Why I’m making the change to a sustainable wardrobe

Sustainable Wardrobe – Why I’m Making the Switch

I usually try to stay away from controversial topics on my blog. I prefer to keep it light and fun. However, our current environmental situation is desperate and I feel strongly about it. I’m making the change to a sustainable wardrobe and I want to tell you why. This post may get a little preachy and I apologize for that. It’s important though, so I encourage you to read on!

The Current Situation

Our current situation is pretty dire. With climate change, overpopulation, deforestation, and pollution we have nearly succeeded in making our home planet inhospitable to human life, as well as to most of our fellow animals. We’ve got a very short time left to make some drastic changes if we want to change our current circumstances. There are lots of things we can all do to help that go beyond recycling.

Sustainable Wardrobe - Poutine and Prada

The Fashion Industry – Why we should work towards sustainable wardrobes

The fashion industry is one of the worst polluters, second only to the oil industry:

  • untreated toxic waste water containing lead, mercury, and arsenic is dumped into waterways;
  • the fashion industry is also a huge water consumer (20,000 litres of water are required to grow one kg of cotton for example);
  • synthetic materials shed micro plastics in the wash that end up in the oceans; and,
  • the average family in the western world throws out 30 kg of textiles per year, which ends up in landfills.

What We Can Do

So, what can we, as consumers, do about it? Quite a lot as a matter of fact. Every time we purchase a garment we are making a statement with our hard earned money. We can choose to tell fast fashion retailers such as Zara and H&M that we do not support their wasteful practices by spending our money on garments produced by sustainable and ethical companies.

Now, I’m not a saint and I’ve certainly been guilty of contributing to the problem for many years. I’m making a change now though, it’s never too late! Moving forward I am going to try to shop only from ethical and sustainable brands or, and this is the most environmentally friendly thing anyone can do in terms of shopping, buy my clothes second hand. I hope you will consider joining me. 

Resources for more information:

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13 Comments

  1. These are some pretty scary statistics! It just amazes me how careless we are in the world. Am dreading the future generations asking why we didn’t care enough about their future.

    I’m taking note of the links you mentioned. LOVE David Suzuki: He spoke at my high school in Prince George back in the day–what an honour!

    Thanks for highlighting this incredibly important issue in the fashion industry Sarah! I’m inspired to do more and hope we can all do our part!

    Trace :o)

  2. Yes, I’m onboard with this already! There are so many little things we can do. And to open it up even more, I think the packaging for makeup products is ridiculously wasteful. Another reason why I do not wear much makeup. Also hair colouring is extremely wasteful (ie foils) and harmful (chemicals!) to me now too. Natural is the way to go, for sure. My next step is shampoo bars in stead of bottles…. I haven’t quite gotten there yet.

  3. I think it’s great that you’re trying to shop more mindfully regarding the environment. It’s something I’m hoping to move more towards too but it’s definitely a process rather than an overnight thing. Shopping second hand is a great way to start too x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    1. Oh yes! It’s definitely not an overnight process. A huge part of being sustainable is making the best use of what you’ve already got in your closet and only adding in new pieces as they are needed.

    1. This is very true, although there are some that are more affordable. The thing to keep in mind is that sustainable brands are ethical and ensure that the people making the clothes are paid fair wages, work in safe conditions and work reasonable hours. All of that contributes to the higher cost of the garments. Brands like H&M use unethical factories that force people to work in unsafe conditions. When you buy an ethically made piece the price is higher because it reflects the actual, and fair, price of making the garment. All of that said, the most sustainable way to shop is absolutely second hand and it is so rewarding when you finally get hold of a piece you’ve been hunting for! Thank you so much for reading Karalee.

  4. Oh my goodness, I had no idea the fashion industry was such a bad polluter. Second to the oil industry? That’s terrible. I do buy second hand wherever I can, certainly eBay sees a lot of custom from me, as well as our local charity shops. This is a great post, Sarah, thank you for highlighting such an important topic. Lisa

  5. It’s so important to buy sustainably. I’ve always shopped second hand (except from the odd shop at some fashion brands), but over the last 4 years I’ve tried really hard to be more sustainable and ethical with my clothing choices. I would love to get into buying more clothes from sustainable fashion shops, as well as second hand shopping. It’s so important to do this because the fashion industry is terrible at polluting the world, and not giving people their basic human rights (living wage, their Work conditions etc).

    1. Yes! I didn’t even get into the ethics in this post but I definitely want clothes made by people who are fairly paid and work in safe conditions!

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