Beauty & Fashion

A Year of Sustainable Fashion

I stopped setting New Years Resolutions a couple of years ago, instead opting for more manageable and achievable monthly goals instead. And whilst I still stand by that and don’t think I’d set New Years Resolutions again (cos let’s be honest, most of them are ridiculous. When am I ever going to take water skiing lessons in the middle of London?) there is SOMETHING that I want to do this year. And hopefully beyond.

Photo of a girl in a white shirt with a collar and floral detailing

First things first, I’m not going to pretend that I know basically anything about eco-friendly living or living sustainably. It’s not something I really thought about until the second half of 2019. Which I know, is NOT cool. I hold my hands up and say that for the longest time, I have SUCKED when it comes to eco-friendly living.

But of course over the last few years in particular, the urge for people to make eco-friendly changes has become much more urgent. With people like Greta Thunberg coming into the media and more bloggers like Glow Steady and Welsh Wanderer who are talking about Veganism and becoming more eco-conscious it’s hard not to sit up and pay attention anymore.

I do however believe that not everyone can do everything. We can’t save the world by ourselves. But I think every single person can do SOMETHING. Make one or two changes to their diet or lifestyle or shopping habits in order to do their bit to help. Imagine if EVERYONE did their bit?

So this year, I’ve decided on ONE resolution. A year of sustainable fashion.

I used the word fashion loosely because I’m not very fashionable. But I do often take the easy route when it comes to buying clothes. Boohoo was my best friend. Because they were cheap and convenient. Which I know now is a huge part of the problem. I was a huge part of the problem.

I came up with this goal around November, after watching THIS VIDEO from Hannah Witton, which is a fantastic place to start if you’re a beginner in sustainable fashion, like me. I’d heard the term sustainable fashion thrown around and knew bits and pieces of how damaging the fashion industry is for the environment thanks to Stacey Dooley’s ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’ documentary.

But although I was hearing the facts and was shocked by them, I didn’t do anything about it. It wasn’t until late last year, like I said, that I really started looking into this more and wanting to change my own shopping habits as a consumer. I’m not Vegan. I’m not even Vegetarian. I needed to do my bit.

So this is me, holding myself accountable for not making changes sooner and admitting that I was part of the problem. But also telling you that this year… I’m going to change.

Starting with my year of sustainable fashion. I purchased my first item from depop in November last year, this gorgeous vintage shirt featured in the photos in the post. It was only £9 and I absolutely love it – I don’t think I’d have been able to find that on Boohoo. So for 2020:

No high street retailers or online shopping on Boohoo

These are often the biggest culprits. And fast fashion is always going to be a problem if the consumer (us) are always buying the products. Supply and demand. So this year, no more Boohoo or shopping in high street retailers.

More shopping in charity shops

Because not only might you find some gems, your money is also going to a good cause. It’s a win, win, in my opinion. So if there’s ever a time where I just FANCY a mooch, I’ll be heading straight for the charity shops instead.

eBay or depop for specific items

And if there’s anything in particular I’m looking for – such as when I was looking for a vintage style white shirt – I’ll be shopping second hand on depop or eBay. Where you’re much more likely to find unique items.

Researching sustainable brands

And I know that sometimes you’re going to NEED an item which perhaps isn’t second hand. So if that’s the case, I’ll be doing some research into sustainable brands for those staple items – even if it means they’re more expensive.

Re-selling or donating items

I’m also going to make a more conscious effort to re-sell or donate any of my clothing items I no longer want, instead of throwing them away. I’m using depop a lot more lately, so hopefully that’ll be a success!

My only exception here is underwear. However if anyone knows of any sustainable underwear brands, please do let me know about them! I’m actually really excited to change my fashion habits in 2020 and beyond. Fashion was something I actually started to enjoy a bit more again in the tail end of 2019 so I’d be keen to make this a more prominent feature on my blog going forward.

So here we are. My first proper venture into living more eco-consciously. Feel free to leave me suggestions in the comments and I’d love to hear your experiences with eco-friendly fashion! Pin this post for later:

121 Comments

  1. Haha, the best is most likely not to go shopping 😉 I think some high street brands such as H&M also have now more sustainable lines and there are some online brands that make jewelry such as bracelets etc out of fishing nets. They are more expensive, but some of the money goes back to good causes again.

    1. Yeah that’s true a lot of brands are jumping on the much needed bandwagon. I don’t shop much anyway but I’m enjoying looking for things sustainably x

  2. It’s true, shop more on the small business and charity shops instead of the big businesses.

  3. It’s a lovely post <3

  4. I think think this is a great idea. I used to try and do this but i never find hardly anything my size and find it really hard. That white blouse is beautiful

    1. Thank you x

  5. This is one thing I am focusing on this year! I need to cut back on spending on pointless clothing!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  6. This is a really fab post! You’ve set yourself some great perimeters and I’m sure you’ll be a slow fashion whizz in no-time! xx

    1. Thank you so much Jess!

  7. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately! I’m so aware of the damage that fast fashion does and how they hook you in with cheap prices and deals. The issue I’ve had though is that shopping second hand is borderline impossible at my size. Being a large plus size makes finding things anywhere but fast fashion sites very difficult! I’m hoping that the industry changes a bit in the future and in the meantime I just have to be conscious about getting a good use out of my clothing and not shopping too much! I really only try to buy clothes when I actually need them.
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  8. Ooh this is great! Like you o didn’t really catch up until late last year but have swapped a few things and just making more of an effort at looking at what things are made of. I hadn’t really considered fashion before but it’s such a big player! Great tips of how to change it up here – thanks!

    1. Thank you – fashion is like the second worst player for it!

  9. Yes, yes, yes. I love this attitude. Not everyone can do everything, and if we all tried to we’d probably fail, feel sorry for ourselves and give up. But you’re so right that we can all do something. I love that you’re starting with fast fashion too. I think fast fashion still has a place if it’s an item you know you’re not going to wear much, or want to dabble in a trend before making a bigger investment but it’s awful for buying a whole new wardrobe and throwing it away two minutes later because each item only cost 10p. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get the point. I’d love an update later in the year about how you get on? I’m trying really hard to cut plastic out of my life where possible this year x

    Sophie

    1. I definitely know what you mean and thank you! I’m definitely looking to do an update maybe halfway through the year 😌xxx

  10. Kayleigh Zara says:

    I’ve been trying my best to be better with sustainable fashion, I’m very guilty of buying alot online and it was about September time last year that I decided to work on that. I’ve been using depop alot too as it’s really been great for finding specific items that I needed x

    1. Glad you realised and you’re ready to change your shopping habits!

  11. Love this post! I’ll admit I’m one to buy stuff here and then (especially if I have a gift card) but I’m always making sure to check out thrift shops as I love them! Majority of my wardrobe is from thrift stores. I enjoy buying from depop as well and have been thinking about starting an account.
    I always donate my unwanted clothes or passing them along to someone else.
    100% every little bit counts. Thanks for this post xx

    1. Every little counts for sure! x

  12. I think this is a really admirable thing to pick up and focus on this year x

    1. Thank you x

  13. It’s great to see so many people getting on board. But as you say the difference if everyone could would be incredible.

    https://littlemissmelanie.com/

    1. It really would x

  14. We moved in 2018 and it left us with almost no furniture – not even a dinning table or sofa! We managed to get a brand new sofa from ebay, which originally would have cost hundreds, for £12.20. Absolute bargain of the century, AND better for the environment! Charity shops are full of brilliant finds too! I love second hand stuff, it has more history to it! x

  15. This is great Jenny! Very inspiring & I agree something we should all be doing. Good luck with it and good on you x

    1. Love this! I’m also doing something similar this year. Charity shops are amazing for clothes – 100% of my designer clothes are secondhand, and I’ve found some gorgeous items before. Haven’t heart of depop either so will check it out!

    2. Thanks so much x

  16. This is a wonderful idea and I’m excited to hopefully read a follow-up post to this one on your experience with buying sustainable fashion!

    1. Thank you! I’ll definitely do a follow up 😌

  17. This is such a great idea! I’ve been far more conscious recently of fast fashion and making sure I’m not just buying things for the sake of it. I definitely want to donate a load of my old clothes to a charity shop this month so that’s my first step! xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. Definitely a good place to start!

  18. I LOVE this article! We’re actually looking for bloggers with an interest in fashion and social issues such as sustainability, mental health, climate change, feminism, veganism and many more to join our Fashion + Storytelling course next month.

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  19. Good luck on your goal to being more sustainable! It sounds so hard to do, and I always feel a twinge of guilt whenever I read up about sustainable fashion, because I am a HUGE shopaholic. I have gotten better over the years but I haven’t been able to slap away the itch to buy things via Next Day Delivery from boohoo. I really need to stop that!

    1. Thank you! I always felt guilty too. Small steps! c

  20. Amie Cadwallader says:

    I’ve always shopped in charity shops, I love finding bargains and money going to charity!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Absolutely – lots of positives x

  21. I’ve stopped purchasing items online so much – I only buy things I know I like/will wear constantly x

    1. That’s a good place to start x

  22. Aisling O'Connor says:

    This is a great idea for the year! This was my resolution for 2019 because I also used to buy stuff on Boohoo or Missguided all the time! Most vintage shops or charity shops don’t have things I love, but I found Depop to be a treasure trove.

    Ash | thisdreamsalive.com

    1. Depop really is!

  23. I totally agree. I’ve shopped in Charity Shops for years, because I’ve had to and also because you get some really different styles. However, since the vintage trend started, the prices have been going up meaning that people on a low income can’t afford to buy from Charity Shops anymore, therefore giving the cheap throw away fashion which is bad for the environment the money they can afford. We need to be aware of the fashion industries major faults and the sweat shops where these clothes are made, but we also need to be aware that poorer families need support in their endeavors to buy sustainable by lowering the prices in Charity shops again. xxx

    1. Really good point and definitely something to think about. Obviously everyone’s situation is different and at the moment I’m just mainly focused on trying to be more eco friendly xxx

  24. This is a great way towards being more sustainable. I don’t tend to buy much second hand in terms of clothes but I always give our stuff to charity shops to sell on. I only buy what I need rather than what I think we need now xx

    1. That’s a good place to start though. It can be so easy to just go overboard and buy anything sometimes xxx

  25. This is such a great step in being more sustainable and I think it’s so cool that you decided to do it, I hope you find some really unique and nice pieces when you do shop, thrift stores are the best for finding one off pieces that nobody else has. I don’t buy new clothes a lot (mostly because I’m in pjs or oversized tshirts about 90% of the time unless I’m out of the house haha) but you’ve definitely inspired me to be more mindful and perhaps this is the year I’ll take on a more sustainable approach too!

    In regards to being vegan or vegetarian, even if you swap out one or two meals a week for a veggie option it may help ease into a different routine ☺️ I’ve tried taking small steps that way, although I’m not fully vegetarian yet, I’m working towards it 💛 thanks for sharing, really enjoyed reading!

    1. I mean, I spend most of my life in comfy clothes too so I didn’t buy too many new clothes to start with hahaha! I’ll definitely start adopting a meat free Monday (or another day) too! xxx

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