9 Sustainable Fashion Trends to Consider

9 Sustainable Fashion Trends to Consider_woman sitting on clothes

Choosing sustainable clothing and accessories doesn’t mean having to sacrifice on style or quality. In fact, most sustainable fashion options are of much higher quality, with styles that are just as good, if not better, than traditional ones.

For this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best sustainable fashion trends currently available that offer a better way to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are nine fashion ideas that offer a sustainable alternative without compromising on style or your values.

What Makes Fashion Sustainable?

You’ll often hear of the terms fast fashion and sustainable fashion as polar opposites in the fashion industry. Fast fashion aims to produce popular fashion items quickly and at the cheapest possible rate. To do this, fast fashion companies use methods that contribute to problems such as textile waste and the use of toxic chemicals while also often underpaying their workers.

Sustainable fashion companies, on the other hand, aim to improve their overall impact on the environment and society, as well as make clothing that is designed to last. As such, it is always better to choose brands that are known to turn out sustainable fashion products.

1. Natural Fabrics

From dresses to shirts, choosing natural fibres such as linen over synthetic fabrics is always a more sustainable choice. For one thing, synthetic fabrics require a lot more chemicals in their production compared to natural ones.

Secondly, clothes using natural fibres are built to last while still offering full comfort and breathability. Lastly, natural fibres are biodegradable, so when they do break down, they won’t be contributing to textile waste as synthetic fibres do.

tag with 100% organic cotton

2. Organic Materials

Many fashion materials, such as cotton, are sourced from unsustainable farming practices. Organic materials are sourced from methods that help cut down on water and chemical usage, meaning they are better for the environment.

Best of all, clothing items made from organic cotton and similar materials look just as good as their fast-fashion equivalents and are just as comfortable to wear.

3. Sustainable Footwear

When it comes to replacing your shoes, it pays to look for ones that use more sustainable materials and crafting methods. For example, shoes made from ethically sourced organic materials such as hemp, cork or organic cotton are a good choice.

There are also brands using recycled materials such as plastic to create their footwear. These sustainable shoes come in a variety of styles and offer durability and breathability.

Check out our brand guide for the best brands making sustainable footwear.

sustainable fashion sign_wear repair remake repeat

4. Upcycled Accessories

One of the biggest contributors to landfill waste is old clothing and accessories that have been discarded. Rather than throwing these items away, they can be reused to create new items such as bags, wallets and phone cases.

Not only are accessories made from recycled fabrics better for the environment, but they add a touch of guilt-free flair.

5. Lab-Made Jewellery

While we all love beautiful pieces of jewellery, the processes involved in extracting gemstones from the earth are often unsustainable. Fortunately, gorgeous gems like diamonds and many coloured stones can now be produced in a laboratory, duplicating the process that takes millions of years. Not only are these gems better for the environment, but they look every bit as beautiful as mined gems.

Check out Eco-Stylist certified brand Brilliant Earth for sustainably made, lab-made jewelry.

6. Vegan Products

Wouldn’t it be great to find high-quality fashion pieces that don’t require the use of animal parts to produce? Fortunately, many alternatives to leather and fur offer the same level of style and comfort.

Consider handmade vegan products that use natural or recycled materials in their production. Not only will you feel better for choosing cruelty-free fashion, but you’ll also be helping out relatively small manufacturers rather than big fashion labels.

7. Thrifted Items

Rather than buying that new piece of clothing or fashion accessory that’s caught your eye, maybe see if you can find something similar at your local thrift store. You can often find stylish and high-quality outfits at thrift stores at much more affordable prices.

You may even be able to rent outfits for special occasions, ensuring these fashion items have an ongoing life and don’t just end up as landfill.

woman shopping for fair trade clothes

8. Fair Trade Clothes

While we’ve discussed sustainable fashion in terms of how it helps the environment, there is also the issue of worker exploitation. Many fast fashion labels force their employees to work long hours in poor conditions and for little pay.

Brands that operate under Fair Trade rules ensure that all workers are paid and treated well and that funding also goes to helping local communities. Choosing these brands is a great way to ensure those who make your clothes are well-supported.

Read our guide to learn more about Fairtrade clothing and the top 10 brands to support.

9. Versatile Outfits

Having an outfit you only plan to wear once or twice is generally a bad investment as well as contributing to unsustainable fashion choices. Instead, maximize usage by choosing an outfit that is versatile enough to be worn for multiple occasions. Not only does this prolong the life of your clothing, but it also means that you don’t need many outfits in your wardrobe for separate occasions.

For help choosing versatile outfits or building a capsule wardrobe, check out our personal styling subscription.

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