Like most industries, the fashion industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, provoking brands to pivot and pirouette just to stay afloat, and consumer habits are changed forever. With all the uncertainty in our world today, one thing’s for sure—we still need fashion, and fashion needs us!
So, what’s an eco-conscious fashion-lover to wear? Whether you are just starting out on your sustainability journey or you’re a seasoned environmentalist, here are two tips that any fashion lover can employ to stay fabulous, while taking care of the planet.
Pro tip: Shop secondhand to decrease your environmental impact.
1. Dress Fabulously
Nothing is out of style unless it’s not your style. Wear what you love, and what makes you feel good. Fashion is your “feel-good” tool, and we all can use as many feel-good tools as we can get these days! What you wear should make you feel like your best self, whether you’re in cocktail attire or comfy cozies!
With so much of our day-to-day lives moving online, it helps to prioritize “above the desk” dressing. Think of a beautiful sleeve or an exaggerated cuff, a structured shoulder, a bold statement necklace to brighten your face, or maybe even a sassy tie (depending on how fashion-forward you lean, maybe a bowtie).
Pro tip: Accessorize to maximize.
One of my favorite sustainable styling tips is to maximize the wardrobe you already have by curating a collection of accessories. Accessorizing is the fastest way to reinvent even the simplest of looks. I like to focus on timeless investment pieces that can easily be restyled and reworn by simply swapping out accessories.
Take a little black dress—this one garment can be restyled a multitude of ways with different types of accessorizing. Accessories are your wardrobe’s transformational tools—hats, hair accessories, statement jewelry, belts, scarves, pins, shoes, etc.
2. Dress Functionally
Buy what you’ll wear, love, and take good care of for a long time. Shop for items that work for your lifestyle, personality, and body type. It is very helpful to know your style in order to avoid curating a closet full of clothes but having nothing you’ll actually wear. Consulting a professional stylist is a worthy investment to achieving this.
One of my favorite ways to do what I call functional shopping—which is also sustainable—is to invest in pieces that can last a lifetime, pair with multiple pieces in my wardrobe, and can be worn a number of different ways and for a number of different occasions. These are very functional pieces and will stand the test of time!
Pro tip: If in doubt, restyle, and rewear what you already own.
Focusing on basics may seem a bit boring at first, but these are the wardrobe workhorses that can be worn and reworn many times over. These items are the easiest to accessorize, restyle, and rewear, which greatly decreases your impact on the environment.
Pro tip: Shop timeless styles.
Focus on solids and classic patterns, such as stripes, herringbone, houndstooth, and polka dots. “Timeless” may look different for everyone, but for me, I focus on a solid black dress, a structured blazer, jeans that can be dressed up or down, a black motorcycle jacket, a black T-shirt, and a white button-up. These are items I keep coming back to—easy to restyle and rewear over and over just by mixing and matching, and swapping out accessories.
No, fashion won’t change the world, but if you need a pick-me-up, it just might change you, even if for one day (or one Zoom call). I hope you’ll consider pursuing your journey to a more sustainable relationship with fashion. The future of fashion is undoubtedly more Earth-friendly and responsible, and it will be just as beautiful and glamorous as ever.