The original article was published on https://www.theissuemagazine.ca/the-issue-magazine/achieving-a-sustainable-wardrobe
SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH LOCAL BOUTIQUES
We ought to admit that the whole series of unfortunate events that started late winter has had some positive outcomes. One of those is a widespread mindset and understanding of the importance to support small local businesses. While in this article I would avoid speaking of the economy and of the well-known fact that by supporting local shops, we build up our city, I will focus on showing that by shopping at local boutiques, one can develop a sustainable, unique wardrobe.
THE DEFINITION OF A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE
Before I begin with guiding you through the whole process of achieving a sustainable wardrobe, I find it highly significant to identify the idea of ‘a sustainable wardrobe.’ It is a common misunderstanding that to achieve such one must get rid of all clothes that were purchased at mass-market brands and start anew. Highly mistaken! A sustainable wardrobe, if we would pull out the most common statement, is a well-curated system of clothes that work well together, that were made with as little harm to the environment as possible, and owning which could reduce your environmental footprint. As per the latter statement, getting rid of clothes that you already own would not benefit the environment at all, therefore, the first step you can start with is organizing already existing clothes, taking care of them, bringing pieces to a tailor instead of purchasing new ones, washing them properly and looking at your clothes as brand new that could be put into unexpected outfits.
The second step would be the step of planning future purchases. The whole process of organizing the wardrobe should have given you a clear idea of what is missing to make the style complete. The good old-fashioned list will do, as well as a gathered inspiration from fashion sources. I find this step as crucial as the previous one and as the shopping itself. Planning will allow you a clear image and will allow way less stress during seeking for that one piece. Another prudent move would be to include a budget into the list. As Harper’s Bazaar says, “It's all about planning. Buying better quality, more sustainable pieces is likely to cost you more money than buying a cheap high-street product that doesn't tick the right boxes. However, it's all about changing your mindset. Yes, it costs more, but you're likely to have it longer and will be buying less per season overall. Buying 10-30 high-quality items a year, rather than 60 cheaper, less eco-friendly pieces will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Save up, invest and buy less.”
The process of creating clothes sustainably differs from the fast-fashion production circle. As it all starts with fibres that must be grown and then turned into fabric in ways that use no chemicals, less water, and that make sure that factory workers receive proper payment, it means to meet all standards that reply to the eco, green production standards, are harder than skipping those steps as fast-fashion does. From the beginning till the end, each step costs more than fast, cheaply produced pieces that were not made to last. Therefore, understanding the difference in the production process, understanding that from the beginning it costs more, yet has no harmful impact, could help to set the right mindset during shopping.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION IN EDMONTON
Now, after discussing all the importance of the steps to take before actual shopping, let’s look at the local Edmonton boutiques that carry sustainably made fashion.
The boutique has been offering Canadian and European brands for the last twenty years. The European brands they carry were precisely checked for the production condition and its sustainability, while Canadian brands were all produced in Canada.
As they say about themselves, “we focus our collection on a plant-based or plant blended fabrics; while, providing free tailoring services to reduce garment waste.” You can go to the boutique when in search of minimal, yet unique style pieces.
The place was created as a quality shoe destination. The owners invest in the finest materials and talented craftsmanship to deliver small batches of footwear each season.
Also, let’s not forget about such options as consignment stores, vintage markets and second-hand stores. While the thrill from purchasing a brand new item is understandable, there is nothing really as discovering a unique, sophisticated piece that has a history behind it.
Let us know what your favourite destinations to shop sustainably in Edmonton are, and whether you have already switched to shopping consciously for your closet.