The Sustainable Fashion Toolbox to Create Positive Impact

by Maria Burgos
The Sustainable Fashion Toolbox to Create Positive Impact
Sustainable Fashion Toolbox - Trendy Seconds

Making sustainable fashion choices can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? Do you need to completely create a new wardrobe? Is it about only buying secondhand clothes for now on or is it ok to buy new clothes every now and then as long as they are sustainable? Wait, but what does sustainable really means for a garment?

The key is adopting a sustainable mindset and taking small steps you can maintain over time. Keep reading to answer these questions.

When I started learning about Sustainable Fashion, I got into this confusing rabbit hole that felt so tough to crack, that I figured many people would want to look the other way because in order to make more responsible choices, it might seem like you have to completely change your lifestyle and go into these inconvenient new habits. Through these years of learning both as an aspiring responsible consumer and a Sustainable Fashion business founder, I understood that Sustainable Fashion is not just about what we buy, but actually also about what we decide not to buy, and how we take care of what we have.

It takes a lot of natural resources to create the clothes we wear. So every time we are buying a garment, we are not just paying with dollars, but also with water, energy and other resources that we don’t get to see. Because of that, the more that garment keeps being useful, the better, because it will make all that effort worth it.

Today, in my opinion, the first step to becoming a more responsible fashion consumer, starts with a change of mindset that requires stopping shopping impulsively and start creating a “toolbox” of knowledge that will help us create a positive impact, one decision at a time.

The Sustainable Fashion "toolbox" includes multiple strategies that can have a huge impact collectively. At its core, sustainable fashion is not just about buying the right products - it's about changing the way you think about fashion. Instead of focusing on acquiring the latest styles, prioritize caring for what you already have and being mindful of what you purchase.

Here are some easy tips to take into consideration to adopt a Sustainable Fashion mindset:

  • Avoid over-consuming
Before taking any action, examine your shopping habits. Do you buy new clothes frequently without needing replacements? Practice mindfulness next time you feel the urge to shop. Ask yourself if you truly need that new item or if you'll wear it regularly (a good rule of thumb is asking yourself if you’re going to wear it at least 30 times). Delay purchases when possible to see if the urge passes. Reducing overall consumption is the most impactful sustainability action you can take.

  • Purchase secondhand clothes
Secondhand shopping is an easy and accessible way to promote sustainability. Buying pre-loved clothing diverts waste from landfills and reduces the demand for raw materials and production. Whether it's thrift stores, online platforms, clothing swap parties or garage sales, shopping secondhand can meet many of your fashion desires while being kinder to the planet.

  • Look for sustainably made new styles

While secondhand is ideal, purchasing new sustainable clothing options allows you to support brands making ethical products. Look for brands that utilize organic materials, pay fair wages, and employ greener manufacturing processes. Small changes like buying sustainable basics or a few higher-quality, longer-lasting sustainable replacements each year add up overtime. At Trendy Seconds, we do the pre-vetting process of all of our sustainable fashion partner vendors, so you can save time.

  • Take good care of your clothes
Taking good care of your clothes not only helps you save money but also creates a positive impact on the environment. By paying attention to the laundry instructions provided with your garments, you can extend their lifespan and keep them in great condition for longer. Following proper care guidelines, such as washing in the right water temperature, using gentle detergents, and avoiding excessive heat or agitation, prevents unnecessary wear and tear. This means fewer trips to the store for replacements and less waste ending up in landfills.

  • Repair and alter existing garments
Repairing rips, replacing zippers and hemming your current wardrobe with a skilled tailor or yourself can drastically extend the life of your clothes. Simple repairs and alterations allow you to keep enjoying your favorite pieces for years instead of dumping them prematurely. Reusing what you already own is always the most sustainable choice.

  • Repurpose and upcycle at end of life
When a garment is truly at the end of its usable life, repurposing the materials into something new keeps them out of landfills. Upcycled clothes, home goods and accessories made from old t-shirts and other textiles have become trendy. Even donating to small local organizations worn items allows others to repair and repurpose them.

In summary, the sustainable fashion toolbox offers a variety of strategies to make a positive impact through your wardrobe choices. Start with small changes you can incorporate regularly.

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Taking steps that feel manageable yet impactful will nurture a sustainable mindset that propels further action. Begin by choosing one or two options from the toolbox to experiment with - every choice matters.


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