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  • Writer's pictureStefanie K.

How To Shop Sustainably

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Our 10-step guide to ethical fashion.

Clothing on sustainable, eco-friendly GRAFF hangers
GRAFF hangers are our first step to more sustainable fashion

In a world where fast fashion has become the norm, it's essential to make conscious choices to shop for clothes more ethically and sustainably. At GRAFF, we know that the fashion industry's environmental impact is significant, from excessive water usage to textile waste and harmful chemical emissions.

As it is our mission to make the fashion industry more sustainable, we want you to join us in a few simple ways to help drive this change. By adopting a more mindful approach to shopping, you can not only reduce your carbon footprint but also support ethical practices in the industry.

Here are some valuable tips to help you shop for fashion items with sustainability in mind:

Tip #1 - Prioritize quality over quantity

Investing in well-made, durable pieces may seem like a more substantial initial expense, but in the long run, you'll save money and reduce waste. High-quality items tend to last longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements that contribute to a throwaway culture.

Tip #2 - Choose eco-friendly fabrics

When possible, go for clothes made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, Tencel, hemp, and bamboo. These materials are often produced using less water and fewer chemicals, making them gentler on the environment.

Tip #3 - Embrace timeless styles

Trends come and go, but timeless styles remain. Opt for classic pieces that won't lose their appeal after a single season. By doing so, you'll be less inclined to replace your wardrobe frequently, reducing the demand for new items and curbing the cycle of overconsumption.

"Buy less. Choose well. Make it last." Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer

Tip #4 - Practice the 30 wears rule

Before purchasing a new item, ask yourself if you can commit to wearing it at least 30 times. If not, reconsider the purchase. This simple rule encourages thoughtful consumption and minimizes impulsive buying. We know there are always special occasions, but try to wear that dress more than once and simply re-sell it.

Tip #5 - Research sustainable brands

Supporting brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices is a great way to promote positive change within the fashion industry. Look for brands that use eco-friendly materials, ethical production methods, and fair labor practices. Many certifications like Fair Trade or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) can help you identify such brands.

Tip #6 - Try secondhand shopping

Thrifting, consignment stores, and online platforms for secondhand shopping offer a treasure trove of unique finds. Not only does buying secondhand reduce demand for new production, but it also gives existing items a longer life span, preventing them from ending up in landfills.

Tip #7 - Mindful online shopping

Online shopping is convenient, but it can lead to excess packaging and carbon emissions from shipping. Consolidate your purchases to reduce packaging waste, and consider buying from local online stores to minimize transportation impact.

Tip #8 - Repair and upcycle

Instead of discarding clothing items with minor damages, learn basic sewing skills to repair them. Get creative and upcycle old or ill-fitting clothes into new pieces, giving them a fresh lease on life.

Tip #9 - Capsule wardrobes

Creating a capsule wardrobe involves curating a collection of versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched. This approach not only streamlines your wardrobe but also encourages more intentional purchasing decisions.

Tip #10 - Educate yourself

Stay informed about the fashion industry's impact on the environment and the efforts being made toward sustainability. Knowledge empowers you to make informed choices and support initiatives that align with your values.

Incorporating these tips into your shopping routine can make a significant difference in reducing your fashion-related environmental footprint. Remember, every mindful choice you make contributes to a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry. By supporting brands that prioritize the planet and making thoughtful purchases, you become an agent of positive change while still expressing your personal style.

As Emma Watson once said: "As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.

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