Sustainable shopping is quite fun once you realize what to look out for. Clothing that lasts a long time, remains beautiful after many washes, and is also well put together (fair production, fair clothing brand). It's just really nice if your purchases are really good and it makes you really happy.
Fortunately, we are becoming more and more aware of how the clothes we shop are made, and from which fabrics the clothes are made. Of course we prefer honest clothing that does not cause suffering. Sustainable clothing and fair fashion is something everyone feels good about. But a day shopping in the city also often ends with a bag of clothing whose origin cannot be deduced. This is mainly because we don't really know what to look for. And then it quickly becomes too 'difficult' and too complicated. Fortunately, I have a few handy and simple tips for you here. Since I started my sustainable clothing account in instagram (you can find us here) and write blogs about eco fashion, it's become daily business to look for new fair clothing brands and new sustainable fabrics. A kind of long-term research into: how can you make your wardrobe more sustainable? Is there a way to live a more sustainable and responsible fashion life?
Follow these 6 tips to shop more sustainably, and you'll never go home with a bad purchase again.
This is how you shop sustainable
You shop sustainably if you buy things with a low ecological footprint, and for which the makers receive a fair price. You buy products from close by, which are preferably not packaged in plastic. Sustainable clothing is environmentally friendly clothing, which is made with care and attention for the planet, animals and people. Animal friendly, fair human rights, the use of materials that have less impact, and good working conditions are important points.
Now that the holidays are just around the corner, everyone is looking for gifts and a new outfit for Christmas. In addition, the discounts and the Black Friday deals are all around you. So the temptation is even greater to buy something. The impact of mass consumption on our planet and the climate is enormous, so we have listed 6 tips for you on how to shop responsibly. So you can save money and feel good in your new outfit
1) Only buy what you really need
It sounds logical, but it starts with this: don't be tempted to buy items that briefly benefit from a fast fashion trend, or buy something because you want something for that one party. In both cases, it often only gives short term happiness and chances are that it will end up in your closet afterwards, because that crop top or dress doesn't really make you happy anyway. Try to avoid impulse purchases. Rather make the time to take a critical look at your wardrobe and base your purchases on that. Buy what you really like and what you really need. You can often borrow, exchange or get clothing for certain occasions from your friends and family. Tip against impulse purchases: leave a product in your online shopping cart for a few days. This way you give yourself time to think and you can decide after a few days whether you really want and need the product, or not.
2) Smart ordering reduces retour shippings
The transport required to deliver our packages is harmful to the environment. It is therefore preferable to collect medium-sized packages on foot or by bicycle at a collection point or in the store. Do you opt for home delivery? Make sure someone is home to receive your package. In addition, it is important to avoid rush orders. And one last tip: bundle your purchases with one provider.
In recent years, the Dutch have returned an average of about forty percent of clothing purchases. This means that we have been among the European top when it comes to returns for a few years now. This comes at a price, for the environment and for the webshops themselves. In addition to double transport, there are additional costs for the webshop due to an inspection of the product, tidying up, repacking and administration costs. In total, this costs Dutch webshops tens of millions euros per year. As a result, part of the returned clothing is destroyed, and millions of garments end up in the incinerator. For the cheap clothing brands, destroying is cheaper than reselling. You can guess how environmentally unfriendly this is...
The reason for return is often that the product does not meet expectations, or that the wrong size was ordered. You can reduce this risk by carefully reading the description of each product, emailing any questions to customer service and looking closely at photos, reviews and ratings of the product. Please look carefully at the size chart, read the description carefully and measure yourself. The measuring tape can save you a return shipment ;) because to be honest, you don't want the extra work of returning a wrong ordered item, do you? Your time is precious too.
3) Choose sustainable clothing brands
In Dutch we say: 'Goedkoop is duurkoop', wich means 'Cheap is expensive'. We sometimes hear that sustainable clothing is not cheap. And that's right, if you compare the prices of sustainable clothing with the items of large cheap fashion chains. In many cases, cheap clothing only lasts half a year. And because these clothes do not last long. You have to buy new clothes more quickly and more often. So it still gets expensive. In addition, the best known fashion chains often cannot guarantee fair working conditions, and that they do not work with organic and sustainable fabrics. The organic and good quality fabrics are more expensive to buy, and fair production indeed costs more. In addition, smaller fashion brands have a smaller circulation, which means that the average price per item of clothing is higher. The clothing production of 100,000 t-shirts is cheaper per piece than purchasing per 500 pieces. And quality marks also cost money. And when you think about it, you don't want people to have been exploited or children to have made your clothes. Thus, it is indeed true that sustainable clothing is more expensive. How much money you want to spend on clothing is your choice, and fortunately there are plenty of affordable sustainable clothing brands. With a good search, clothing really doesn't have to cost the world.
Sustainable shopping means consciously choosing sustainable clothing brands. Fashion brands that produce in an environmentally friendly way, produce ethically and do not use harmful materials. By looking for quality marks on labels, for example, you can be sure that your garment has not caused any damage to the environment. That's how this blog came about, it was an incredible amount of work to research this all, after which I decided to bundle everything on this website.
Here you will find fair and sustainable clothing. All sustainable (mainly Dutch) clothing brands can be found here on one website. You can find all the beautiful sustainable clothing brands together on the Sustainable clothing brands page. The special thing about this website is that there are mainly small fashion brands from the Netherlands. This blog site was not started to earn money, so all brands get a stage here. Large and small, in order to make environmentally friendly clothing better known, we can dot this together. And it's so much fun for our local businesswomen ;) Choose sustainable and local clothing.
4) Consider secondhand or vintage clothing
Have you ever looked at secondhand clothes? You can do this via Marktplaats, a flea market, thrift store or the Vinted app. You extend the life of items and thus save an enormous amount of raw materials, energy and waste. And you save money, which is always nice!
I really enjoy this, sometimes I spot a clothing brand in the store whose style I like, but the price tag is too high. Then I go to Marktplaats and search for secondhand items on that specific brand. I do the same when I know exactly what I'm looking for, I then search Marktplaats and United Wardrobe, because there are more than enough items of clothing on offer. And often they are still beautiful, look nice and old, and therefore vintage-like items too. So unique clothing, and very environmentally conscious. You can also find nice secondhand clothing at the ReShare stores (of the Dutch 'het Leger Des Heils' - the Salvation Army). There is bound to be one near you. You can find unique vintage addresses in this blog.
5) Buy Local
Buy your clothes locally as much as possible. This way you prevent CO2 emissions from transport and you support local entrepreneurs. If you buy from Dutch clothing brands, you can be sure that it will only be shipped within the Netherlands, and that it will not have to be shipped all over the world first. Or you go to the shops, even better. Many Dutch sustainable fashion brands have a shop, or sales point, where you can immediately see, feel and try on your purchase. The great thing is that much of the clothing is also made in the Netherlands, so no 'made in China' but really locally and fairly made. I try to collect as many Dutch sustainable clothing brands as possible, so that you can find them through this website. Be sure to check out the list we've put together so far on this page.
6) Take a look at your wardrobe and be creative
With these tips you can really shop sustainably. Shopping remains fun and is sometimes really necessary, so we never get out of it completely. This way your purchases are completely okay. And if you want to do everything right, you can also get started at home. Because, what do you still have in your closet? And how creative can you be with those items?
Do you know the feeling, of standing in front of your wardrobe early in the morning and can't decide what to wear? And in the meantime you have to hurry more and more to be able to leave on time for work. The solution is tidying up and organizing. Make room in your wardrobe for fixed sets and arrange them by color and function. This not only saves time, it also prevents you from being tempted to make an impulse purchase that same day. And tidy up your wardrobe, so you can see what's in the back of the closet, clothes which you haven't looked at for a long time ;)
Make new combinations again, from your 'old' clothes together with your latest purchase. Maybe those pants from years ago are now hip again, and that sweater you haven't worn for so long is surprising comfortable. Be creative with what you have. More is possible, and you don't even have to leave your house. A nice thing to do for these cold winter days, isn't it?
Note to self: buy sustainable or don't buy at all
Sustainable clothing brands with fair prices:
Natural hemp clothing, vegan and organic
Use discount code DUURZAAM20 for 20% discount on your purchase
Do you have extra tips and tricks? Please let me know in the comments below.
Lots of love,