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How to Be Sustainably Chic

How to Be Sustainably Chic

The word “sustainable” is a buzzword these days with more people focused on being more conscious on saving the earth and reducing waste. I personally never really took it too seriously, because I never knew how unsustainable the fashion industry actually is, and--if I’m being honest--never really wanted to know because I love fast fashion prices. However, I learned that after the oil industry, the fashion industry is the most wasteful industry! Despite the glamorous aura surrounding the fashion industry, there’s an obvious downside which makes me never want to go to Forever 21 ever again.

While knowing this, I still didn’t want to sacrifice my shopping addiction, and thought the only option was to shop less and have more drab, basic pieces. After some research and personal experience, I was able to conjure up some tips to still be considered fashionable, but with a sustainable twist:

Shop your own closet. This is one of my favorite things to do. About once a week, I go into my own closet and look around to become more familiar with the clothes I already have and try to rearrange them to create different combinations of outfits. With everything I already have, there are endless possibilities of outfits I can create.

Thrifting. I am totally not a thrift shop person, I get super overwhelmed by all the choices, and every thrift shop seems to have a strange “old” smell. That being said, some of my favorite pieces are finds from thrift shops! Finding a garment in a thrift shop is like finding treasure: after searching the entire store, you can find a gem that will stay in your closet forever, and you have an awesome story to tell every time you get a compliment on it!

Save your money -- buy big pieces. Instead of going to some fast fashion store once a month and buying 10 articles of clothing that will either be worn out, or out of style in a year, try pooling that money together and buying one nicer piece. If you think about it if you invest in buying one nice quality garment once a month, after a year you have 12 really nice garments that you can wear for years to come.

Learn how to use a sewing machine. I am not a master seamstress and can design a really cute dress old rags, but I can sew small seams, and hems to totally transform pieces. For instance, if you have old t-shirts you haven’t worn in a year, consider cutting them in a square, sew a hem, and use them as a dishrag.

Figure out your own personal style--avoid trendy. With fashion moving so quickly, it’s easy to fall victim of fast fashion and go from trend to trend without thinking about what throwing away your old clothes does to the environment. Instead, really put thought into the clothes you buy. Don’t just buy something because all of your friends have it. Buy clothes that you think matches your own personal style and that you would wear over and over again because they define who you are. Besides what you wear is a visual representation of who you are, so choose them wisely.

With all the waste in the world, you don’t want to add to it knowing that what you are buying is going to end up in the trash. Sustainability doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to be thoughtful. Just being more conscious of what you buy, wear, and own, can help you become much more sustainable and conscious of the impact the industry has on the environment.  

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