It is undeniable that something is happening. A movement, we may say, in a new direction, different from all we learned so far, towards awareness and common good. The food industry is an example of how we can change our habits as we tend to be a bit more careful with what we eat and conscious and concerned with our health. We now see new zero waste stores in the neighborhood, organic products at the supermarket, and a lot of plastic packages with the label “green” or “bio”. Words such as “Fairtrade” and “Sustainable” are very trendy and even if many do not know what they mean, it definitely shows that we are starting to care about other issues.
As for fashion, for example a t-shirt doesn’t come wrapped in a plastic (and that’s great!) labelled with an “organic” sticker. And although we do not get ill by wearing a jacket with pesticides residues, we do start to realise that there are other people’s lives and environmental issues involved in the making of a garment.
Once we know the story behind our clothes, we feel the need to do different. And when we understand the dimensions and the consequences of our purchases, we also get very motivated to act. With that in mind, here are some practical tips how everyone can start to do to make a change.
In general, we tend to buy way more than we actually need. This is due to a culture based on consumption where the goods we purchase give us the illusion of happiness. Of course it is always nice to have a new bag or new jacket, but it is the importance we give to it that matters. Therefore, reducing the amount of products we buy is definitely a big step, towards saving resources and helping us to see the important things in life from another perspective.
A new concept that has a great potential: just rent your clothes (e.g. Kleihd). Perfect for special occasions, or for items you know you would not wear as often. Also a great opportunity to try out a new style.
Explore the second hand stores in your city, visit them often enough whenever you need to shop. It’s a whole new world and you never know what treasures you might find. When going shopping in another city or country, do visit their second hand shops, pay attention to the kind of clothes they have. It can tell you a lot about their culture and habits.
Many new brands are being created with an ethical concept. They use raw materials that do not harm the environment and (re)use existing resources. They do not use animals to make goods and make sure their workers are well paid and can work under good and safe conditions. These brands are aware of their responsibility whilst being a fashion brand.
Gather some friends and start swaping clothes, cosmetics, shoes, accessories, you decide. Exchanging goods is what we use to do in the past. Make your own rules, set some guidelines (to avoid misunderstandings) and enjoy. Join the Fashion Flip Swap on April 30 to get a first taste!
Changing a behavior is not an easy task, and it will not happen from one day to the next. However, the main part is the process itself, and there are some small steps that help us to go through it. Although not everyone feels comfortable with all the alternatives, there are many ways to support the change happening in the fashion industry. It is already a big step to bear the above tips in mind when going shopping and the willing to change, is the attitude that will lead to making a difference.