If you’ve not heard and read all about sustainable fashion and eco-conscious shopping of late then trust us when we say, it’s a really big deal. When it comes to fashion trends for clothing brands, they, by their very nature, come and go with each season. However, sustainable fashion also referred to as eco-fashion, is a trend that is going absolutely nowhere.

Here, we take a closer look into what sustainable fashion actually entails, why it’s so important for the planet and every human and animal living upon it, and finally, how to get started shopping more sustainably and where.

Are you ready to embark on a whole new and way more planet-friendly path when it comes to fashion? Well, since you’re here now, it’s a great start! Let’s see.

What is sustainable fashion?

A great place to start for this discussion is to come up with a sustainable fashion definition. Green Conduct, a sustainability news provider, defines eco-fashion as clothing that takes into account the environment, the health of its consumers, and the working conditions of anyone involved in creating the clothing. Green strategy, who help businesses improve their sustainability practices, define sustainable fashion as:

clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects.

So, from the design and manufacturing of clothing and accessories, including the use of sustainable materials, to the marketing, sales, and use of each product, sustainability comes into play at every point, working to prevent damage to the environment, minimize waste, and ensure every aspect is both human and animal-friendly throughout the supply chain.

Sounds good to us, how about you?

Why is sustainable fashion important?

The fashion industry is one of the biggest industries in pretty much every economy around the globe. With the size of the industry, it is also one of the most damaging markets when it comes to the environment. There’s a world of statistics out there about the importance of sustainable and ethical fashion and the damage to the environment of unsustainable fabrics and clothing.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the facts that make eco-friendly fashion so important.

·     Textile dying is the second largest clean water polluter in the world.

·     The clothing industry, in general, is the second largest global polluter, topped only by the oil industry.

·     One cotton t-shirt requires 2700 liters of water to produce. This is the equivalent of two and a half years of drinking water for a person.

·     More than $500 billion in value is lost each year because of under-used and non-recycled clothing.

·     By the year 2030, the apparel industry is predicted to almost match today’s total annual US greenhouse gas emissions.

·     On average, people now buy 60% more clothing and keep items for half as long as they did 15 years ago.

So, we can really see the damage that the fast-fashion and unsustainable fashion industry is having on the environment through its use of non-eco friendly materials. This proves the clear and prominent importance of creating a better, more sustainable and eco-conscious future for the industry. There are many brands already diving into the world of sustainability and you’ll find some of our favorite brands below. Some of which we bet you didn’t even realize were eco-friendly labels.

But first, let’s look a little more into the steps you can take to start your sustainable fashion journey into the world of ethical clothing.

How to start shopping more sustainably

It’s all good to know more about what sustainable fashion really means and how lots of fashion brands are making headway to create more sustainable business models with more ethical practices. However, how can you implement more eco-friendly shopping into your life? Let’s take a quick look.

Do your research

First, it’s really all about putting a little work in and doing the research yourself. The environment and ethics within fashion is a huge topic right now and a quick search on Google can directly provide you with a plethora of sustainable fashion articles and even full sustainable fashion blogs discussing the environmental and social impact of fashion. Reading up on ideas and new, innovative brands will start to give you a fuller insight into the sustainable industry and how you can make a difference with just a few small (and some big!) changes.

Find out about fabrics

Some fabrics are super-sustainable. Some are just ok but not great for the environment and some are downright disastrous for the planet if we continue to use them as we are. Finding out about the differences in quality materials could be a great start to shopping more sustainably. Do some digging and find out about some of the fantastic sustainable fabrics on the market, right now and then you can find out which ethical clothing brands are one step ahead of the game.  From using plastic bottles to vegetables within fabrics, here are a few examples.

·     Tencel

·     Recycled polyester

·     Hemp

·     Linen

·     Pinatex

And here are a few fabrics you might want to start avoiding.

·     Non-recycled polyester

·     Acrylic

·     Viscose rayon

·     Cow leather

Buy less and better

We’ve talked before about the benefits of buying fewer items at a better quality when we blogged about building a capsule wardrobe. It helps you to build your own personal style, it makes getting ready every morning a lot easier and less overwhelming, and, that’s right you guessed it, it’s a more sustainable way to shop for fashion.

Keeping your high-quality clothing for longer, using it more and purchasing less often or opting for secondhand clothing simply helps to create less waste, less landfill and slowly edges away from the fast-fashion and unsustainable shape of today’s damaging industry.

Shop Online

Most of us have reverted to online shopping over the years. Whether it is due to convenience, the ability to do more research and price comparisons, or simply to avoid busy stores, lines and dressing rooms, shopping online is one of the keys to shopping more sustainably. This really comes down to the speedy nature of which you can research a brand and check their sustainability stance.

Shopping for high quality, sustainable brands automatically sounds more expensive to many consumers. And you aren’t necessarily wrong. Buying fewer, better quality pieces and more ethically made items often means investing in more expensive pieces. Which is why Shop It To Me is dedicated to bringing you these brands at a fraction of their RRP.

Sign up to the Shop It To Me platform and simply tick the sustainable fashion brands that you’re interested in and you will receive emails directly to your inbox which include fashion picks in your size from your favorite brands with heavy discounts of up to 70% off. It’s the way forward for shopping more sustainably without a slice of inconvenience.

Sustainable fashion brands

Not too sure about sustainable fashion, yet? Let’s take a look at some sustainable fashion brands that you can find right here on Shop It To Me. Every single one hits the mark with chic, stylish options for every occasion but with zero guilt, a whole lot of eco-consciousness and up-to-date sustainable practices.

H&M | Conscious Collection

If you’ve not yet converted to the H&M Conscious collection from the mainline, it’s an initiative that has grown from strength to strength since the European brand’s launch of the sustainability project in 2016. This range of organic and sustainably made fashion pieces exude the H&M easy-wear aesthetic while being made from recycled materials, including anything from discarded candles to old fishnets and other nylon waste. These premium and exclusive collections focus on innovation and prove that the biggest and fastest fashion brands have no excuse when it comes to making a change and improving their sustainability impact.

Alternative Apparel

Offering a more sustainable alternative since 1995, Alternative Apparel is one of our go-to ethical brands for classic, comfortable everyday clothing for women and men. With a mindful approach to every stage of their production process, Alternative Apparel uses everything from oxo-biodegradable mailer bags to using only Fair Trade-approved manufacturing facilities with promised fair wages and conditions.

Using low impact dyes and water-saving processes, the brand ensures every aspect for their production aims to bring its customers sustainable clothing in beautiful quality.

Stella McCartney

She’s known for her no-leather policy when it comes to her hugely popular vegan-friendly handbag collections. However, Stella McCartney’s brand is not just using faux leather when it comes to creating an innovative policy towards sustainability. From being completely leather and fur-free to the use of recycled nylon and polyester as well as organic cotton, the brand is dedicated to using materials with less impact for both accessories and throughout the clothing line.

Working to also reduce the general environmental impact of the brand since 2012, Stella McCartney is heavily involved in reducing its carbon footprint, ensuring stores, offices, and factories are all run as sustainably as possible in London, New York and beyond. In fact, in the UK, all Stella McCartney stores and offices are run solely using reusable wind energy.

Simon Miller

A growing name in the accessories world but with a full womenswear collection too, Simon Miller is a sustainable designer to watch out for. From ultra-chic and beautifully on-trend handbags to the perfect jeans, Simon Miller creates using only organic mills aiming to “reduce impact and conserve water” during production in the goal towards zero waste.

Ancient Greek Sandals

A fair trade fashion brand that has grown exponentially since its launch, the stunning footwear brand uses chemical-free, naturally tan leather, handmade locally using skilled craftsman. Known for its long-lasting and beautifully made sandals, the brand is a favorite with celebrities and one of our favorite sustainable shoe choices.

Sustainable fashion is a crucial topic that needs to be discussed increasingly when it comes to fashion, manufacturing, production and the marketing of clothing and accessories. However, as consumers, you can also make a difference. The choices fashion shoppers make in terms of brands and how they use their fashion picks will have a huge impact on the way fashion labels react and innovate for future collections, encouraging them to evolve into more sustainable clothing brands, as well as becoming fair trade certified.

As a modern woman in this changing world, start shopping more sustainably now and prove to fashion brands everywhere that eco-friendly, slow fashion is the future of this multi-billion-dollar industry. Keep an eye on the Shop It To Me blog for more fashion, trend, styling and sustainability posts and remember to sign up to an account for first access to your favorite fashion brands on sale.