Five Obstacles to Sustainable Fashion and How to Overcome Them

sustainable fashion
To prevent a splurge, force yourself to take a stroll through the rest of the mall to clear your head.

Not being sustainable is so out of fashion, but sometimes sticking to a sustainable wardrobe can be a bit like avoiding fatty foods: there are times when the bad stuff sneaks up on you. Here are common obstacles that get in the way of your sustainable style and how to deal.

You’re Bitten By the Splurge Bug

Let’s face it: shopping would be easier if organic clothing shops were mainstream. When you’re window shopping with a friend and you spot something that’s not sustainable, you might be tempted to purchase it. Sometimes what’s convenient is to opt for whatever fashion choices you have in front of you, right?

To prevent a splurge, force yourself to take a stroll through the rest of the mall to clear your head. Think about why you shouldn’t purchase the item, such as because synthetic, non-sustainable materials are bad for you and the environment. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of the importance of sustainable fashion when temptation strikes. So take a breather, have a fairtrade coffee, and then decide.

You want to choose items that will have a good run in your wardrobe, preventing you from replacing them quickly

You’re in a Rush to Purchase a Specific Item

What happens if you are forced to purchase a specific piece, such as a pair of professional pants for an interview the next day, and so your knee-jerk reaction is to go to a nearby store? In such cases when you don’t have time at your disposal, you might not always be able to refuse the non-sustainable piece. This is not the end of the world. As with a diet, it’s your overall efforts that count – not the day that you slip up. A good tip is to head to a second-hand or vintage store. Here you’ll find a treasure while increasing an item of clothing’s lifespan. No matter where you purchase your clothing, though, you want to choose items that will have a good run in your wardrobe, preventing you from replacing them quickly. This translates into less environmental waste.

You’re Just Starting Out and It Feels Like Too Much Effort

If you’re just flexing your muscles as a sustainable fashionista, it might feel overwhelming as any lifestyle change usually does. But the rewards are worth it! Just think: you’ll be putting fabrics on your body that are not harmful or packed with dangerous toxins. Head online to find creative and sustainable clothing so you won’t ruin your chances if you’re not within close range of organic stores. Online shopping also prevents you from having to drive to physical stores, lowering your carbon footprint.

You Don’t Maintain Your Clothing

Perhaps you buy organic clothing but you don’t give them the extra TLC they need to continue looking good. This is crucial to their longevity and if your clothes look great for longer, then you will be motivated to purchase more organic goodies.

  • Wash clothing that contains natural dyes in cool water so that their colours remain bold and bright.
  • Read the label instructions. Items made with natural fibres need a bit of extra care so follow the rules.
  • Use eco-friendly washing detergent. This is much gentler on your clothing and will make it look gorgeous for longer. Plus, it’s better for the environment because it’s biodegradable.

You’ve Numbed Yourself to Fast Fashion

One of the biggest obstacles to sustainable style is not even realising that you’re blinded by conventionally produced clothing. You’re so used to wearing what you wear without opening your eyes to what is really going on in the clothing production process. Start by researching more about fast fashion and its negative effects, how it brings toxins into your life and body, from pesticides to genetically modified substances, as well as how it involves poor working conditions and cheap labour. What appears to be convenient is actually harmful to you, other people, and the environment. If you hear that fast foods contain harmful ingredients, you’re less likely to consume them in future, right? The same should apply to fast fashion: just because you’re not eating it, it doesn’t mean you can turn a blind eye because it is doing damage.

Image credit: alotofpeople / Dollar Photo Club

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