1. Shop Responsibly 

More than 100 billion garments are now produced every year, so it’s more important than ever that we adopt the Vivienne Westwood mantra “Buy less, choose well, make it last”. It’s easy to succumb to the allure of fast fashion, but before you buy, try and ask yourself, how many different ways you can wear it and how many times will you wear it?

When you do buy something new, consider whether it’s from a sustainable brand.

Vivienne Westwood Fashion Designer and Activist

2. Buy second-hand

There’s no better time to buy second-hand. There’s a huge array of online marketplaces, such as Depop that offer second-hand pieces from every retailer and designer you can imagine.

Long gone are the days of having to rummage through your local charity shops to find a bargain (as fun as that may be), now we have the entire world at our fingertips.

Not only will you reduce waste by purchasing pre-loved items, you can also make sure your wardrobe features a piece of fashion history.

Whatever your style. Find it on Depop

3. Look for sustainable materials

The production of textiles is the biggest factor responsible for fashion’s environmental impact. Try looking for lower-impact materials, such as organic cotton, linen and hemp. Where possible, go for recycled textiles as this cuts out the fibre production stage.

4. Don’t splurge – rent!

Instead of buying expensive designer pieces, especially those that you may only wear once or twice, consider renting from one of the many rental apps. Check out our Top 10.

5. Avoid synthetics

Synthetics such as polyester are a huge problem as they don’t biodegrade and are derived from fossil-fuels. Blended polycottons and even recycled polyester should also be avoided if there’s an eco-friendlier alternative.

6. Do your research 

It’s important that consumers vote with their feet; holding brands accountable by ensuring they have sustainable practices and environmental pledges. Look for real commitments that support their claims to ensure it’s not greenwashing. If you are unsure what greenwashing is, see our article for more information.

Greenwashing description shown as a clothing label

7. Write to your favourite brands

Use your voice by letting brands know how important ethical practices and environmental strategies are to you. We also have a library of training courses and sustainability tips available for businesses wanting to take the first steps on their sustainability journey.

8. Eradicate microplastics 

With the very worrying news that microplastics have now been found in human blood, it’s important that we try and reduce the impact. Washing synthetic clothes can lead to millions of harmful micro-plastics entering our oceans. A micro plastics filter can help eliminate them from your wash.

9. Take care of your clothes properly 

Overwashing your clothes means they wear out more quickly. Avoiding overwashing will reduce your emissions, with campaign group Fashion Revolution estimating that 25% of a garment’s carbon footprint comes from the way we care for it.

10. Clear out carefully 

An estimated 85% of textiles end up in landfill, so it’s essential that you consider what happens to your clothes when you’re finished with them.

Share your clothes with friends and family, sell your items to ensure they go to a new home, and look for charities that are in need of preloved clothes.