The lazy girl’s guide to sustainable fashion Advertisement

The lazy girl’s guide to sustainable fashion

Six easy things you can do to help the environment via your wardrobe

By Harriet Stewart  June 27th, 2018

When it comes to making sustainable fashion choices we all know we can do more, but sometimes knowing exactly what you can do to help is the hardest part. It can all seem a bit daunting; do I have to stop enjoying fashion? Can I still buy new clothes? Should I only wear dresses made from hemp and never wash my clothes again?

The answer — no.

The truth is there are lots of small, easy changes you can make that will collectively make a big difference to the environment, both socially and ecologically. We caught up with Anna Gedda, H&M’s head of sustainability, to get her top tips for making more ethical choices with your clothes…

6 small ways you can embrace sustainable fashion 

Wardrobe Swapping

Do you really need that new dress? Rather than buying something new (that you know you’ll be bored with by next month) what about trying that dress your friend/sister/flatmate/granny has that you’ve always had your eye on? Why not offer them something from your wardrobe in exchange for it?

Donate any unwanted clothes to H&M

Hand-in unwanted clothes to any H&M store worldwide (to date H&M has collected 12,000 tones of garments) and they will ensure that they are given a new life, whether that's by turning the yarns into recycled cotton, donating them to charity, or using parts to create something new. However they are recycled, you can ensure they won’t end up in landfill.

Don’t buy something unless you can commit to wearing it at least 30 times

We're all guilty of an impulse buy, often knowing full well we probably won’t wear it that many times. So next time you feel the urge, ask yourself these four questions: Do I really need this? How often will I wear it? Do I already own something similar? Does it go with things I already own?

Shop consciously, and affordably

Buying ethically produced clothes doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune, a common misconception. India has a bounty of brands that have adopted the ethical route, from affordable labels like H&M Conscious Exclusive, Olio and Jodi to occasion wear from labels like Anita Dongre Grassroot, Ritu Kumar and Anju Modi. Look for brands that are investing in researching and developing newer fabrics that don't put pressure on the environment, like Tencel or yarns crafted from soya bean and banana fibres. 

Look after your clothes better so they will last longer

If your clothes last longer, there's less need to buy more. Try switching to a 30 degree wash, and hang clothes out to try as opposed to tumble drying them, or better still, try airing clothes a couple of times before you decide to wash them. Vinegar is a great stain remover on fabrics such as leather and suede, and a much more eco-friendly option that a visit to the dry cleaner.

Be a more informed shopper

Ask questions. If a brand isn’t transparent about where their clothes come from then question that. Where are they made? How are they made? Who are they made by? The textile trade is an incredibly important industry for many developing countries, but conditions everywhere may not be safe for the people working. Asking the right questions, and carefully researching the shops you choose to buy from, can help make sure you are doing your bit.