But what is it, and how do we do right by Planet Earth when it comes to what we wear?
In the simplest of terms, sustainable and ethical fashion is fashion that is good for the planet – on both an environmental and social level.
To start making more conscious choices about the clothes you’re buying (and even wearing right now) you can ask yourself two questions: how was this item made and who made it?
Even that can seem a little overwhelming, so here are some of the things to look out for if you’re looking to make your wardrobe more eco-friendly.
It’s all in the label
The little tag on our clothes we often forget to read can actually be a big help when it comes to knowing your way around sustainable style.
For starters it can tell you what your clothes are made of – with many fabrics and textiles known for doing more harm than good for the environment.
Conventional cotton – while a staple in many wardrobes – requires a lot of water and pesticides in order to grow, so choose organically grown cotton instead. Fabrics like organic hemp, organic linen and bamboo are also more planet friendly.
The label can also tell you where in the world a piece of clothing is made – so check if the place is known for paying employees fair wages and that factories are healthy and safe for workers.
Buy quality over quantity
The rise of ‘fast fashion’ means trend-based pieces are easier – and more affordable – to get our hands on than ever. But before you hit ‘add to cart’ on a T-shirt that’s cheaper than a cup of coffee, have a think about what it might really be costing.
Are workers employed in dangerous or exploitative workplaces? Or is the environment suffering because toxic chemicals have been used during production?
Trend-based fashion is also usually of poorer quality, and much more likely to be kicked to the curb (or dumped into landfill) after just one wear.
Purchasing items that are made to last (like those wardrobe staples you’ll keep coming back to season after season) can go a long way to help the environment.
Support brands who are going sustainable
If you’re looking for more sustainable and ethical fashion, put your money where your mouth is and choose to buy from brands that are committed to making a positive change.
New Zealand label Outrè is keeping the planet in mind by purposefully designing small, curated collections. The label is also 100% locally owned and operated, and only uses suppliers that meet the brand’s personal and professional ethical standards.
Their collections use high quality fabrics, so the clothes are made to last – and even their packaging is compostable.
Think twice before throwing it out
We’ve heard the words ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ many times but it can also be applied to our outfits.
Think twice before throwing something you wear away – will a friend love it just as much, can it be repaired, or can you turn it into a truly unique item by repurposing and re-styling it?
After all, there’s nothing more stylish than being sustainable.
Sponsored by Outrè.