Everything we do in our day-to-day life has an impact on our environment, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. In recent years, sustainability has become the ‘it’ word in the fashion industry, but are we really doing enough to save our planet or just exploiting the term ‘sustainability’ for greenwashing? According to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, by the year 2030, the fashion industry is predicted to increase its water consumption by 50% and its carbon footprint will increase to 2,790 million tons while fashion waste is predicted to hit 148 million tons. Daunting, isn’t it? The situation will get worse if we, as consumers, don’t change our fashion choices in the coming years. This doesn’t mean we have to change our lifestyle drastically, but we can surely take small steps which could lessen the environmental impact.
Here are 10 things you can incorporate in your daily routine to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
*You can also contribute towards a greener and healthier environment through our #ActNowWithQua initiative, where with purchase we will plant a tree in your name! To know more click here.
Quality Over Quantity, Always
We can’t emphasise more on the importance of buying less and buying better. Buying high-quality items might cost you more but believe us, it’s going to be totally worth it! By choosing quality, you are making the conscious decision to be more sustainable. Invest in high-quality trans-seasonal clothes that will last longer and can be worn across multiple seasons. Slow fashion might seem costlier but it’s cheaper in the long run. For instance, if you choose a co-ord set from Qua and wear it at least 10 times per year for 5 years, you are spending a mere Rs.100 per wear! So from now, make a habit of asking yourself these questions before you buy anything- Will I wear it at least 30 times? How long will it last? Do I really need it? These retrospective questions will help you to avoid impulse or a one-wear buy. It’s worth investing in pieces that you will genuinely want to keep and cherish forever!
Don’t Buy Trends
In this era, new trends are advertised robustly on every platform- be it TV or social media, pushing us into the pitfall of impulse shopping, and we end up buying more clothes that we even need. So what’s the solution for this? Find your own individual style! Choose quality items based on what you actually love and what suits you, rather than blindly following the trends. Experiment with colours, prints and silhouettes to create a capsule wardrobe that reflects your own timeless style and personality.
Be Vocal For Local
We understand it’s not always possible, but whenever you get the opportunity- choose locally made garment, made with locally produced materials. Buying locally from homegrown brands not only reduces environmental impact but also lets you support your community. Homegrown brands make local purchases, thereby decreasing transportation pollution, energy consumptions and carbon footprints. Additionally, independent businesses are smaller in comparison with large chains of fast fashion brands, so they take up less land and resources. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, we must say!
Judge When To Wash Clothes
There are days when you dread doing laundry and here’s your excuse to avoid doing it for a little bit longer! Wash your clothes less frequently whenever possible. The more you wash your clothes, the higher chance they’ll lose their quality. Pieces like socks, stockings and undergarments do need washing after one wear, but the dress you wore for a few hours to attend a zoom meeting won’t need washing unless you spilled your coffee on it. Similarly, other clothing items like shirts, trousers and blazers don’t need regular washing. We can significantly reduce the environmental impact by changing our laundering habits like washing a piece after a few wears and opting for spot cleaning instead of throwing the whole garment in the wash.
Cold Cycle 101
Do you take time to read the washing instructions given on a garment before washing it? Well, we are guilty of neglecting it more than often. Read the label, and you’ll be surprised to know how many clothing items in your wardrobe should be washed in cold water. The cold washing not only saves on heating but also increases the longevity of most of your clothes. Washing clothes at 30 degrees Celsius reportedly reduces energy usage by 40% as compared to the standard 40 degrees’ Celsius wash. Saving energy means a reduction in the usage of natural resources like oil and gas that eventually reduces the contribution to the rise in global temperatures causing climate change.
Let Your Clothes Dry Naturally
Reduce your carbon footprint and reliance on a machine dryer by hanging your clothes out to dry them naturally. Drying clothes out in the sun instead of drying them in a machine will make them last longer and kill the bacteria that give birth to odour. Drying clothes at high temperatures in a machine can also cause shrinking and pilling. At the time of washing, skip the option of a dryer to maintain fabric quality for longer. Dry the delicate garments flat and turn the colourful items inside-out to save them from fading.
Repair and Rewear
Did the button come off from your favourite blouse? Sew it back on. Ripped your trouser? Patch it up. It is as simple as that! There are YouTube videos for just about everything, and if even after the tutorials you think sewing isn’t your cup of tea, then get it repaired by a tailor. With all the waste produced from the textile industry, repairing your torn clothes is indeed an eco-friendlier option than getting rid of it altogether.
Upcycling Is The New Cool
There must be so many clothes in your closet that you don’t feel like wearing or think that they don’t go with personal style anymore. But instead of just throwing them away, start a love story with those clothing pieces that need a new life. Redefine the clothes by adding some frills, sequins or embroidery. If you are more skilled with your sewing machine, try experimenting with the hems, necklines and sleeves. Upcycling the garments is a good way to reduce carbon footprints and make yourself something ‘new’ from something you already own.
Wear What You Already Own
It’s time to fall back in love with your existing wardrobe. Rediscover the connection you have with the clothing you already have in the back of your closet. By using your clothes more often rather than throwing them away, you are not only minimizing your cost per wear but also reducing emission per wear. It’s high time we started normalizing repeating clothes and made the most out of them. Style your existing pieces with different accessories, try unusual colour pairing, experiment with silhouettes, or mix different types of prints (for your next brunch date, layer polka dots with vertical stripes for a fun and whimsical look). The key is to find a hero item that never fails to make you feel great and wear them as much as you can in different ways.
Swap, Sell and Correctly Donate
Never ever throw away your clothes! Discarding clothes just means it will probably end up sitting in a landfill for years and years! Did you know synthetic fibres such as polyester can take anywhere between 20-200 years to decompose? Instead of throwing clothes, swap, sell or correctly donate your once-loved garments to someone else. If it can’t be worn anymore, give them a second life by recycling. Another resort is the trusty DIYs- turn your old t-shirt into a braided rug, or turn the socks into some quirky art project- the choice is all yours. So for your next meet-up with friends (hopefully soon when the situation out there gets better), organize a cloth-swap party where everyone brings a few items to swap with each other!
Very valuable information
Very helpful and easy to follow