Want to create a sustainable wardrobe for work? Here are fashion tips for men and women
Going out for work but want to make the style sustainable? Here are some key aspects and practices of sustainable fashion that you can try
Sustainable fashion refers to the production, design and consumption of clothing and accessories in a manner that minimises the negative impact on the environment and promotes social responsibility. It aims to create a more ethical and environmentally friendly fashion industry by considering the entire lifecycle of a garment, from its sourcing of materials to its end-of-life disposal.
By embracing sustainable fashion practices, the industry can work towards reducing its ecological footprint, promoting social responsibility and creating a more equitable and environmentally conscious future. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Shruti Jain, Sustainability Influencer @StyleDestino and CSO at Arihant Capital, shared, “While sustainable fashion can mean different things to different people, from a consumer’s point of view, it is also about making responsible choices. As a professional you can look polished at work without harming the planet (also people and animals). The biggest sustainable fashion blunder is rushing out to splurge on a bunch of eco-friendly formal outfits from responsible brands. Using and re-wearing what you already have is the most sustainable way to approach fashion. Remember: the most sustainable outfit is already in your wardrobe. When you really need something new in your wardrobe, buying pre-owned outfits, renting, borrowing and swapping with your friends or sisters are great ways of consuming fashion and they don’t hurt your bank balance either.”
She highlighted, “There are times when you absolutely need to buy new and initially, you think about finding good sustainable fashion brands. After all, fast fashion is everywhere – its accessible and we are aware of these brands but have you ever wondered that the fast fashion clothing you buy is often made from cheap quality materials like polyester and is not well-made? When it comes to dressing for work, it is important to look polished and well-dressed. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in high-quality pieces for your work wardrobe. I don’t mean the price tag - but making sure your outfits are made from good quality eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, sustainable Tencel, recycled materials or hemp and also that they are well-made. Fortunately, there is no dearth of sustainable fashion brands today.”
She suggested, “Once you start searching for them, you will find them everywhere. Any change can seem hard but when you do a little bit of research and join communities, you can easily find a lot of options. When you shop from sustainable brands, it can be expensive compared to fast fashion but you need to consider the cost per wear. Items that are made using high-quality eco-fabrics, and by paying living wages to the labor will last longer. Besides, investing in timeless pieces means they never go out of style, which means they will keep giving you returns for a long time. Remember the mantra: Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”
Aparna Sharma, Sustainable Fashion Blogger, shared, “In the face of climate change, we need to ensure even our work wardrobe aligns with sustainability. It is important to remember that the most important aspect of sustainability is to reuse what you already have, yes even workwear! It’s a good idea to start by scanning your wardrobe and setting aside combinations of clothes you will wear so it is easy to pick them out every morning. Writing down the clothes you will wear from Monday to Friday on the weekend is an easy way to avoid wasting time and being indecisive every morning. Buying secondhand is an amazing way to engage in sustainable fashion because circularity is inbuilt into the fundamental business model and it is more budget-friendly for the consumer. For Indian weather, especially in summer, fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, and linen work really well and they are organic. New-age fabrics like modal and lyocell are also great options, they are made in a closed-loop system.”
According to Nikita (Ar.nS) Sheth, Founding Architect at Musing Spatial Experiences, wearing something that compliments body heat, form (shape) and colour is crucial. She said, “Sustainability is a 7 fold test that considers the item from its birth to its afterlife. The best way to gauge an item of clothing is whether it allows to reduce carbon footprint during the time one is wearing it. For example, wearing something airy allows the body to be ventilated and reduces the amount of external cooling one requires. At the same time, if the fabric doesn’t require as much care, it reduces the maintenance and therefore the carbon footprint associated with it. Sustainable fashion works best when we lead a sustainable lifestyle.”