5 Ways to Make 2014 the Year of Sustainable Style

Many of us start a new year with resolutions- to eat more healthy, exercise, and other challenges to be a better, happier person. Another way to be happier and healthier is to make more earth-friendly choices. You can do it stylishly, too. Need a little inspiration? Before you add to your wardrobe, consider these 5 characteristics:

1. Made in (insert your country): Did you know that close to 98% of clothing purchased in the USA is imported? That percentage has grown dramatically in the past decade. In 2014, get into the habit of checking where your garment is made before making a purchase. Challenge yourself to buy locally or ethically made (sweatshop-free) instead.

2. Vintage: On average, we North Americans throw away a shocking 65 lbs of clothes each year. That’s per person! Check out this infographic from Ecouterre for more facts. There is even controversy growing around the value of donated clothing to some countries, with places like Haiti instituting a ban. Step out of the disposable clothing cycle altogether and try buying vintage.

3. Made of (insert eco fiber here): This is another great habit to develop: check the fabric content label. Synthetic or natural, common fabrics like polyester, rayon and cotton can be taxing to the environment, and toxic in their refinement and dangerous for workers. Look for eco-friendly options such as organic cotton, hemp, tencel, soy, modal and recycled fibers.

4. Handmade: Artisnal and traditional crafts are an important part of our cultural identity. Weaving, knitting, crochet, applique, printmaking and other textile design elements add individuality and beauty to clothing. Support an artisan by purchasing one of their pieces over a mass-manufactured one.

5. DIY: You may be surprised to find that instead of buying something, you can make it! There are fantastic DIY projects you can try at home, for any skill level. One of my favourite sites for fashion DIY (great home projects, too) is Mr Kate.

I hope this inspires you to incorporate a little sustainability into your personal style this year. Visit the treasury below for fashion-forward finds on Etsy.  Have your own fantastic eco fashion finds or tips to share? Tell me in the comments below!

Eco Chic

Comments

  1. For anyone interested in reading about the latest stats on inflation and apparel prices, I just read a great article from the TY times titled ‘Era of Cheap Apparel May be Ending for Us’: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/business/era-of-cheap-apparel-may-be-ending-for-us.html?_r=0

  2. It ís nearly impossible to find educated people on this topic, however, you seem like
    you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    • It’s true- misinformation and “greenwashing” abound when it comes to sustainable fashion. There’s no substitute for doing your own research. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Thank you for writing this! I feel good knowbing these are all methods I have invorporated into my lifestyle. I am fortunate to live in a town where clothing swaps are extremely common. This is another fun way to reduse, reuse and be prosperous in clothing and friendships.

    • Absolutely- clothing swaps are a fantastic way to cull your own closet and pick up a new piece without the high price tag.

  4. Great post, great advice and ideas!