It’s rapidly approaching that time of year when family celebrations come into play. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries – with restrictions easing up, there’s a lot going on. So, I’m often looking in the closet for outfits and clothing to wear for parties and functions.
After all, you can’t get away with the same Saturday night outfit six weeks in a row these days! (Oh, how I do miss my sweatpants…)
As an environmentally responsible shopper, though, I really don’t like the idea of fast fashion. Did you know that fast fashion is one of the largest users of water globally, as well as a major carbon emitter?
Here are some of the simple ways that I’m shopping local and addressing my environmental impact this event season.
Often, people chuck out near-new pieces of clothing, even though they may have only worn the piece once (and sometimes, not at all).
This is a great way to pick up new clothing, without the expensive price tag – and sometimes, the savings can be amazing. Think of the money you can save by picking up two or three pieces second-hand, rather than one brand new shirt?
The best part is – if you ask your friends, I don’t think they’ll be able to tell the difference.
The best part about thrift shops is that they’re often not too far away from home. Many churches and non-profits run weekly (and sometimes daily) op shops and thrift stores. You may even find one within walking distance of your home or workplace.
These op shops are a great way to get involved in your local community – save the need for travelling to a big box store or fashion outlet, and engage with community members who are just as keen to find sustainable fashion options as you are. Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of our community!
Local Facebook groups are also a great way to tap into local supplies of clothing. Often, mums and dads have perfectly good clothes that their kids have simply grown out of. Try asking your friends if they know of any local community boards or swap meets. It’s a great way to find unique and different second-hand pieces of clothing, and who knows – it may be something that compliments your style.
Shopping local is a great way to reduce the amount of packaging used in your products. Did you know that Amazon produces enough plastic waste to fill a delivery van every sixty-seven minutes? That’s simply a phenomenal amount of waste, and by doing our bit to go local, we can help reduce this drastically.
Shopping local is a great way to do your bit because you don’t have to have mountains of plastic waste clogging up your rubbish bin. By shopping in-store, there’s simply no need to package your purchases in miles and miles of plastic – you just purchase it, and off you go!
Bonus tip: Consider taking your own bags when making purchases at thrift stores. By doing that, you’re saving even more plastic from ending up in landfills!
If all else fails, and you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, consider shopping online for sustainable fashion brands. These are brands that actively take steps to operate more sustainably, whether that be through biodegradable packaging, zero-emission deliveries, or simply the use of renewable resources such as bamboo.
Even though it may seem a bit silly, sometimes the occasional online shop here and there can be great – especially for those items that you may not find easily second-hand, such as underwear.
While shopping local may seem counter-intuitive at times, it’s a great way to do your daily dose of good for the environment. We only have one Earth, so by taking some of the steps above, we can all do our bit to minimize our impact.
I’m curious about how you plan to shop local this season. Perhaps you’re eyeing a local thrift store, or are considering shopping sustainable brands online? I’d love to see what you get up to this holiday season, so please feel free to get in touch in the comments below.