Thinking of climate change and other environmental issues endangering our world may feel entirely overwhelming; many assume that major billion-dollar projects are the only way out. But we’re here to tell you that every little step you take toward being kinder to the planet counts!
Believe it or not, what you do and how you live your life daily can also significantly impact the future. Like learning how to make eco-friendly purchases on Amazon, create eco-friendly home cleaners, or switch to a natural shampoo bar for everyday use, something as simple as transitioning your wardrobe to high-quality and sustainable pieces can make a big difference and inspire others — like friends, family, and social media connections — to do the same.
If you’re looking for an intro to sustainable work clothes, check out these practical tips on incorporating ethical and timeless pieces into your office looks. Let’s dive right in!
Take The 30-Wear Challenge
When shopping for work clothes, ask yourself, “Can I wear this at least 30 times?”
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The 30-Wear Challenge was conceived by Eco-Age co-founder Livia Firth and journalist Lucy Seigle. It’s an enlightening perspective that encourages consumers to rethink their buying behaviors and hopefully step away from fast fashion brands.
The possibility of wearing something a minimum of 30 times will prompt you to consider whether it’s going to survive the ever-changing trends and if it’s well made from high-quality materials that can withstand the usual wear and tear.
If you’re going to try the 30-Wear Challenge, here are some tips before you start splurging:
- Invest in versatile pieces to mix and match with other items in your closet.
- When buying clothes, opt for something you’ll love and never get tired of wearing on repeat.
- Opt for neutral-colored pieces that you can wear all year round, no matter the season.
- Choose quality over quantity. Aside from being kinder to the environment, wearing chic and top-quality workwear from sustainable fashion brands also make a positive impression on your colleagues and clients.
Learn About Sustainable Clothing Materials
Knowledge is power. Keep yourself informed on what makes work clothes sustainable. They should be made of natural and biodegradable fabrics, aka not these common fabrics:
- Cotton – Conventional cotton is the world’s pesticide-intensive crop that takes up so much agricultural land and water to make — limited resources that could have been used to produce food for human consumption.
- Nylon and polyester – Both are fabrics made from synthetic non-biodegradable fibers that use harmful petrochemicals and processes that involve excessive energy consumption and carbon emissions.
These fabrics are all made with synthetic fibers, and are therefore unsustainable, too:
Instead of the above, look for eco-friendly fabrics from producers that have sustainable manufacturing standards and ethical labor practices. Some of our favorites are:
- Organic and recycled cotton
- Scoby leather
- Apple leather
What To Look For In Truly Sustainable Brands
Currently, the world is overly saturated with fast fashion brands that do more harm than good to our planet. While many claim to be sustainable companies, sometimes you’ll find out that they’re only “greenwashing” — aka, making themselves appealing to their young, “woke” millennial consumers.
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Brands that are truly eco-conscious should meet six critical criteria, which touch upon every aspect of their business — from sourcing, production, and marketing to sales and delivery. They should:
- Have products made of natural and eco-friendly materials.
- Have plastic-free products and packaging.
- Not use natural dyeing methods — or they do not dye at all.
- Follow green practices in every step of their business to conserve natural resources and minimize their carbon footprint production.
- Adhere to and advocate fair trade and labor practices.
- Engage in carbon neutrality and support environmental projects, like ocean cleaning or reforestation, to offset their ecological footprint.
Some sustainable brands we love include:
- Eileen Fisher
- People Tree
Sustainable Workwear We Love
If you don’t know where to start with pieces to invest in, we have you covered. We love sustainable brands like Quince, Boden, and Patagonia, but all of the workwear below comes from brands that are eco-conscious!
We hope these tips on sustainable dressing help inform your work clothes! Do you have any tips for eco-conscious shopping? Share below!