My daughter came in from school the other day announcing that she is doing a school project on “going green and eco fashion“ and she wanted me to help her with it. I shifted uncomfortably as I realised that, despite working within the fashion industry for many years, my knowledge of eco fashion wasn’t just lacking, but non-existent.
So, with curiosity, enthusiasm and the pressure of a Year 8 project to complete, I began my mission to find out all I could about sustainable fashion.
I thought going green in a fashion sense meant wearing a hemp sack and not washing your hair for weeks, but after hitting the google search button I quickly realised that there’s more to it than that.
Initially I surprised myself with how familiar I was with terms like sustainability and carbon-footprint but I hadn’t realised how many eco-friendly clothing retailers there are (even here in Manchester) and how small changes in buying habits can make a big difference.
It’s well known that consumers in all industries, whether it’s food or fashion, are more and more environmentally aware, and their buying choices are reflecting this. Style, price and quality aren’t the only questions shoppers are asking. Now they want to know about production, shipping and the use of natural fibres.
Rightfully so, the fashion industry has responded to the need for green fashion and sustainability. Designers and high street shops are more conscious in their designs and materials. So having a greener wardrobe is now both achievable and stylish.
Of course buying clothes made in the UK reduces your carbon footprint, but have you considered that buying from charity shops makes you an eco-friendly shopper?
Admittedly, I’m sometimes hesitant to buy second-hand clothing. I still want that satisfying ‘fresh’ feeling when I put on a new dress and I know I’m not alone. There is still a stigma attached to buying and wearing used clothing, but if you can find an item of clothing in mint condition, on trend and within your budget, then why shouldn’t you buy it?
Charity shops are the hidden gems of the high street with many products donated nearly new or even brand new. I think it’s fair to say that we’re all guilty of doing some comfort shopping and putting our guilty purchases in the charity shop pile during the annual clear out. Rather than hesitating to buy from a charity shop I have to remind myself of the good quality items I have donated.
Although the challenge to be more eco-friendly in our everyday wardrobe sounds like one we might instantly opt-out of, with small changes to our buying habits, it is achievable and I will definitely be trying.
We have fourteen charity shops all over Greater Manchester
Our shops stock a wide range of quality pre-loved clothes, accessories, books, toys, furniture and homeware as well as new goods, at very reasonable prices.Click here to find a shop near you