While it used to be very difficult to find eco-friendly products in the marketplace, thankfully it’s not anymore! As more companies are being encouraged by consumers to become sustainable, shopping consciously on a daily basis is becoming easier than ever for mainstream consumers.
While there are many easy changes that you can do as a homeowner, from switching out lightbulbs to lower watt or fluorescent bulbs, conserving water by taking shorter showers, and changing your HVAC filter on time, shopping in a sustainable way might take you out of your comfort zone — until you realize how great the products actually are. Here’s a quick guide on how to shop small, shop local, and shop sustainably with thoughtful purchases that give back to, rather than deplete, our environment!
Avoid Fast Fashion
With inexpensive materials that fall apart easily, fast fashion creates a huge amount of waste that quickly ends up in landfills. Fast fashion retailers often use synthetic materials and chemical dying that pollute the environment and aren’t biodegradable. Plus, fast fashion companies are notorious for having poor working conditions. To produce a product so cheaply, they have to cut costs, and unfortunately, that comes out of workers’ pay as well as in the quality of the goods.
Wear Your Clothing as Long as Possible
Instead of shopping for inexpensive, throwaway clothing in bulk, choose items carefully that you can wear countless times. Invest in high-quality ethical clothing and sustainable shoes that you feel good wearing and that can withstand more than a few seasons. The price tag may be a bit higher than you would normally spend, but you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of a high-quality item. High-quality items will likely have a lower price per wear than fast-fashion clothing that falls apart and gets thrown away quickly.
A great way to buy clothing sustainably is to shop at vintage and second-hand stores. You are not only getting a higher quality item for less money than in a traditional store, but you’re also extending the life of that item! Some larger clothing brands are even starting to upcycle vintage pieces into their new designs, which shows that this circular fashion trend is happening on both an individual and a corporate level.
Before you head online to buy clothing, home goods, & food, consider the options that you have locally! For groceries, head to your local co-op, health food store, and farmer’s market where you can find fresh fruit, vegetables, and other organic foods. An easy tip to reduce your carbon footprint is to avoid red meat as the livestock industry is a huge cause of greenhouse gas emissions.
When it comes to clothing and women’s and men’s sneakers, shopping at local boutiques and second-hand shops can be a great way to find unique gems that no one else is wearing. By shopping locally, you are supporting your local economy and people you know instead of big corporations. Plus, when you bring your own bag, you are also saving on the packaging as well as the energy needed to ship something to your door.
This post was written in partnership with Cariuma. Check them out for sustainable footwear!
For more info on how to make your home eco-friendly, click here for One Sustainable Switch For Every Room In Your House!