Sustainable Fashion 101: How to Take Action

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Sustainable fashion is definitely a buzzword nowadays, and it’s great that more and more people are becoming aware of just how damaging the fashion industry can be. Beyond being one of the largest polluting industries in the world, fast fashion is a massive drain on resources, a huge contributor to global waste, and the perpetrator of unjust treatment of its workers.

Not to fear: there’s a lot we can do to help out, and a little can go a long way! Sustainable fashion ties in closely with the environmental protection agenda as a whole, and our efforts can be extended to fighting those issues too.

{RELATED POST: The Sustainability Tips Every College Woman Needs to Know}

Read on to find out how, whether it’s by changing personal habits, spreading the word, or even (and especially) calling your congress members.

1. Rethink Your Closet

Buying cycles are so much shorter today! The demand for new trends is very real, and fast fashion companies are racing to put up fresh-from-the-runway looks, or even predict what’ll be in next season. The average consumer is pretty used to throwing away clothing they feel the times have moved on, but this behavior can be harmful with time.

Instead, we advise you to inventory your closet so you know exactly what you need the next time you go shopping. Keep those items in mind as you hit the racks, as oftentimes we get distracted by other clothes that might look cute in the moment but quickly drop out of our radar after a few weeks.

Also, try to shop less in general. There are so many tempting things out there to add to your cart, but it’s always important to ask if you really need it. We totally understand if it’s something you’re completely in love with, but on the regular, it’s better to refrain from refilling the closet.

Sustainable slow fashion isn’t cheap, and most people can’t afford to invest in their pieces. Instead, buy from and support your local thrift/vintage shops! Check out Depop and Etsy as well. They have great deals and some amazing finds out there (and most likely won’t break the bank)! Plus, it’s a special feeling to know you’ve got a piece that’s one-of-a-kind.

2. Tell Your Friends!

Spreading the word is so important! Just a simple mention to your friends means one more person is aware of their shopping habits, and the effort adds up. Creating these personal communities of awareness is also super effective: we can look out for each other, and actions are adopted pretty quickly when a lot of people rally behind them.

3. Call, Sign, and Protest

Hello, hello! Midterm elections in the United States are just a month away, and college students have so much potential with their voting power. This doesn’t only apply to sustainable fashion and better environmental preservation initiatives, but any problem you feel deeply about in our nation – get out there and have your say!

We suggest looking up what your local and state governments are doing to regulate businesses and their waste production – unfortunately, most big fast fashion factories are based overseas. Look up how your everyday environment is being handled, and if you’re not happy, contact your officials!

There are also petitions out there in support of sustainable fashion (for example, Greenpeace’s Fashion Manifesto), or you could start your own! In the end, changing ineffective policy could have the greatest impact on curbing fast fashion.

What do you think?

Have you been changing how you see fast fashion? What is one action you might take? How do you feel about the recent effects of global warming? Let us know in the comments!

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