4. Know What terms like “Organic” and “Fair Trade” Mean.
To be 100% organic, items need to be certified by a recognized third party (such as the USDA) and must follow strict guidelines for growing fibers and avoiding all synthetic materials. Fair trade garments are produced with the whole process in mind, rather than just the final product. This often entails personal relationships with suppliers, ensuring fair working conditions and compensation. Sustainable fashion refers to an item that can be produced over and over again without affecting the environment. Cruelty-free means that a company does not use or test products on animals. Keep track of this type of wording, especially as it pertains to your favorite brands. Research the companies you purchase from most and become familiar with their manufacturing practices and policies.
5. Buy Clothing Made of Sustainable Fabrics.
These include fabrics such as bamboo, linen, organic cotton, soy, and wool. There are even more scientifically advanced, sustainable fabrics, such as SeaCell (seaweed and wood pulp) and Eco-Spun (recycled soda cans and bottles). Avoid fabrics that don’t use natural dyes. Dyeing fabrics uses more water than most industries. Also, consider reducing the amount of animal products in your wardrobe, such as leathers and furs.
6. Practice Mindful Consumption.
Embodying eco-chic fashion reminds us of the old adage of sexual abstinence, don’t buy (have sex), don’t waste (get pregnant/STDs). In theory it is best to only buy what you need and don’t go on excessive and lavish shopping sprees. However, we know being fashion-obsessed can make this difficult to follow. A good compromise is to try and go easy on the trends, injecting classic pieces into your wardrobe that will never go out of style. This extends the life of your clothing, making it less likely you will dispose of last season’s looks.
7. Implement Green Practices into your Beauty Regiment.
Use organic and natural beauty products in addition to supporting sustainable fashion. This includes purchasing paraben and cruelty-free products, and paying attention to ingredient lists. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, or it has words ending in scientific terms such as “-ide,” skip it. Not only does it protect the environment, but you are also protecting yourself, since many experts believe ingredients and chemicals used in traditional beauty products can cause cancers.