This week I was invited to talk at the National Clothes Swap Event ran by the The Clothing Exchange. I was asked to discuss ways we can shop sustainably in a world dominated by fast fashion.
This is a topic close to my heart because realistically it can be hard. If you're wanting to change your shopping habits there is often a mind field of information out there, but what's the right thing to do? Here are my tips on how to shop sustainably: (As discussed at the Clothes Swap)
Shop locally Buying locally made products allows for better product knowledge. There is more transparency in the supply chain because generally it only involves 2-3 people. When you ask questions such as; where is the fabric sourced? or who sewed this dress together? They can be answered fairly easily without hesitation. For a list of brands who are Ethically Accredited go to Ethical Clothing Australia for the downloadable list of local brands or download the Good On You App and simply type in the brand who want to know more about.
Shop Second Hand Shopping sustainably does't need to break the bank, there are so many options that a purse friendly. Melbourne especially has amazing charity shops, vintage shops and local second hand markets.
Pre-loved items have already served their function so any extended use is recycling - well done ladies!!
Shopping in a charity is so much easier if you have some inspiration with you. If you have seen an outfit on Instagram, blog or in a magazine, take a screenshot or photo of it and take it along with you. I would also recommend you follow these amazing op shop fashion bloggers for further inspiration.
Alex Van Os - Opshop to runway
Faye Delanty - Fashion Hound
Hannah Klose - Never Ever Pay Retail
Shop Second Hand Online If you prefer to shop from the comfort of your sofa, with a glass of wine and some potato chips...yep that's me! Facebook buy sell groups are perfect for you. You can just go onto you Facebook and search based on your local area or even a brand that you like. Just make sure you follow the rules!! These groups are great if you suffer from FOMO like me. Have you ever missed out on a great item that is now out of stock? Then just ask the group, know doubt someone will be selling it or something similar.
Clothes swaps Great for guilt free retail therapy, the best thing about clothes swap are you're amongst other like minded people who can tell you the story of their pre loved clothes! Or how about you organise your own with your friends, there are so many "how to's" on the internet! Invite your friends, pour a wine and swap your clothes. You have probably seen your friend out in an amazing outfit, invite her, maybe she'll bring it along!
DIY It’s like giving your clothes a face lift. Fashion should be about expressing your individuality. You may already have a perfectly good paid or jeans that you could transform. Fray the bottom, add some embellishment.
What are the benefits of DIY
- Cost, obviously
- Supporting positive change, less consumption and sustainable companies
- Disrupting mass market fashion
- Prolonging the life of clothing, making something tired & old, young again. Like a face lift!
- Adding a unique spin onto everyday items
- Expressing individuality – nobody else will be wearing it!
Renting Your Clothes For those special occasions, I like to feel special. Wear something new (well, new to me!). Renting is the perfect option for Race Day, Weddings, Birthdays. It also means you wont have an expensive dress hanging out in the back of your closet forever. It's the 21st Century and just like music and films, it’s like having a wardrobe in the cloud. For the money smart women out there!
Don’t have time to do the research yourself? This is totally understandable, we all lead busy lives! That's ok, there are some amazing sustainable fashion bloggers out there who have already done the research for you. They are dedicated to promoting brands that are doing the right thing.
TOP TIP Last but NOT lease just remember when you are looking to shop sustainably Nobody's perfect! Pick your battles when it comes to sustainability, NOTHING is 100% sustainable, so know your values and stick to them.
If you would like any further advise please feel free to contact me, I am alway's keen to chat!!