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Why Women's Fashion Must Become More Sustainable
If you've noticed a huge increase in the amount of talk about sustainability in fashion lately, that can only be a good thing. Fast fashion has become the norm in recent decades, but this comes at enormous cost to the environment. It's estimated that no more than 20% of clothes are currently recycled, with the vast majority ending up as landfill. We all need to make an effort to be more sustainable in our lifestyle choices, and that includes making an effort to dress in sustainable clothing.
So, what does sustainable fashion mean and how can you do your part?
Put simply, sustainable fashion refers to clothes and accessories that are manufactured in a sustainable way. This means in a way that doesn't harm the environment or those people producing the items. Sustainable fashion is about reducing CO2 emissions, cutting waste and pollution, and supporting and protecting biodiversity and the environment. It's also about ensuring anyone who works in the fashion industry - in any part of the world and in any role at any level - is paid a fair, living wage and is working in safe and secure conditions. These Aqua Women's Organic Cotton Track Pants are a good example of sustainable fashion.
Here are some things you can do, starting today, to ensure your fashion choices are more sustainable:
1. Buy less but better
The first thing you should do is reduce the number of clothing items you buy. Only buy what you really need and what you're confident you will wear regularly. Buy better-quality clothing and look after it to ensure it lasts longer. Lots of cheap, mass-produced clothing isn't designed to last and will start showing signs of wear after the first wash. Buying better-quality garments means you will ultimately buy less because they'll last far longer. This is particularly important for items you'll wear regularly, such as jeans and t-shirts. Avoid anything that's been rushed out as an imitation of a current trend at a rock-bottom price. The quality and sustainability will be rock-bottom, too.
2. Donate your old clothes to charity
Unless it's falling apart or stained beyond redemption, your old clothes will be perfect for someone else. Check for charitable organizations in your area that take good-quality secondhand clothing. Some charities sell your unwanted clothes and accessories to fund their activities, while others will supply them directly to people who are struggling financially. Either way, your clothes will enjoy a new lease on life rather than ending up in landfill. Throwing clothes into the garbage should only ever be a last resort for pieces that are damaged beyond repair.
3. Learn to sew
You don't need to be a whiz with a needle to sew on a button or fix a seam, but if you're not confident doing your own repairs, find a local seamstress who will do it for you. Embracing alterations is another great way to get more life out of your existing wardrobe and buy fewer new items. A talented seamstress will become your best friend, able to amend everything from hemlines and sleeve lengths and bring in the waists of shirts and dresses to give you the perfect fit.
4. Look at your fabrics
So-called virgin synthetics - like polyester - are best avoided where possible. It makes up over 50% of all the clothes in the world currently but can take many years to break down. Natural fibers are usually better, and they break down naturally. Organic cotton is one of the best options because it uses fewer chemicals in its production and less water is used than in regular cotton. Not all natural fibers are automatically sustainable, however, so do your research before buying. Hue Division specialised in organic, sustainable fashion, such as this Azalea Pink Women's Organic Cotton Hoodie, which is made from a blend of organic and recycled cotton with environmentally friendly dye.
5. Wash your clothes less and at cooler temperatures
Most clothes only need to be washed in cool water to get them clean. Don't be tempted to stick everything on a hot wash; only heavily soiled items generally need this. Plus, cooler washes are far better for your clothes and will keep them looking and feeling newer for longer. It's often tempting to shove items in the washer to make up a load, even if we know they don't really need washing yet. Be patient and start trying to arrange your laundry days more efficiently. You'll help save the environment and save money on your electricity bills, too.
We hope we've given you some tips to help you be more sustainable when it comes to fashion. Remember that you don't need to be perfect - every small change can make a big difference to the environment.