Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Fashion: Here’s Wear to Start

Giada Nizzoli

(last updated at )

Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Fashion: Here’s Wear to Start

Whether it’s your new year's resolution or you’ve just grown tired of the vicious cycle of cheap disposable garments, we’ve created a beginner’s guide to sustainable fashion to help you make this switch.

We know it can be extremely overwhelming at first as there are so many aspects to learn about… and where do you even start looking for ethical clothes?

Relax. Here are our easy tips.

Why this matters: the problems with fast fashion

Garment workers who are often underpaid in fast fashion

From the flashy discounts of high street chains to influencers promoting massive hauls, we’re constantly brainwashed into buying more clothes without stopping to consider these three essential points:

  • How they were made
  • By whom
  • What consequences this frenetic consumerism causes

Unfortunately, fast fashion clothes are mostly produced (and purchased) without taking the environment into consideration, from pesticide-loaded cotton crops to synthetic materials that can take 200 years to break down.

Because these brands don’t usually work directly with their supply chain, fast fashion clothes tend to be made by exploited and underpaid workers, with child labour often being involved.

Buying low-quality items and discarding them regularly then leads to 92 million tonnes of yearly waste.

To fully understand the detrimental impact of fast fashion, here are some eye-opening documentaries that you can check out.

What is sustainable and ethical fashion?

Ethical fashion clothes

Slow or sustainable fashion is a more ethical alternative to fast fashion.

As defined by the UN, sustainability is about a “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Sustainable fashion is therefore a slower, more eco-friendly, and ethical approach to the entire supply chain of the clothing industry:

  • Designing clothes
  • Choosing materials
  • Manufacturing garments
  • Distributing them
  • Consuming them

Slow fashion is about choosing materials that are kinder to the environment and/or the animals, treating and paying garment workers fairly, and encouraging consumers to buy fewer pieces that will last for years.

You might have heard some harmful myths about sustainable fashion, so we’ve debunked them all for you.

How to get started with sustainable fashion: beginner’s guide

Ethical clothes from our beginner's guide to sustainable fashion

Now that you know how slow fashion is different from its evil fast cousin, how do you actually adopt this kinder and more ethical mindset?

  1. Bookmark this simple guide to sustainable fashion so that you can go back to it whenever you need to check something
  2. Identify the most sustainable fabrics: organic cotton, hemp, linen, organic wool, modal fabrics, and bamboo are excellent starting points, and so are recycled or upcycled materials
  3. Learn how to check if a brand is sustainable so that you’ll never fall for dodgy greenwashing tricks ever again 
  4. Start loving your clothes, and take care of them to help them last even longer (here’s how to fix them, too)
  5. Unfollow temptations (e.g. fast fashion brands and influencers promoting an unsustainable lifestyle), and get inspired by the right people instead. We also share actionable tips in our newsletter to help more consumers embrace sustainable fashion 
  6. Instead of heading to the usual fast fashion chains, fall in love with fair trade brands. Did you know that you can find them on Project Cece?

Years ago, we were in your same position: wanting to switch to sustainable fashion but really struggling to find the right clothes as these small shops were scattered all over the web.

So, we’ve brought hundreds of them in one place and added practical filters to make your browsing simple and fun. High five!

We hope you’ve found our beginner's guide to sustainable fashion useful. And well done from all of our team for looking into making this ethical change. You rock!

Shop sustainable fashion on Project Cece

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Project Cece is a platform that collects ethical fashion from vetted brands and shops in one place. Browse ethical fashion for women and men and find items that fit your style, budget and values!

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