In 2020 every area and aspect of human life has been impacted by a movement to be more aware of the most pressing issues our planet is facing, and responsible in our habits as consumers.
There’s been a huge conversation around how fashion can contribute to making the world better, and many brands and designers have been focusing on this. There’s been a big movement towards conscious fashion and how it can take on a bigger responsibility while staying on the pulse of trends and new innovations. From t-shirts emblazoned with powerful messages, to fashion shows in nature, a lot of great things are happening.
A big misconception is that we have to give up on style to be conscious. Consciousness and fashion don’t have to exist at loggerheads, the two can be paired together to impact the world in a meaningful way. As consumers, it can be so hard to find a way to make this idea of being more conscious feel less abstract and actually reflect in your wardrobe so that you’re doing your part to help humanity.
Many people think conscious consumption has to be some huge gesture or decision to deprive yourself of fashion, but this is far from the truth. It doesn’t mean being boring or behind the trend. Many of the brands in the conscious movement are actually blazing a new trail and creating an innovative future for fashion. There are many ways we can buy more mindfully and be of service to the planet to be a part of this. Here are a few ideas.
Fashion can be a powerful tool for unity and connecting the world, especially when it’s inclusive and allows different kinds of people to shine and feel seen. We live in an age with so many brands that want to make every body type, gender, and style feel like they have something that truly represents them. Inclusive brands come in so many different forms. Plus-size fashion companies that make style available for every shape, along with brands that focus on gender-neutral fashion to make everyone feel their own unique style and point-of-view matters. Being able to find and buy nonbinary clothing without compromising on style is a powerful statement that makes fashion accessible and goes beyond clothes. It allows clothes to become a statement of authentic identity.
Invest in Brands You Truly Believe In
In 2020, there was a huge reckoning on brands that don’t actually walk the walk behind what they say. Many so-called woke fashion brands came under fire for bad labor practices and failing to live up to the values they display on social media. One way we can consume fashion more consciously is to only buy from brands whose values connect with us, and are a real part of every single thing they do. One of the most conscious things you can do is to take your dollars away from brands that you don’t feel like are doing enough to make the world a better place and putting them towards brands that are actually doing something you feel proud to stand behind. Whether you care about the environment or body positivity, the most powerful thing you can do is put money behind what contributes to a better world.
Renting and Thrifting
Sustainable fashion has been taken a step further with new solutions that aim to do less harm to the planet. Many brands have opened up initiatives for borrowing and renting clothes instead of buying them in order to reduce waste and damage to the planet. Moving away from the idea of clothing ownership is a way to reduce our waste footprint. We can also start buying thrifted clothing as a way to extend the life cycle of fashion items. One of the challenges with fashion trends is how disposable the clothes are once they are no longer trendy. We can push back on this by finding ways to extend the life cycle of a piece of clothing, and taking care of our jewelry so that it can last longer. That allows us to stretch its value, so we can keep it longer or make it possible for someone else to buy it down-the-line.
Buy What You Love
We live in a world of sales, discounts and deals so it’s very easy to accumulate clothing that we actually don’t like and never really wear. One of the most powerful things we can do is to start choosing and buying key pieces that we really love and are excited to wear. This reduces our waste footprint significantly. It’s also great to constantly edit your wardrobe so you can identify pieces you no longer want and donate them to extend their lifespan and also benefit a cause that you care about.
There are many ways to be a more planet-conscious consumer, and it doesn’t have to be huge changes in your life. It’s all about investing in retailers, designers and brands who are doing something good for the world, while also tweaking our habits so that we are less wasteful too. Remember, you can still look really good and take care of the planet.