The fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world. Accessory and clothing production releases greenhouse gases like methane and CO2 making the planet warmer, in addition to polluting the land water.

The awareness of the climate crisis is slowly shifting consumer preferences, sustainability is being re-examined in the fashion industry with more brands turning to sustainable fashion. Many brands have altered their processes and making it more possible to have an eco-friendly wardrobe. Dressing in more eco-friendly labels can be budget-friendly. Here are a few tips that let you stay stylish while approaching sustainability.

1. Spring Cleaning

You don’t have to wait for Spring to start cleaning your wardrobe. Start right away….we all have clothes in our closet that are a result of an impulsive buy or a gift that u did not like or clothes that do not fit anymore. It’s time to start decluttering your wardrobe. Instead of tossing your discarded clothes in the garbage  which are likely to end up in a landfill, consider donating them  give your clothes a second life. Several Mumbai based NGO’s like Share At Door Step, Goonj, Asha Daan, accept old clothes. All you have to do is visit their website and schedule a pickup.

2. Quality over quantity

Put some thought before you buy a garment by reconsidering if you really need it and the reason behind buying it. Buying cheap trendy outfits that you may not wear more than a few times only boosts the fast-fashion culture. It is when the buying stops that the production will stop as well. Streamlining your clothing is an essential part of creating a sustainable wardrobe. Invest in a few essential key pieces that will last you through a year and will give you your money’s worth.  Put together a capsule collection with outfits that are versatile and can be part of your daily office and casual look. Buy smart, buy well. Maya makes statement versatile pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. Our Untold Treasures is a multi-strand neckpiece that can be worn by reducing the number of strands and is also convertible as an anklet or a bracelet.

3. Buy ethical

It is increasingly important to be attentive about the ethical practices of the brands you purchase from and knowing how your clothes are made. Research brands that are transparent with their production process and before you buy, make sure you check the composition of the fabric or accessory. A large majority of clothing is made from synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon that take decades to decompose  consider eco-friendly fabrics like silk, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and lyocell, these natural fibers  are kind to the planet. Maya, a sustainable jewellery brand is audited through Craftsmark. Look for any similar certifications that your favourite brands carry.

4. Recycle and upcycle

Upcycling a relatively new term is a form of recycling that turns waste into a product that is of a higher utilitarian value. Both recycling and upcycling reduces the amount of landfill waste leading to less carbon emissions. Many designers are turning to upcycling by using second-hand materials to transform them into new designs. Paiwand studio works with designers, creating new garments by remodelling textile waste materials. Do check out their Instagram page @paiwandstudio. 

At Mayabazaar, we strongly promote recycling and work towards having a zero-waste policy. Maya is a huge advocator of repairing old, unused jewellery. Our recently held workshop at Baro – their Instagram @baro.india and website had customers bring in any of their jewellery for mending. We upcycle the little pieces of yarn that get thrown out as fillers in our jewellery. Our brand ethos lies in working towards sustainability in our process and minimize waste generation. Refash, a retail brand on Instagram, is one of the first platforms for upcycled fashion, that retails products made out discarded materials. Check out their creative transformations on Instagram @refash_ and you can also shop on their website.

5. Shop second hand

A visit to your local thrift store could get you good quality clothing at a bargain price. Vintage clothing is a great buy, making it a more sustainable choice than the items you are likely to discard after a few weeks. Investing in high-quality clothing that has longevity will keep them from entering a landfill and drastically reduce the excess environmental waste. Mono Calcutta, an art deco style boutique in Kolkata houses eco-friendly brands from designers across India and also has a thrift corner. You can find them on Instagram with the handle @monocalcutta. Mumbai based vintage boutiques like No Borders Shop and Bodements stock designer vintage pieces promoting sustainability. Rewear, an eco-friendly fashion brand carries luxury designer clothing that are pre-worn but preserved well.

A few small steps in treating the clothes in your closet with care and respect can help you increase the life of your wardrobe essentials and help eliminate the adverse impact our clothing waste problem has on the environment.

Author Bio:

My name is Madhavi and I work for Mayabazaar as a communications associate. I have worked as a freelance content writer for an online entertainment portal writing about fashion and lifestyle. I create digital content for Mayabazaar’s social media and blogs.

 

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