This post was written by Alyssa Schuetz ’19
We as consumers are bombarded with ads every day from the instant we go on social media to the moment we step out our door and walk past an ad on a bus. All these ads are pushing us to consume more goods and products. This cycle of endless consumption not only has a negative impact on the planet, but also on our wallets. So here are a few tips and tricks to shop more sustainably and still make your fashion statement!
1) LESS IS MORE
It is far too tempting to fall victim to fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara, who may have the perfect budget-friendly pieces, but in the long-run end up costing us more since these items quickly wear out. Instead of buying more items at a lower price, opt to invest in your wardrobe! Buy pieces that may cost more in the moment but will last and save you money in the long-run! (Don’t forget to show off your reusable bag when you’re in the store to avoid having to use the store’s plastic bags!)
Be unique! Thrift stores are an exciting treasure hunt. You never know what you may find, but whatever it is, it is sure to be unique and utterly perfect for you! No one else will have the same thing and you are sure to set yourself apart from the rest with your vintage finds! (Plus, you can rest assured that the product that you bought didn’t use the same amount of single-use plastic packaging that a big-box retailer would have used!)
For special occasions such as weddings, I understand that we all want to wear something special to mark the night and you most likely do not want to wear the same outfit twice―this is achievable and budget-friendly by renting your evening wear or borrowing from a friend! Just keep in mind the additional time needed for shipping so make sure you don’t wait until the last minute, but in the end the planet will thank you and you will look incredible in your pictures!
4) AVOID TRENDS
Trends, as the name states, come and go, but your wardrobe doesn’t have to! The planet will always be there and as such, your wardrobe should reflect that! Consider creating a capsule collection where all your pieces are neutrals that can mixed-and-matched and do your best to avoid buying into trends for every season (unless its vintage of course)!
5) SHOP BRANDS WHO CARE
Brands who have a focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing are your friend and also a friend of the planet. Look for brands whose production is transparent and traceable so you can check-in to see how they are taking care of their workers and preventing pollution in the manufacturing process. Don’t forget to consider the textiles involved, too! Think organic cotton over synthetics which are plastic-based textiles, such as polyester.
You as a consumer have the power to vote with your dollar. Vote for brands that support the same causes as you and we can directly impact the apparel industry with every purchase we make!