When it comes to leading a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle, the smallest changes tend make a big difference. Taking steps such as switching off the lights after leaving a room, or using a re-usable water bottle can actually save a lot of resources and energy.
Fast fashion has come to dominate most of the western consumer mindset, this is a business model that replicates and mass produces high-end fashion trends at very low costs. This model has become very problematic and has raised many ethical concerns over the years, mainly due to the exploitation of workers and its overall impact on the environment.
Here are 5 ways that you can shop more sustainably as a consumer:
1. Look For The Right Materials
When clothes shopping, try and keep an eye out for natural fibres such as recycled cotton, linen and hemp, as well as polyester that is made from recycled items and post-consumed products.
2. Buy Second-Hand
If and when possible, purchase your clothes and items second-hand. This can mean thrift shopping or purchasing clothes from people you know. There's nothing wrong with giving a new life to something, it just means you get to pull it off in your own unique way!
3. Carry A Tote Bag
If you aren't shopping online, make sure to bring along a re-usable tote bag with you to carry your items in. Purchasing plastic bags each visit is not necessary, however if you do end up having to do so just make sure to recycle them properly.
Rather than throwing away clothes or perfectly reusable items, have a think about whether they are in a good enough condition to donate. Contact your local council for information regarding where you can drop off these items.
Avoid donating clothes with big stains or holes, however you could re-use the material from these for other purposes. (I use an old t-shirt to clean my windows!)
5. Shop Local
Just to re-iterate what Neau Collective is all about: supporting our locals! Try and shop from small businesses if you can so that you're supporting a hard-working family and not a large international corporation. Products that are made and sourced locally do not have to travel long distances to get to your door, thus significantly reducing air and water pollution. Local businesses generally do not mass produce their items nor do they exploit their workers, they take pride in what they do which means you're receiving products that are made with love and care.