“Because when I shop, the world gets better.”
A quote by Rebecca from “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”: a well-known romantic comedy about a woman struggling with shopping addiction. When I watched this cheerful movie last week, her statement got me thinking. In recent years, the invisible side of the fashion industry, pollution and poor working conditions, has been increasingly highlighted. Although I recognize myself in Rebecca’s statement, I am starting to question it more and more. Does the world get better when I buy?
Many people try to make better choices every day when it comes to fair and sustainable consumption. What choices do they make when it comes to shopping for clothes? These are some easy tips that they are happy to share with you!
Tip 1: Avoid impulse purchases
Try to avoid impulse buying. This way you shop in a more targeted way and you then also have to throw away less. So go to the store with a purpose! What do you need? You don’t have to buy as much when the fashion stores produce new collections. Moreover, you not only break through the unnecessarily fast circulation of clothing, but it is also very good for your wallet!
Tip 2: Check labels
Check clothing labels. There is a lot to say about the material of a garment or the country it comes from. Preferably choose natural materials and avoid synthetic materials (production is incredibly harmful). Would you like to know more about the impact of materials on the environment? This (Dutch) article explains it.
Tip 3: Sustainable fashion stores
Are you a real shopaholic and do you want to keep shopping? Then go to a sustainable clothing store! The number of these has risen sharply in recent years. Are you curious about all sustainable stores in your area? You will find all the sustainable shops that can be found in every city on eerlijkwinkelen.nl!
Tip 4: Second-hand clothing
Where second-hand clothing used to have a dusty image, now a large part of the Dutch shop second-hand! And logically, it reduces clothing production, it is good for your wallet and vintage is really hot. Win win! Sometimes you have to be lucky when you are really looking for something specific, but there is also the challenge. Tip: a nice winter sweater is often faster in the summer, and vice versa.
Curious about a second-hand clothing store near you? Search Google Maps for “second hand clothes” or “Thrift store”.
In addition, there are more and more platforms online where you can buy second-hand clothing, such as The Next Closet, Vinted and Cazou. Vinted, for example, has managed to amass around 600,000 customers within a few years and is now even expanding abroad.
Tip 5: Wash clothes
Maybe you have read it; washing your clothes is harmful to the environment. It consumes water, energy and the microfibers of your clothes end up in the environment. But yes, clothing really needs to be washed every now and then. You can influence the environment with the way you do that. For example, it is better for the environment to wash clothes as cold as possible, and not throw your clothes in the dryer, but let them dry on a clothes rack. Would you like to dry your clothes in the dryer? Then choose to use drying circles: you put these in the dryer with your clothes and this ensures that your clothes dry faster. This saves time and energy!
You can also opt for ecological detergent! Ecological detergent contains less harmful substances that harm the environment. In addition, this detergent is often better for your laundry and your skin. Win win! You can find ecological detergent in your local supermarket.
Tip 6: Sustainable materials for babies and children
When you buy children’s stuff, you can also keep an eye on sustainability. For example, children’s clothing is available in abundance second-hand, but you can also opt for a pram made of sustainable material, organic diapers and sustainable, natural care products.
Tip 7: Visit the Fair Fashion Festival
Do you want to know more about sustainable fashion? Every year in autumn Young & Fair organizes a Fair Fashion Festival (read more about the previous and upcoming editions here) in Utrecht! Here you can participate in lectures and workshops, and take a look at our exhibition.
Viewing tip: Netflix documentary “The True Cost”
Netflix has a wonderful documentary about the clothes we wear and the impact the fast fashion fashion industry has on our world. This documentary sheds light on the invisible part of the fashion industry and makes you think: who really pays the price for our clothes?
We are very curious what you think of these tips, do you have any additions such as good tips or ideas about a sustainable lifestyle? Leave a comment below!
This blog was originally written by Eveline for Young & Fair.