How to Shop Sustainably in 5 Simple Ways
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
The farther we get into this year, we can see how our everyday behaviours, from plane, train, and car travel to our fashion consumption habits, contribute to the environment’s demise.
One of the most difficult things about trying to be more sustainable is knowing where to start. However, it is much easier than it once was as there are so many brands that operate with a sustainable focus in mind.
But as complicated as it can be, there are still things that you can do to lessen your impact on the planet, and I've come up with 5 of the most simple ways I could think of!
1. Choose Secondhand
Buying secondhand prevents production of toxic or exploitative new clothing, and it keeps textiles out of the landfill or from being shipped overseas. You’ll also save yourself money, too.
You can find unique and wonderful things in a thrift shop! I've found all kinds of gems after going through them (patiently). Pro tip: before going to the thrift shop, make a mental list of what you're looking for. Because thrift shopping without a clear goal is like grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
Also, with various online thrift platforms on the rise such as Depop, ThredUP, and Poshmark, you can browse for hours without even going in to the store. If you're looking out for secondhand luxury goods, TheRealReal and Vestiaire Collective are my top picks.
Most recent thrifted piece in my wardrobe
Plaid shirt from Value Village, $6
2. Shop Locally
One of the easiest thing you can do is to shop locally. Not only you're supporting a small business but you're buying the artist more time to do something they are passionate about.
There are many ways to support businesses in your area. For instance, if you have a local shop in your neighbourhood, look there first when you need something for your wardrobe instead of heading straight down to the high end store.
My favourite local shops here in Vancouver are Woo To See You, One of a Few, Hey Jude, Picnics and Poetry, and the list goes on!
Javia Leung Official
3. Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Buying better quality, more sustainable pieces will likely save you more money than buying a cheap high-street product over and over again.
Buying more high quality items in a year, rather than 50 cheaper, less eco-friendly pieces will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Save up, invest and buy less.
4. Try Renting
If you've been thinking about renting a piece of clothing.. This is a sign. I've been seeing more rental clothing all over my social media lately. We live in a time very much immersed in the idea of sharing. With fashion being one of the most polluting industries in the world due to high demand, sharing our wardrobes just makes sense.
Rent The Runway, The Lobby, Cocoon, Hurr, and By Rotation are great options.
5. Invest in Trans-seasonal Clothes
Trans-seasonal clothing simply means buying items that you know are going to work for you all-year-round. Trans-seasonal dressing can be quite tricky, so if you stick with your classic pieces, you'll be just fine! Next time you're going shopping, try looking for an item that is more of a classic like a good quality blazer.
Oversized Linen Suit