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Vintage and sustainable fashion

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Author: Lynda Rowland, Posted: Monday, 9th September 2019, 09:00

Naturally dyed fabrics Naturally dyed fabrics

Most of us love a spot of retail therapy, with the excitement of another purchase to pop into our overstuffed wardrobes and convincing ourselves it is just what we need to make our lives complete!

That may be true for a few days but, such is the climate of image and instant gratification, you can be sure we will be hitting the shops again sooner than you can say ‘This Season’s Must-Have Piece’.

Recently though, I think we are all reassessing that approach. Information is emerging that is making customers with consciences question the origin and provenance of our clothing.

Facts about manufacture, ethical practices and responsibly sourced fabrics are making us reconsider our buying habits. How much we buy, where from, and how strongly we are influenced by social media, magazines and peer pressure, are all affected by our increasing environmental awareness.

With a little research, we can all rethink our behaviour and start to give a bit more consideration to green issues, affecting not just our household habits such as using less plastic, but the impact that what we wear has on the planet.

Organic shopping doesn’t mean just buying food that hasn’t been flown thousands of miles so we can eat strawberries and asparagus in December. It can also have an impact in our wardrobes.

One example is cotton – a ubiquitous fabric in most of our closets, but did you know that with just a bit more investment you can obtain cotton of higher quality that is made without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilisers? The impact this would have is positive and wide-ranging.

Some fashion companies are already moving to organic cotton and hopefully others will follow. It’s well worth seeking them out. Unfortunately, this may be more expensive initially, but it flows into the ethos of ‘buy better, buy less’, which is a good fashion mantra to follow.

Buying quality and classic clothing is at the heart of the sustainable fashion movement and it is, of course, possible to take this a step further and enhance your wardrobe with vintage pieces.

There are some fabulous vintage clothing stores around, selling excellent pre-loved pieces. Those that have stood the test of time are likely to have been manufactured on a smaller scale and are therefore less likely to come from an unethical background.

Then there is the added bonus of wearing something unique rather than sporting ‘That Spotty Zara Dress’, which will, along with its millions of mass produced sisters, be consigned to landfill before next summer! Wouldn’t you rather be known for your own individual style than as just another fashion clone?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost addicted to shopping and it’s going to be a hard habit to break, but I’m seeing it as a challenge to be more imaginative with my style, whilst at the same time not contributing to the destruction of our planet.

Surely, it’s a small sacrifice!

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Organic cotton
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