We’re a fashion-forward nation and love to feel as good as we look. However, many of us buy a lot more clothing than we strictly need in pursuit of owning a wardrobe that perfectly expresses ourselves. Fast fashion encourages us to buy new clothes on a regular basis and is a part of many people’s repertoires.
Attitudes towards consumerism are changing, with many people prioritising sustainable brands. But what does Britain really think about sustainability and fashion?
Attitudes towards sustainable shopping
UK women’s shorts retailer, Damart, surveyed 2,000 Brits on their buying habits when it came to clothes.
Some of the results don’t bode well for sustainability, with over half of respondents saying they don’t consider sustainability when shopping for garments. However, almost 30% said they either try to shop sustainably or bear it in mind when they buy and is fortunately, predicited to grow, particularly amongst younger generations. Resale apps are becoming increasingly popular to redistribute clothing and 54% of polled adults reported having used one to gain a little extra money.
Other than selling, 91% of British adults also claim to make a habit of donating their unwanted clothes to charity. Likewise, almost 80% of those surveyed recycled their old items at local points.
Why is sustainability important in fashion?
Unfortunately, the fashion industry is a substantial force for pollution, making up 10% of the world’s pollutant sources. This includes the entire process of producing an item to the point of landfill.
Without moving towards sustainable practices, the devastating impact on the planet will continue.
How to shop more sustainably
· Buy local: Instead of buying everything from large online retailers, try to shop with local, independent suppliers and shops. Shopping at larger online outlets has a greater environmental impact due to the distance the product has travelled. Shopping locally limits the overall emissions of carbon dioxide whilst also providing fairer wages for manufacturers along the production chain.
· Shop some second-hand: Consider looking for second-hand clothes in good condition. Often, with all the clothing donated, there are items to be found that still have a long lease of life.
· Buy classics: Rather than shopping the trends, buy timeless looks with a fit that isn’t too tight so that they’ll always suit your style and your body. For example, buying a selection of versatile women’s trousers or shorts that you can mix and match means you’ll get more outfits from a smaller selection of items.
· Invest in quality: Get fewer items of higher quality, including natural materials like cotton. They’ll last longer and serve you better.