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Sustainable Fashion For Men: Tips For Ethical Shopping

Illustration of two people shopping for sustainable clothes

Sustainable Fashion For Men: Tips For Ethical Shopping

The rise in online shopping and the prevalence of sales events such as Black Friday and Prime Day have amplified the challenge of resisting impulsive purchases for numerous shoppers. This not only puts a strain on our finances but also has adverse effects on the environment.

If you aspire to adopt a more conscious shopping approach, consider these six tips to become a smarter shopper, save money, and reduce your environmental footprint.

Buy Quality, Not Quantity

Embrace the principle of “buying less and buying better.” While it may sound like a cliché, this mantra holds great significance in light of the astonishing fact that the global fashion industry produces around 100 billion garments annually.

Prior to making a purchase ask yourself three critical questions: “What are you buying and why? What do you genuinely need? Will you wear it at least 30 times?” These questions will help guide you towards making mindful and sustainable shopping choices. Whether you are wanting luxury streetwear or premium cashmere knits, ask yourself these questions before you make a purchase.

Invest In Sustainable Fashion Brands

In addition to buying less, purchasing better also involves supporting designers who advocate for sustainable practices. Furthermore, narrowing your search for specific items can make a difference.

You can explore brands that prioritise sustainable production methods for the items you want. By focusing on these aspects, you can make more informed choices that align with your values.

Opt For Timeless Styles

Timeless menswear remains a steadfast choice, characterised by three fundamental elements: quality, versatility, and longevity. By prioritising these aspects during your clothing purchases, you can establish a timeless and well-rounded wardrobe.

Consider, for example, a navy or grey suit paired with brown Oxfords and a knitted tie. These classic patterns and combinations have proven to withstand the test of time, embodying a timeless style that transcends passing trends.

Embracing these traditional choices ensures that your wardrobe remains elegant and enduring for years to come.

Shop Secondhand And Vintage

In light of the growing accessibility of secondhand and vintage fashion through platforms like Vinted and Depop, it’s worth considering purchasing pre-loved items when expanding your wardrobe.

By opting for these pieces, you not only prolong the lifespan of clothing and contribute to reducing the environmental impact of your fashion choices, but you also have the opportunity to discover unique and one-of-a-kind items that are exclusive to you.

Embracing the world of secondhand fashion opens up a realm of sustainable possibilities while adding a distinctive touch to your personal style.

Avoiding Greenwashing

In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, the phenomenon of greenwashing has become more widespread. Greenwashing refers to brands using ambiguous, deceptive, or untrue statements to falsely portray themselves as more eco-friendly than they actually are.

To navigate through this misleading marketing, it is crucial to look beyond mere buzzwords such as “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” “conscious,” and “responsible.” Instead, dig deeper and seek out brands that provide transparent and comprehensive policies to substantiate their claims. By examining the tangible actions and commitments of brands, you can make informed choices and support those that genuinely prioritise sustainability.

Understand your materials

Gaining an understanding of the environmental impact of materials is essential in making sustainable purchasing decisions.

A helpful guideline is to avoid virgin synthetics, such as polyester, which accounts for 55 percent of global clothing production. These materials are derived from fossil fuels and take years to decompose.

However, not all natural materials are equal. Organic cotton, for instance, requires significantly less water than conventional cotton and does not involve the use of harmful pesticides.

Wrapping Up

When shopping for sustainable clothing, look for certifications from reputable organisations like the Global Organic Textile Standard (for cotton and wool), Leather Working Group (for leather), and Forest Stewardship Council (for viscose).

These certifications ensure that the materials used in the production of your clothes have a lower impact on the planet. Additionally, consider opting for recycled materials, as they generally have a lower environmental impact than virgin materials.

However, it is worth considering if these textiles can be recycled again once you have finished with them, to promote a circular economy mindset.

About The Author
Mel is a writer who specialises in sustainability and business. She is particularly interested in how business and fashion brands can be more sustainable
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