How To Be A More Sustainable Consumer

Hi everyone,

I think one of the most daunting things about fast fashion is the feeling of not knowing where to start when it comes to sustainability. We all know that we should be sustainable consumers, but as you can see throughout these posts, there’s many reasons why people aren’t shopping in sustainable ways. I don’t think you’re going to magically be able to make ethical and 100% guilt-free purchases overnight, but you can definitely start small and work your way into becoming the kind of consumer you want to be. I’ve listed some of my favorite ways to be sustainable down below!

Re-sell your old purchases. I don’t know about you guys, but I personally always try and sell my old clothing because not only is it an easy way to make some extra money, it’s also comforting for me to know that my old clothes are going somewhere they will be used. As I’ve mentioned before, so many clothes end up in landfills because they don’t get resold or worn again and instead are thrown out. My biggest tip is to list items even if you think no one is going to buy them because you’d be surprised at how much you can sell in just one week. My favorite apps for this are Depop, Mercari, and Poshmark.

Find small designers to support. When it comes to shopping, shopping at a small business is always preferable because you’re directly supporting a small company that can likely trace where their items are coming from and made. When we shop from big stores and corporations, we are supporting what they choose to do and how they spend the money they’re making from us. It feels better to shop small and know that I’m impacting someone who may really need the money I’m spending or my support. You can find small businesses to shop near you by doing a quick search, but I also would check out Etsy for some seriously cute and hand-crafted things.

Think before you buy. This is pretty self-explanatory, but thinking before you purchase something is really important. Consider how it was made, and who it was made by. Was this mass produced in a factory? Did a woman or young child possibly make this garment? Will this item break down over time or pollute the environment? All of these are things to consider before you make a big purchase.

Research your favorite brands. It’s important to research and look at your favorite brands when you are choosing to shop more sustainably. An easy way to do this is to research the effects the brand has on the environment. The website Good On You (linked here) is actually a great resource for this because you can search up a brand and see how clean and eco-friendly it is. If a lot of your clothing is looking like it’s from some stores that aren’t environmentally friendly, it may be time to find some new places to shop.

Invest in pieces that will last. Unfortunately, fashion can get extremely expensive, but investing in pieces that are good quality will actually help you save money in the long run. When you’re buying from the fast fashion cycle, you’re committing yourself to repurchasing more of the same item because, chances are, it won’t last very long. It’s better to start off strong and buy a higher end piece that will last you the test of time than make countless purchases of the same item for less than average quality.

If you have any more tips, leave them in the comments below for other readers to see! I hope you enjoyed this post.

-Emily Berrol

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