How to Transition to Sustainable Fashion

Feb 03, 2021

Making the transition from fast to sustainable fashion can seem daunting because there are many misconceptions about making the switch. No, you do not have to get rid of everything in your closet and start from scratch! In reality, there are plenty of tips and tricks to make the transition smooth, easy, and affordable.

Ditch Fast Fashion

The first tip is to ditch fast fashion altogether. If you are reading this article, it is likely that you already know how harmful fast fashion is on the environment, but just in case, here is a reminder. According to Business Insider, the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is either burned or dumped in a landfill every second.

We get it, fast fashion seems so quick and easy; one quick search and you have found the trendiest denim mini skirt; one swift click of “Add to Bag” and it is at your door by the end of the week. But this is one of the misconceptions about sustainable fashion.

While the name “slow” fashion does encourage slower production rates, it does not have anything to do with the speed at which your clothes will be sent to you! Of course, some sustainable companies offer custom-made clothing which will affect how long it takes to get to you, but many sustainable fashion brands are ready to ship your garment the instant you purchase them. The big difference between fast and slow fashion is the use of sustainable, ethical practices and working conditions.

Set Goals for Yourself

Here are some tips to break your fast fashion addiction. First, consider a shopping cleanse. Sometimes the best way to avoid fast fashion is just to stop shopping for clothes altogether. Try setting a goal for yourself with a specific time period in mind for how long you will steer clear of shopping.

Analyze your current purchasing habits. If you are used to buying something new every week, consider starting small and avoid shopping for just one week. If you are less of a shopaholic, consider a longer goal of a month or two. This will give you time to re-familiarize yourself with the clothes you already have and might inspire some new outfits using items you have not worn in ages.

We would also recommend unsubscribing from fashion companies such as Forever21, Charlotte Russe, Old Navy, Gap, etc. Getting rid of those frequent emails with enticing subject lines that offer 20% off is tempting, so it is best to keep them out of your inbox. This includes physical fashion magazines as well. The good news is this will also save you some money while you are at it.

While some people may be able to quit shopping cold turkey, we understand that others do not see this as an option. Instead, maybe you are trying to replace some of the lower quality items with something that will last. The best way to figure out what should stay versus what needs to go is following the first-to-last methodology.

Donate Clothes You Don’t Need

As the name implies, the first-to-last method involves wearing the first item at the front of your wardrobe each day. Once you have worn something once, simply place it in the back of your wardrobe or at the far end of your closet.

The next day, start again with the first item in front until you have either worn everything in your wardrobe or you are spending too much time staring at the first item thinking “I don’t know how to style this” or “I don’t like that shirt” or “I don’t ever want to wear that.” If any of the above pop into your head one day, that is a sign to donate that item.

If you are worried about the cost of replacing items you decide to donate, consider bringing your unwanted clothes to a consignment shop. Consignment shops are stocked with second-hand clothes and in turn the original owner of the item receives a percentage of the selling price. This is a perfect option for lightly used items or clothes that you feel do not match your style.

The best thing about this is that it keeps clothes out of the landfill. When you want to get rid of something in your closet, your first thought should be to try to give it to someone else who might appreciate it rather than immediately tossing it in the garbage.

Figure Out What Kind of Sustainable Fashion You Want

Once you have figured out what you value in your closest, it is time to figure out what kind of sustainable fashion you are looking to buy. We figure you have already decided what you value in terms of ethics: sustainable practices such as living wages for workers, reducing your carbon footprint, minimizing microplastic pollution resulting from synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon, etc.

But what should you consider about each item or brand? Start with the material. When it comes to sustainable fabrics, are you looking to buy something made of certified organic cotton or natural fibers? Do you value whether they are made of recycled materials?

Next, consider the level of quality. Consider adjectives like made-to-last, high quality, or long life cycles. Maybe you want to look into brands that are cruelty-free, eco-friendly, local, or all of the above. Not all of these have to be taken into consideration before you buy every item, but having a good sit down with yourself to think about what you prioritize can make you feel better about your purchases.

Shop at Relax Into The Chaos

The final step, of course, is to go shopping at sustainable fashion brands like Relax Into The Chaos. Relax Into the Chaos is an independent T-shirt maker who uses only organic cotton. To start your sustainable fashion transition, check out some of what Relax Into the Chaos has for sale online at https://relaxintochaos.com/t-shirts/.

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