Historically, the fashion industry has primarily focused on catering to women, neglecting the needs and preferences of men. However, the situation is gradually changing with the emergence of more sustainable shopping options. This shift has made it increasingly convenient for individuals to curate a stylish and ethical wardrobe.
Sustainability encompasses the principles of maintaining a balance and responsibly utilising available resources. In the context of fashion, it extends beyond the manufacturing process to include the materials used and the sourcing methods employed. It adopts a comprehensive approach to promote eco-friendly living and aims to preserve the planet for future generations. In this article, we will go through some top tips for ethical shopping for men.
Sustainable or Greenwashing?
Unfortunately, amidst the growing emphasis on sustainability, some brands have been accused of engaging in greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to the deceptive practice of conveying false claims or misleading statistics about a company’s sustainable sourcing and eco-friendly practices.
Although there are many instances of greenwashing, there are still many brands out there that are extremely committed to sustainability and transparency. If fashion items were more sustainable, it would help to encourage a more mindful approach to making a purchase. It would also encourage people to buy less.
While cheaper options may make it easier to follow current trends, they often result in lower-quality garments. The fashion industry’s current approach of prioritising affordability and speed leads to the production of low-quality clothing, which in turn causes significant environmental damage.
Sustainable Shopping Tips
Reduce Your Online Order Deliveries
Online shopping is widely popular due to its convenience, and many eco-friendly stores have embraced this trend by offering their products online. However, it is important to recognise that shopping from online retailers can have a detrimental effect on the environment, primarily because of the shipping and packaging practices employed by these retailers.
To minimise the ecological footprint of your online shopping, adopting certain practices can make a significant difference. One approach is to reduce the frequency of your orders and opt for bulk purchases instead. When you make multiple small purchases, it often results in several shipments arriving at your home in separate boxes, which can have a negative impact on the environment. On the other hand, consolidating your purchases into a larger single order helps to minimise packaging waste and reduces the number of trips required for product delivery, thereby lessening the overall environmental impact.
While it is still possible to purchase eco-friendly products online, taking the extra step to consider the implications of shipping your goods can greatly enhance your support for environmentally friendly shopping. By consciously choosing to be mindful of the shipping and packaging practices employed by online retailers, you can further contribute to sustainable consumption and promote a greener future.
Buy Quality, Not Quantity
Adopt the philosophy of “purchasing with intention and quality.” Although it may appear cliché, this principle carries immense importance considering the staggering reality that the global fashion industry produces approximately 100 billion garments every year.
Before making a purchase, it is important to ask yourself three essential questions: “What are you buying and why? What do you truly require? Will you wear it at least 30 times?” These questions serve as a guide to help you make conscious and sustainable shopping decisions.
Whether your desire is luxury streetwear or premium cashmere knits, always pause and reflect on these questions before finalising your purchase.
Opt For Timeless Styles
Opting for timeless menswear is a reliable decision that revolves around three key elements: quality, versatility, and durability. By giving importance to these factors when making clothing purchases, you can build a timeless and versatile wardrobe.
Take, for instance, a navy or grey suit paired with brown oxfords and a knitted tie. These classic patterns and combinations have demonstrated their ability to withstand the changing fashion landscape, embodying a timeless style that surpasses fleeting trends. Embracing such traditional choices guarantees that your wardrobe exudes elegance and remains relevant for years to come.
Shop Secondhand and Vintage
Explore the realm of secondhand and vintage shopping as you expand your wardrobe. 90s styles are in, so this is a great way to find some trending styles. With the increasing availability of platforms like Vinted and Depop, it’s worthwhile to consider purchasing pre-loved items. By opting for these pieces, you not only extend the lifespan of clothing and contribute to reducing the environmental impact of your fashion choices, but you also have the chance to uncover unique and exclusive items that reflect your individuality. Embracing the world of secondhand fashion opens up sustainable possibilities and adds a distinct flair to your personal style.
Cost Per Wear (CPW)
Cost per wear (CPW) is all about focusing on getting the most out of your clothing by considering the frequency of how often you are going to wear the particular item of clothing. It can feel daunting when you are looking at expensive items such as shoes, jackets, sunglasses or even a watch. Instead of just focusing on the price, you should understand that they will often last a lot longer than the cheaper alternatives.
When you want to invest in quality pieces, ensure that they are versatile enough to be able to be worn with a range of outfits. Not only this but recognise the frequency that you will be wearing it. If you concentrate on items that you will wear a lot, you should be able to justify paying more for them. Avoid spending a lot on items that you won’t wear often as they will just get neglected.
Investing in Sustainable Brands
Make a conscious choice to invest in sustainable fashion brands as part of your commitment to buying better. Alongside reducing your overall consumption, supporting designers and brands that prioritise sustainable practices are essential. Narrowing down your search to specific items and exploring brands that emphasise sustainable production methods allows you to align your choices with your values. By placing importance on these aspects, you can make more informed decisions that contribute to a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.
Wash Your Clothes Less
To cultivate environmental consciousness, it’s advisable to reduce the frequency of washing your garments. Instead of washing your beloved pair of Dockers or Guess jeans after each wear, consider laundering them only when they have visible stains or when you have perspired excessively. This practice not only prolongs the lifespan of your clothing but also significantly reduces the environmental impact. It’s a win-win situation that promotes sustainability while maintaining the quality and longevity of your garments.
Avoid Impulse Buying
Impulse buying poses a significant threat to eco-friendly shopping, as it often leads to the purchase of unnecessary products that may end up in local landfills sooner than anticipated.
Advertisers employ various marketing tactics to encourage excessive spending, which can be highly effective, as many of us have experienced when making purchases through social media platforms, website ads, or television commercials. It’s not uncommon to leave a grocery store with far more items than originally intended.
However, it is vital to pause and reflect before making any purchase. Taking a moment to ask yourself a few key questions can help curb impulse buying:
- Do I genuinely need this product?
- Do I already own something similar at home?
- How does this new product offer a distinct advantage over the one I already possess?
- Can I postpone buying this item for a later date?
By keeping both the environment and your budget in mind at all times, you can effectively reduce impulse buying tendencies. This mindful approach enables you to make more conscious purchasing decisions, ultimately contributing to a sustainable lifestyle while preserving your financial resources.