift that mindset. The “wear it once” cycle that mostly governs how we dress now should be swapped with conscious and deliberated decisions. Here’s five easy ways for you make more ethical choices:
1. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL HEROES
The fashion industry has taken a serious blow due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. What better way to instill positive fashion habits by supporting the local craft eco-system? Buying from small businesses will not only support the boost of local economy but it can also reduce carbon footprints.
Malaysian fashion composer Alice Chang at her studio.
2. BUY VINTAGE
Buying vintage helps shift the demand for fast fashion and overproduction of goods. Give your garments a second chance by selling what you don’t wear and giving it a new forever home.
Valois Vintage store in Paris
3. THE 30 WEAR TEST
We know that at times it is hard to resist from buying a statement piece item. Especially when we see our favourite style stars donning them in their Instagram #OOTD. Instead, pick more versatile pieces that can be styled different ways, rather than an item that will be out of fashion after six months. Next time you plan to buy something, always think, “Will I wear it over 30 times?” If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you'll be surprised how many times you say no.
4. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Even the most ethically sourced and produced garments use resources before it makes its way to the consumer, creating some environmental impacts. The root of the problem lies in excessive consumerism. For example, we purchase ten while our grandparents bought two. Therefore, you can opt to buy less buying more high-quality items as opposed to something that has a shorter product life-cycle.
5. CLEAN AND GREEN
More and more fashion brands take into account the environmental and social impact of their production. One of the most difficult things about trying to be more sustainable is knowing where to start – and more importantly, where to shop. In this day and age, however, it is much easier than it once was as there are so many brands that operate with better transparency and a sustainable focus in mind.