A single glance at the latest trendy garments strutted by supermodels and celebs makes you crave for another pair of those knee-high boots, right? Well, the hype may go away, but your wardrobe will remain as crammed as ever, possibly with few options that truly make you feel proud of your sustainable selection. Not all is lost. There’s so much each of us can do in pursuit of more ethical, eco-friendly fashion without wreaking havoc on our wallets or forgoing our authentic look. Let’s dive into the stunning look-book of green choices and criteria to look into before you make your next purchase.
Words: Claire Hastings
1. Upcycle and Reuse
The first time you bought those jeans, they were likely worn by every single girl in town, and even though you can always make them unique simply through accessories, why not redefine them? Once you feel it’s time to ditch them for a new pair, how about refreshing them with a few quirky patches, giving them a distressed makeover, or making a pair of shorts out of them? Every time you repurpose your pieces instead of throwing them out to buy a new item, you extend their lifespan in your own, unique fashion style. Think about how you can find a new use for all of your old clothes, even if it means using an old cotton tee as your next kitchen towel.
2. Think Timeless Thoughts
When you do need to set your shopping goals in order, aim for brands and items you will continue to wear despite the changing trends. They are also the ones that give you the most wiggle room to improvise and upgrade them with accessories and makeup. For example, every girl’s wardrobe needs a little black dress, as well as a pair of stylish pumps for every classy occasion. On a more casual note, a pair of Birkenstock Gizeh sandals is a perfect investment for every garden party, casual stroll in the park, or a coffee date, especially when paired with a minimalist outfit. Add a splash of colour with your pedicure, clear lines with your wearables, and these durable sandals will be your go-to choice for comfort and style.
3. Talk to Your Tailor
What better way to support your local economy, a creative business in your vicinity, and at the same time design a truly unique clothing item than to visit your tailor? Find someone who can point you in the right direction when it comes to finding and purchasing organic, sustainable, and fair-trade fabrics, so that your handmade garment will be ethical down to each fiber. Then, you can spend some time creating a look-book of must-haves you know you’ll wear and use regularly. You can ask your tailor for help if some of your old garments can be repurposed in a similar manner, too. Opt for durable materials that your skin will love, such as organic cotton, linen, and bamboo, all of which are exceptionally long-lasting, prevent skin irritation, and are low-maintenance.
4. Visit Those Thrift Stores
Yet another way you can contribute to the slow fashion movement is to check out second-hand, vintage, and thrift stores wherever you go. Instead of those typical massive shopping malls and fast fashion brands, look into previously owned garments that still have a few years in them. Your wallet will love the effort, since these original clothing items can be quite affordable, and yet, extremely durable.
5. Consider Clever Accessories
A few touch-ups with the right add-ons and an old combination will turn into a stunning ensemble. A little can go a long way in completely transforming your look, but it matters how you buy your accessories, too. They need to be equally eco-friendly, and too many people disregard them as too irrelevant to check the labels or talk to the shop clerk. Look for ethical, upcycled, handmade artisan pieces such as Made, where you can purchase items designed and created by Kenyan jewellery makers who have brilliant and unique pieces available. You’d be surprised how many similar names are out there, making dazzling baubles that would elevate any outfit you own in a heartbeat. A layered necklace or a pair of funky earrings can truly give an extraordinary twist to an otherwise casual combo.
The experience of shopping this way is also a unique one, as you’ll meet many like-minded people with the same goals, striving towards a more ethical wardrobe. You’ll soon build your own network of trusty fashionistas who can always call you right up as soon as a piece that screams your name pops into the store.