10 WAYS TO BECOME A CLIMATE-SMART CONSUMER
10 WAYS TO BECOME A CLIMATE-SMART
As a consumer, you have more power than you know. Your behaviour contributes to how companies choose to manage
their products, production and brand. So how do you contribute to change and become a more sustainable fashion
consumer? We have put together a list of 10 conscious acts to inspire you!
CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATERIALS
When it comes to environmental action, one of the most effective ways to have a positive impact is to choose fabrics that are sustainable. Synthetic fibres such as acrylic, polyamide (nylon) and polyester are usually produced from oil. Not only are these synthetics not biodegradable but they also rely on fossil fuel extraction which is widely recognised as having a significant negative impact on the environment. It’s time to become material-smart and choose durable fabrics like lyocell processed bamboo, lyocell/tencel, hemp, linen and silk that can all be produced without chemicals. Also, keep an eye on the horizon for new exciting fabrics – fabric made from soybeans and crab shells is next!
FIND YOUR OWN STYLE
Trends may come and go, but it is often said that everything comes back into fashion eventually – evidence of how cyclical fashion is. When we talk about sustainable fashion there isn’t a one size fits all solution. For some, it’s investing in a uniform of timeless pieces of the highest quality; for others it’s staying in tune with the latest trends; or choosing to focus solely on second hand. Whether you have your go-to style or you consider yourself a fashionista, it’s possible to create a more sustainable wardrobe that still meets your fashion needs.
BUILD YOUR WARDROBE OF BASICS
Regardless of your fashion sense and the trends you chose to follow, there are some items of clothing that are the foundation of every wardrobe. These ‘basics’ are often timeless and can be paired with almost anything in your wardrobe, regardless of season. What should be on this list of basics can be debated but a good start would be: a few short and long sleeved classic tops, a crisp button-down shirt, a couple great jumpers or cardigans, that go-to pair of trousers that you always feel good in, a blazer to get you to the office or the cocktail party and a scarf to throw over any outfit. Investing in sustainable and durable fabrics such as bamboo lyocell, viscose and cashmere blends will ensure that your wardrobe of basics lasts for a long time. Choose easily combined colours – white, navy, grey and black goes with almost anything.
MAKE EXTRA THOUGHTFUL PURCHASES ONLINE
The rise of e-commerce brought with it a new 24/7 access, changing shopping habits and the whole consumer experience. While you may not have that much power to affect how your parcel is transported to you, there are ways to e-shop smarter to minimise your footprint. Think through your purchases carefully. Learn your sizing with different retailers or consult the size guides available to avoid frequent returns. Research the retailers you choose to engage with to see their policies on everything from production to shipping and packaging.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR CLOTHES
One thing that people tend to forget is that a garment’s total energy cost often comes after the purchase. Frequently over-washing clothes has a negative impact on the environment and despite today’s energy saving washing machines, a lot of water and electricity is used. Also, the washing itself may affect the garments quality. The only items that need to be washed after each use are underwear. Modern washing machines can take 8-10 kilos of laundry so try to make a habit of loading full machines. You can also wash better by choosing organic and environmentally friendly detergents.
GET BACK TO NEEDLEWORK
When did you last thread a sewing needle? In today’s wear-and-tear, fast fashion society, many garments are often considered to be not worth fixing and in some cases it’s even impossible. In Sweden, we buy approximately 13 kilos of clothes and home furnishings per person, per year – 8 kilos of which ends up in the bin. When purchasing new clothes, make sure to choose qualities and styles that you can easily mend and repair yourself or with some help.
SORT AND ARRANGE YOUR WARDROBE
With a nicely organised wardrobe you will have a better overview of what you own. Being able to see all your clothes may lead you to actually use what you own, and fewer items are at risk of being forgotten and neglected. Invest in good hangers and shoe blocks to avoid folds. Put red cedar in the drawers - it’s environmentally friendly and scares away bugs. Try to make a habit of sorting through your clothes every six months and make four piles: keep, unsure, donate and repair. What cannot be donated may be recycled
RECYCLE YOUR CLOTHES
Clothes and textiles that are in good condition can be donated and sold for re-use but even items that aren't suitable to be passed onto someone else can be recycled and made into new items – everything from rugs, furniture padding and mattress production to brand new clothes, depending on the fabric. Movesgood uses fabrics and fibres which are well adapted to the recycling process and is watching with interest as the textile industry works to develop technologies that will help maximize the value of recycled and recovered materials.
BUY CLOTHES SECOND HAND
With both financial, environmental and fashion benefits – buying and selling second-hand clothes is a fast-growing industry and you can participate both online and in physical stores. Buying and selling of second-hand clothes extends the garments life cycle and can be good for your personal economy. Invest in durable materials and timeless styles when purchasing your clothes and you will make sure that they have a second-hand value as well. We wanted to play our role and so moderate our own Facebook group where we offer our customers the ability to sell their clothes second-hand. See more here. The Good Marketplace.
SWAP YOUR CLOTHES
A trend that has emerged more recently is clothes swapping. People exchange their valued but no longer used clothes for clothes that they will use, with others who do the same thing. It is a fast and cost-effective way to renew your wardrobe and reduces your impact on the environment. Events occur locally everywhere so make sure to be on the lookout where you live. There are also apps and social media groups for this cause where you can swap your clothes comfortably online.