As we head into 2020, I’ve been spending some time rethinking my relationship to clothing – and the impact of that during these crazy times in our world. Now more than ever it seems crucial for us all to take a good look at how we’re making things worse or better, especially those of us who love fashion, one of the biggest polluting industries on the planet.
I think a lot of us want to do more to reduce our footprint, but without completely upending every single aspect of our lives. This year you’ll be seeing me explore sustainable fashion and slow(er) living – and while you’ll still see some fast fashion or mainstream brands on here every so often (I’m hardly going to be the biggest eco-warrior on the internet), I’m going to be incorporating much more vintage and eco-friendly options into my life (and giving lots of hacks/tips on how to do the same). One of my New Years’ resolutions for 2020 is to make as many positive and practical changes as I possibly can without necessarily being ‘perfect’, so I hope any of you out there reading who has similar goals enjoys following along on the journey!
My evolving philosophy on fashion is perfectly summed up by this Instagram post by the lovely Ivania Carpio, on how to buy clothes with less climate guilt. Give it a full read, but the main messages that most spoke to me and that reflect how I’ll be choosing to live my sartorial life going forward are these:
- Everything I purchase should be loved. Meaning, if I can see myself wearing an item three years from now and can commit to mending it if it gets damaged and treating it with care, even a fast-fashion item can be a sustainable choice. Buying a constant stream of trendy items and disposing of them at the end of the season is unreasonably wasteful. As Ivania says, “the planet can not sustain a brand new wardrobe for everyone, every season.”
- Keeping this in mind will also affect how I invest in clothing, likely choosing more durable materials that will last years of wear. This does not mean buying only expensive clothing but learning about clothing and being realistic about what’s going to last. I have a 5ish-year-old bodysuit from Forever21 that is still in great shape, and while most of their pieces seem to be meant for temporary wear, this one was made out of a heavy-duty rib that has lasted me this long without disintegrating to pieces. All this to say that cheaper items can still be a good investment if you make smart choices.
- It’s more important to develop ‘personal style’ over ‘fashion’. Meaning, work towards building a wardrobe that transcends seasons and trends rather than having a closet full of impulse buys and things that don’t feel like ‘you’ anymore after a short time.
- Buying vintage and second-hand is one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable in fashion. And luckily there are SO many good brands and platforms out there for finding everything you need. More on this to come!
So, yes – I’m wearing a Zara sweater set. But I freaking LOVE IT – it’s so soft and so flattering, it seems to be well-made, and I’ve been practically living in it since I bought it. Nothing about a cozy wool cardigan or tank top is ever going out of style, so I felt guilt-free about buying it. In my opinion, beautiful knitwear is something that is always an investment piece, so I’ve curated some of my favorite (eco-friendly!) knitwear picks for you below. Cheers to a more conscious 2020!
Jeans | ASOS (old, similar here)
Mules | Vintage (similar here)
Bag | Vintage Gucci (similar here)
Sunglasses | Chimi
Photos by Gabriel Bienczycki