The dialogue around fast fashion, slow fashion, and ethical brands has gained noticeable momentum over the last few years. For the uninitiated this can be complex and somewhat confusing when factoring the environmental, human rights, political and economic factors at play. To get you started we’ve focused on the basics for sustainability.

Shop second hand
Buying pre-loved clothing and accessories is arguably the best way to reduce your environmental impact and save money. Check your local charity shops, try the apps mentioned below or consider trading with friends.

Look for sustainable materials
Natural fibres such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp are more sustainable than synthetic materials like polyester and other blends. Natural fibres generally breath and feel better when worn so it’s win-win. A number of companies are now recycling synthetic fabrics, but micro-plastics are still a concern so do your research.

Support sustainable brands
Look for brands that use sustainable production methods and materials, and that have a transparent supply chain. If you have no idea where to begin, Good On You can be a great place to start!

Invest in quality
Invest in well-made, high-quality clothing that will last longer and require fewer replacements. Good quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, so it pays to ask friends and read online reviews. It’s best to totally avoid ultra-fast fashion platforms like Shein, who embrace controversial production practices, and perpetuate overconsumption.

Care for your clothes
Proper care of your clothes, such as washing less, washing in cold water, and avoiding harsh detergents, can help them last longer. Also consider eco-friendly detergents which are becoming more common even in major chain supermarkets.

Repair and repurpose
Clothing can be repaired and repurposed instead of being thrown away. Have holes in your chinos? Cut them into shorts. Faded jacket? Try dyeing it yourself to give it a second life.

Resell, donate or recycle
Instead of throwing away clothes that you no longer wear, consider donating them to a charity store or recycling them. Using a resale platform like Depop or eBay might surprise you. One fashionista’s trash is another’s treasure.

Knowledge is power
To learn more about sustainable fashion and the environmental impact of the clothing industry check out established resources like Fashion Revolution or The Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook to start your journey.

UPDATED 01/03/2024