Recently, as I’ve tried to move towards making my life more sustainable, I’ve become increasingly interested in sustainable fashion. This past weekend I went to a vintage ‘by the kilo’ clothing sale, which was really fun! Although it was not the cheapest, at 40 euros per kilo, I did come home with a couple fun finds.
Thrift shopping challenges
Though I love the idea of buying all of my clothes second-hand, in reality I still encounter a number of challenges when trying to create a sustainable wardrobe. These include:
professional looking second-hand pieces that I can wear to work
- While I love loose, hippie thrifted style for my weekend looks, office wear generally has to be well fitting and shouldn’t look too old…
pants that actually fit
- Related to point one, it’s easier to do loose, mom-jean or tomboyish styles, but finding pants that actually fit well is hard, especially at flea markets where you often can’t try them on
like tank tops and underwear, and (usually) shoes
- As far as I can tell these are things that you always have to buy new… But hopefully from sustainable / conscious brands if you can afford it
- Although I did get one pair of black high heeled boots secondhand that I love and still wear
- I am pretty good at taking care of the clothes that I do have and wearing them for a long time (Except for that one merino wool sweater that I shrunk in the washing machine… Oops! RIP)
- I have to admit, I used to be a total fiend for fast fashion, but now I try to avoid or minimise my fast fashion purchases as much as possible
- I have drastically cut back my shopping in general. When I was younger, I liked to buy a new top at least every month, so that I always had something new to wear, since I was going out all the time. When I went on an extended backpacking trip, I started to develop more minimalist ways, and when I became a masters student my budget certainly didn’t allow me to go shopping. This meant for a couple years, I hardly bought any new clothes, except for what I really, really needed. I preferred to spend my money (and time!) on other activities
- Now that I’m back to working full time, I do like to look nice when I’m at the office, but I’m also much more conscious about what I buy and what I wear, and the impact that it has. I’m no longer ignorant about the huge impact that the (fast) fashion industry has, and I want to minimise my contribution to that
Moving forward, I hope to be even better about being a minimalist, investing in fewer, higher quality pieces (ideally secondhand!) and being really conscious about everything that I buy.
Have you considered the impact your fashion choices have on the environment?
Looking for more inspiration on sustainable fashion? Check out myethicaledit.com , about living an ethical and sustainable lifestyle, written by a fellow Canadian blogger here in Munich!