How to Be a Responsible Consumer and Look Good at the Same Time

Girl Choose Clothes

Both boys and girls of a student age want to be classy and cool. It is a normal will: you want to be the center of everybody’s attention. In our minds, eco-friendly clothes associates with the hippy culture of some weirdly dressed people. This position is absolutely wrong: you have not even known, but a lot of famous brands take care of nature. You can help our planet by taking care of yourself and at the same time look cool.

The «sustainable fashion» is the ethical fashion production that pays attention to the environment and ensuring the humanism and fair working conditions. Just a few years ago it was a rare phenomenon, which was supported by a narrow audience. Nowadays this tendency is quickly picked up by quite different designers and brands. For example, H&M with a singer MIA advertise the program of collecting old things, Karl Lagerfeld launches the Eco collection, and Adidas designers make sneakers from the waste raised from the ocean. This new trend is not going to disappear, unlike the others.

Issue to Care Of

Capitals of the movement for responsible production are Stockholm and Copenhagen. In Denmark, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit conducted a conference on ethical fashion, which attracts dozens of industry professionals from fashion directors to denim manufacturers. By the way, making denim is one of the most active environmental contaminants. Fashion industry occupies the second place in the list of harmful industries, losing only to the oil one. Also, this is a great irony in the fact that the mass-market giant H&M became the face of ethical production. After all, the companies of that segment produce a huge amount of cheap things and encouraging consumers to buy more.

Buy Less

An offer “just produce less” may sound rational, but none brand is ready to lose a great amount of incoming costs. On the other hand, we still can buy less. According to a study conducted by WRAP, the total cost of clothes that was not worn even once a year in the wardrobes of buyers is about 30 billion dollars. Today, according to the «The True Cost» movie, people buy 400 % more clothes than twenty years ago. Before you buy something, consider whether it is really what you need. A particularly insidious are the mass-market stores, which shares with its constant and cheerful T-shirts for 2 dollars. They are literally begging from the shelves to buy them immediately. It is important to learn how to mute these voices in your own mind, instead of buying unnecessary things. You can buy one but which suits you, and it will live longer than one season.

Wear Clothes Longer Than One Season

In some sense, the fact that you have worn a jacket for a few years redeems the harm that has been caused to the environment during its production. The jeans from the primary processing of cotton can be an excellent example. According to the various estimates, up to 10 thousand liters of water are spent on the cultivation of cotton, which will be used to make the one single pair of jeans. Moreover, about 25% of pesticides in the world are used in the cotton fields. The good pair jeans is a durable thing. Even if you are a student with a lack of money, it is better to save some and buy really suitable jeans of a high quality. Over the years they, unlike sweaters or shirts, are just getting more comfortable: finally, they fit the figure perfectly. If you do not live in a constant race for trends, you will not need the new ones for a very long time.

Do Not Throw Things Away

Throwing away

According to the documentary «The True Cost», the average American emits about 40 kilograms of clothes annually. The total weight of the garbage “wardrobe” collected during the same period by the inhabitants of the United States estimates at about 11 million tons. A very small percentage of this enormous number is fabric which can decompose by itself without any additional intervention. Polyester is the most demanded fabric in the clothing industry, and it may lie in the ground up to 200 years.

Rather try to give your clothes a new life than throw things away, no matter how presentable they look. Something you do not need may be useful to someone else. Maybe as a child you need to continue wearing the shorts of your older sibling, because your parents wished not to throw them out. Though, in general, it was a very wise decision: not only financially, but also in terms of responsible consumption. Also, you can give it to your friends – a lot of people are so in love with clothes swap parties. You may post an ad in one of the groups of “give free” on Facebook, where your old thing will find a new owner in a few hours. Finally, the most obvious option is that you can always give clothes on charity.

Choose Ethical Brands

It is not obligatory to be limited solely by “green” brands. For college students, who always have not enough money, buying an ecological but expensive things can be a problem. To start with, you can learn the ranking of the most responsible brands, which Corporate Knights presents each year. The first half of the list of fashion industry are Adidas, H&M, and Marks & Spencer. Greenpeace organization have also made a similar list, and you will not find unfamiliar names. The Excessive force to follow the new rules is not required from you. You have time to understand all the key elements, luckily, the internet is full of information.

Local Grocery Stores

Support Local Producers

First, ensure that the conditions of producing and materials for sewing clothes that you buy are appropriate. It is easier to find out, if it is a small local brand rather than the multi-million corporations. By the way, the conditions of working on the factories are a very important criterion in the evaluation of the ethics of the brand. To accurately verify this point, just watch a terrible documentary «Blue China».

Secondly, local brands do less harm to the environment, at least because their products do not need to be transported over the long distances. Finally, you invest in slow fashion – fashion that is focusing on quality, manual labor and exclusively production.

Second-Hand Heaven

Many of us are so fond of second-hands and vintage shops simply because you can always find something cool, what you will not find anywhere else and on no one else. The great thing about it is that those clothes is way cheaper than in shops. By the way, you have a great chance to find there a Chanel dress only for 20 dollars! Designers look back at the fashion’s previous decades in the search of inspiration. Why do you need to encourage overproduction with your own wallet, if there are so many produced things that they will be good enough to be worn at least another couple of lives? You can wear second-hand things even from the most terrible tissues without remorse: a polyester dresses and leopard print. All the same, with buying something, you give the old things a new life, and that is good.

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