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It’s safe to say that more and more people are investing in and being aware of their fashion choices now, as the sustainable and eco-friendly movement just gathers more and more momentum. Me included. At the start of 2020, I began my own sustainable fashion journey and ditched fast fashion retailers for good. But sustainability doesn’t stop at your clothes. So today I want to chat about sustainable ways to accessorize your outfits! Because who doesn’t LOVE accessories?
I arguably love accessories more than clothes. I’m a big jewellery lover. My Mum is a big handbag lover. My boyfriend is a watch lover. So it’s safe to say we’ve all got through our fair share of accessories over the years. I feel like accessories can also completely make an outfit so if you have somewhere special to go or somewhere to dress up for, it’s not worth skimping on them. And there are plenty of options when it comes to shopping sustainably for jewellery. Even options you might not have considered, like antique jewellery from retailers such as Carus Jewellery.
But as with everything in the sustainability and eco-friendly movement, we can all do our bit to help. I’m not an all or nothing kinda gal. I’m very much a “small actions make a difference” kinda person. And if you’ve not considered sustainability in your accessories yet – that’s okay. I’m still making those small steps too.
So let’s look at some alternative ways to source beautiful accessories for your outfits which are also more sustainable!
Make your own sustainable accessories
This isn’t something I could do personally – as I’m so un-artistic that anything I made would probably look like it came out of a reception art class. But if you are handy with things like crafts and art, then this could be a great option for you. And so much fun to do as well!
Shop second hand for your accessorize
As with shopping sustainably for clothes, second hand is a great way to shop sustainable for accessories too. Not to mention that some accessories really can cost a pretty penny, so as well as saving some cash, you also won’t be buying into damaging fast fashion retailers! Bonus points if you buy from a charity and help them too!
Invest in antique jewellery instead of buying new
This one is probably not the most obvious point on this list but investing in antique jewellery instead of buying new is another great way to shop sustainably for accessories and landing yourself with some incredible pieces of jewellery that people are unlikely to have seen on the market due to their nature.
Not the cheapest option by any means but definitely an option nonetheless if it’s for a mega special occasion. I can imagine doing something like this for my wedding (non-existent wedding, I might add. Don’t start congratulating me). The pieces below are all picks from Carus Jewellery, who sell collections of beautiful antique jewellery from Georgian, Victoria, Art Deco and Edwardian time periods, to name a few.
Antique jewellery has a timeless appeal. And although right now, you might be buying a gorgeous piece of jewellery to accessorize an outfit, in generations to come, that piece will make a family heirloom. And generational piece of you and your family that could live on for decades – even millennia. You might even already have your own pieces of antique jewellery in your family!
The pieces from Carus Jewellery are exquisite. As they should be, with something so valuable, elegant and timeless. I’m a big lover of earrings myself, so I found myself going straight to have a look at their collection of beautiful antique earrings. The Edwardian Aquamarine & Diamond Earrings took my breath away.
Shop accessories from sustainable fashion brands
I love a sustainable fashion brand and have found myself gravitating towards places such as Thought Clothing whenever I want to treat myself to something new (as opposed to something second hand). Remember, it’s still okay to purchase new items (whether that’s clothes or accessories) as long as you do your research on the brand and the materials they use!
Ditch animal products in your accessories
I’m obviously talking about things such as leather (especially), fur and silk. By not purchasing items new made from these materials, you’re doing your bit to lessen the demand. There are so many amazing alternatives to these materials that don’t harm or come from animals and not to even go in to the horrific working conditions for those working in China and India’s silk industry. You can read more about that here.
Shop at small businesses
And finally, ditch those fast fashion retailers, ditch leather and materials that harm animals, ditch giving your money to huge organizations that don’t respect the environment, the workers or the impact they’re having on the world and try and shop at small businesses for your accessories instead. There are SO MANY incredible creators on Twitter who create and sell their own jewellery. I’m in constant awe of their talent and I’d much rather give my money to them.
How will you be shopping for your accessories going forward? Do you shop sustainably now or is it something you’d like to start doing?