Written by Samantha Rondon
My name is Samantha (aka Saffy) from Simply Saffy and I’m incredibly passionate about shopping ethically, living sustainably and still looking stylish while doing so! Style doesn’t need to be compromised when “going green” and I’m here to help you make that transition as easy as possible!Follow these 5 easy steps to help make your wardrobe more sustainable:
1.Don’t shop based on trends (#30wears)
This is the simplest way to ensure that you’re only buying essentials and classic pieces that you know will last well beyond the (short) era of a trend. Something I do before I pull the trigger on a purchase is ask myself “Will I wear this at least 30 times?” It feels great to be able to rewear pieces and challenge myself to style them differently with each new outfit.
2. Only buy what you need
It’s easy to get caught up in an emotion when you see something you like. It’s easy to want to pull out the credit card or hit “Purchase” on your phone’s app to get that beautiful item in your closet immediately. But pause for 30 seconds, think about whether it’s something you really need. Do you already have something similar in your wardrobe? When you start shopping for pieces that you’ll get at least 30 wears from, you tend not to need duplicates or similar pieces because you’ve already challenged yourself to creatively reuse these items as many times as possible.
3.Choose ethical brands
Unfortunately, if you’re a mall rat (like I used to be!), you’ll struggle to find ethical brands in these establishments. Fortunately, a lot of clothing shopping has migrated online and plenty of brands have excellent return policies if pieces don’t fit the first time around. Some of my favourite brands only have a few retail locations and, therefore, most of my shopping is done online. These brands include: Reformation, Everyone, Nisolo, Guyana, Avarcas, Nomadic State of Mind, Catbird, Veja, Vele, Amour Vert, Auguste the Label, Pela Case, Girlfriend Collective and Vetta Capsule.
You can find plenty more ethical brands by searching The True Cost’s verification page or following me at Simply Saffy to see the new brands I’m constantly discovering. Instagram has also been a phenomenal tool for introducing me to new ethical brands. Try searching #ethicalbrand or #ethicalfashion to discover some incredibly talented brands across the world!
4. Buy secondhand
Some people are freaked out by the concept of buying secondhand but, I can assure you, there are plenty of really wonderful places to find excellent quality secondhand items. If you’re struggling to find a decent vintage or secondhand store in your neighborhood, try apps like Poshmark or Depop. I’ve purchased most of my secondhand clothing from Poshmark and am continually pleasantly surprised by the quality of the items I’m purchasing at seriously reasonable prices. Even if you purchase items secondhand that are not from an ethical brand, that’s still a major step in the right direction in preventing these clothes from ending up in landfills. However, I’ve been able to find so many of my favourite ethical brands on these apps as well! Double whammy!
5. Resell vs. donate
It’s such a shame to think, but the majority of our donated clothes to places like Goodwill don’t end up in the right hands and much gets sent to landfills. Reselling is the best option to give someone else an opportunity to purchase secondhand! As the saying goes: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and I wholeheartedly believe this!
Beginning to shop more ethically is a process just like changing any habit. The journey is fun, challenging and oh-so rewarding! I’d love to hear about your process and if you have any questions, I’m always an email away!