7 Ways You Can Make More Sustainable Fashion Choices

Sustainability is all the Rage, but What Does it Really Mean?

If you read fashion blogs, “sustainability” is a trending topic that you’ll probably run into more than once. It may seem like a fad, but sustainable fashion is one of the most important issues facing textile business's today. It is more than just using organic materials. For those who believe in a more sustainable future, there are many crucial aspects from production, supply chain and workers’ salaries to consider, to ensure that the entire business is feasible. From conception to retail, a lot of thought and planning goes into the planning of a sustainable company.

What does sustainability actually mean? It’s actually a social vision that branches out to three main factors: the environmental, economic, and social dimensions. These metrics are used to guide business decisions made at a global, national and individual consumer level.

However, the harsh reality is that while most brands claim sustainability to stay on trend, we may not really know to what extent they actually practice what they preach. Many may point out that organic products cost more because they require advanced technology to manufacture and proper practices such as how to dispose of access dyes or decreasing carbon emissions. These extra efforts behind-the-scenes add to your price tag and not simply because we use “organic” materials. Everything adds up and trickles down to consumers (you). Hence, better quality, ethically sourced and sustainable merchandise do tend to cost more in the retail market.

Leisurewear Modeled By Two Men and Two Women

Greenwashing is Rampant. Here’s What You Should Know About the Buzzword.

Greenwashing is a word used when companies use terms associated with environmental friendliness to market their items as “eco-friendly” but not necessarily good for the planet in reality. For example, printing the words ‘nature-inspired’ on a tag may give the impression that it’s from a “green” source or even part of a “green” project but is it really? Honestly, we might never know and sometimes high-fashion runways can be unnecessarily excessive and lavish, promoting “sustainability” but it’s absolutely contradictory. In other instances, some retailers may even label products as “eco-friendly” or “organic” to insanely increase prices without actual proof of the brand’s sustainable fashion initiatives.

As it takes a lot to make a business truly sustainable on all fronts, some businesses turn to greenwashing to hop on the bandwagon of sustainable fashion. So, the next time you encounter a brand claiming to be eco-friendly, do a little research on your own first before buying.

Ladies Slogan Hoodie on Woman

Thinking of a Lifestyle Change? Get Started with These Useful Tips.

If you’ve been considering a lifestyle change for awhile, but not entirely sure on how to get started, we’d like to share these tips to help you make more conscious fashion choices:

  • 30 wears test
  • Be informed about brands
  • Shop vintage or borrow clothes
  • Make your clothes last longer
  • Shop local
  • Choose organic or natural fabrics
  • Choose ethically made clothes

 

1. The 30 wears test

Sometimes, you buy something thinking you’ll wear it for a long time, but you end up wearing it just once since the day you got it. To avoid this, ask yourself if you’ll wear that piece at least 30 times. Is that a yes? Then despite the higher price tag, go for it! This practice helps you to prevent buying something you’ll only wear once and never again. Say goodbye to buyer’s remorse.

2. Be more informed about brands and their initiatives towards sustainability

If you’re supporting sustainable brands, make sure that you stay informed and do your own research. One way is to reach out over social media to find out if the brand’s values line up with yours. If you’re intimidated by the sheer number of sustainable brands these days, you can start by looking up the sustainability efforts of brands that you know or like, or brands already in your wishlist.

At Gen Woo, each part of our design and manufacturing process is moving towards a more sustainable future. Our collections are made up of at least 70% of provisional greige fabric and 10% of deadstock. Our factories are BSCI and GOTS certified and are members of the Zara Join Life program that ensures higher manufacturing standards. With annual targets to invest in technology to reduce our carbon footprint, for example, new machines that use less water and machines that can treat and recycle waste water. 

Wondering what are some of the sustainable pieces we offer? Check out our mens organic t-shirts and graphic print t-shirts.
Men's Printed Shirts on Models

3. Shop vintage/rent or borrow clothes

Buying or renting preloved clothes is a fantastic way to practice sustainable fashion and contribute to circular fashion. You’ll be actively keeping clothes in circulation and out of the trash. Get your hands on vintage clothes at the thrift store or special consignment stores, usually for much cheaper prices than what they initially retailed for. You’ll never know what treasures you’re going to find!

Renting is another great option if you only need a piece of clothing for a single occasion. Borrowing something that you don’t have to worry about keeping in your closet makes sure that you only own essential items. Think about the amount of styles you can express yourself in without cluttering your wardrobe. This is definitely guilt-free shopping!

4. Look after your clothes so they last longer

It sounds simple, but knowing how to care for your clothes is an important and rare skill. By knowing how to properly wash different materials or repair small areas of damage, you can prolong the lifespan of your clothes.

Follow the directions on the tag of your garments when cleaning your clothes. This way you’ll be able to keep them out of the landfill and enjoy them for a longer period of time.

5. Shop local

Shopping locally is a sustainable way to reduce waste and also support a more transparent way of doing business. You are helping to decrease carbon footprint by reducing transport distance between you and the retailer. 


Gen Woo Outfits on Models

6. Choose organic or natural fabrics

Clothes made with synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon may be cheaper, but these materials tend to include petroleum in the mix, a resource that isn’t renewable. Natural fabrics like organic cotton or linen help to reduce the amount of waste produced at the start of the cycle. Organic fabrics also reduce the amount of toxins that farmers are exposed to, as no harmful chemicals are used in the process. Other fabrics like linen and hemp require less land, water, labour, and resources as opposed to conventional fibres, thus reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Sustainable Clothing on Female Models


We use sustainable fabrics in our collections and work with Better Cotton Initiative to ensure that the materials we use are ethically sourced for e.g. organic cotton and tencel blends like our organic graphic print t-shirts.

7. Choose ethically made clothes

What does ethically made really mean? If a garment is produced in an ethical way, it means that production workers are being paid fairly and have good working conditions. Keep a look out for companies certified by Fairtrade, an international organisation that sets benchmarks for how businesses must conduct themselves.

Every small step contributes to a significant impact on sustainability. Start with any one of these 7 tips and slowly make your way through the list one at a time and before you know it, you are exactly on the right path to incorporating them into your lifestyle choices.

Shopping around for sustainable brands? Check out our latest SS22 collection here.

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