The fashion industry produces 10% of annual global carbon emissions, according to The World Bank. This is more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Swapping fast fashion for slow, sustainable fashion involves making choices that respect the environment and people. Check out our Gen Less guide to shopping more sustainably.

Choose quality clothes that will last

It's worth paying more upfront for a well-made, classic garment that will last for many years.

Things to check

  • Stitches are strong — Check that the thread looks strong and there are no loose or missed stitches. The seams should hold together well when gently pulled.
  • It retains its shape — Gently tug the fabric to see if recovers. If it looks odd, it might not be a keeper.
  • You can't see through the material — Very sheer material is prone to wear and tear and shortens the life of the item.
  • Buttons and zips are good quality — A metal zipper will last longer than a plastic one. Button holes should be well-finished and the buttons should fit.

Be a clothes hunter, not a gatherer

Know exactly what you need. Make sure it will work with what you’ve already got. Then go and find that item with pinpoint accuracy. Don’t get distracted, gathering up a lot of ho-hum stuff that you didn’t really want. 

Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.

(Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer)

Widen your definition of ‘shop’

Vintage stores, recycle fashion boutiques, online marketplaces – even op shops – have racks of quality bargains.

Clothes swaps are eco-friendly and a can be lot of fun. Look out for events organised by shops or charities, or create your own with friends or colleagues.

Learn more about sustainable fashion