5 Fashion Choices You Can Make To Help Reduce Waste

We can love both fashion and our planet

At Caelum Greene, we love fashion, we really do! However, from the polluting effects on the environment to the negative social impact on factory workers, there’s no denying that the fashion industry has a major sustainability problem. 

Small steps really do matter towards moving us in the right direction. That’s why our mission has been to curate only high quality, sustainable brands – products that make a difference

Here are some ways to make more mindful fashion choices. 

1. Consider comfort, versatility and timelessness

This is one of the reasons we love athleisure! Perfect for lounging around at home, add running shoes and you’re off to the gym, slip into sneakers (or even heels!) and a light jacket with some jewelry and hit the town. What’s more, you are comfortable. And when you are comfortable and confident, you shine. 

Consider versatile and timeless pieces like classic leggings, jackets and tops that can go with pretty much anything.

2. Go for quality over quantity

The industry is fast moving, and given fast, ready-to-wear production it’s easier than ever to jump on trends. But how many times have you gone shopping, wore something once and then notice a thread is loose or there are holes already because the material really is “you get what you pay for” (and sometimes not even that!) 

If you actually calculate how much you spend on low quality clothes over a decade, the money you "saved" on pieces you end up tossing after using once or twice, could have instead got you a quality piece you genuinely love and that will last over time. 

Furthermore, the damaging effects of fast fashion really are countless. Check out Jon Oliver’s Last Week Tonight special on the Problems with Fast Fashion.

3. Know your brands

Have you watched that Jon Oliver episode yet? Get to know brands beyond their catchy ads and commercials. Research how their goods are made, where they are produced, how they treat their employees, etc. The price difference between a sustainable company versus a non-sustainable one is often marginal or even uncorrelated, depending on the product and the company’s branding. Often, some high-end brands produce clothing in the exact same factory as a lower-end one. It’s no surprise that brand perception totally affects a consumer’s view on pricing for basically the same product.

4. Do go Marie-Kondo minimalist when you consume

The gist of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is that you’re better off surrounding yourself with things you love, that bring you joy and make you feel comfortable. Make sure when you shop that you are buying quality pieces that you not only need, but that you enjoy to look at and use. As we noted in point #2, really take the time to think through all of the lower quality items you opted for instead of a nicer, timeless piece. How many of them just end of unusable, donated or even thrown away? 

5. Lastly, please please please do make sure to properly donate or recycle your old clothing 

The amount of clothing that just ends up in landfills and the damage that means for our environment really is staggering. We’re talking million tons each year. Please make sure you do whatever you can to ensure your old clothes do not end up here. There are so many alternatives from clothing drives to thrift shops. We know you’re busy, but please take the time, it’s really worth it. You can even throw a girls’ night where you swap goods that are in great condition, but maybe they are no longer your style, or don’t fit you properly.

We work closely with Redress in Hong Kong, and for every purchase made at our store – big or small – a portion is donated to help fight the issue of waste generated by fashion. Learn more about Redress here

Thanks for taking the time to think about your consumption choices. When mother earth wins, we all win.

Do you have ideas on how to help reduce waste via fashion? We want to hear from you! Email us at cgteam@caelumgreene.com. Please help share this post to encourage others to make mindful decisions when it comes to consumption.