It's been about four months since I've committed to living more consciously and sustainably. Here are some things I've learned along the way:
Living Sustainably Takes Thought
Living sustainably takes thought. True, it only takes an extra second to choose between a conventional product and an ethically-made alternative, but those seconds add up. Living consciously takes effort. It's as if an extra bubble of tension surrounds my body and reminds me constantly that a better, alternate, choice can be made. I won't lie, sometimes it gets exhausting because the conventional choice is so easy, but in the end, it all comes down to vigilance and the strength of your commitment. I started this journey not fully understanding just how much of a lifestyle adjustment it would take, but now that I know, I expect (and hope) that like any other habit change, the more you exercise it, the easier it gets.
Work With What You've Got
A huge part of conscious fashion is the reuse portion of it. Whether that means styling your closet in new and exciting ways or thrifting, using clothes that you already own or were pre-owned by someone else is an integral part of being a sustainable fashionista. While it's important to support slow-fashion brands, I think the emphasis in sustainability overall is to be smarter about what you consume. These past four months have pushed me to look closely at my closet and as a result, I have a better understanding of my personal style as well as what it is lacking in. For example, my style is generally casual with loose silhouettes and monochrome in palette. If I were to purchase new items, I would get colorful articles of clothing or accessories and pants or jackets that add structure. Once you've stabilized your style, it gets easier to mix and match your closet in different and ambitious ways.
There's Always More to Learn
Sustainable fashion is constantly changing. New statistics are published annually. New technologies are developed monthly. A new slow-fashion brand pops up every day. Keeping up with conscious fashion is tricky and I've learned that the best way for me to navigate it is to find a few sources that I trust and to get regular updates from them. Fashion Revolution is my #1 go-to source. They're a UK-based non-profit community and movement that is impacting the fashion industry to move in a more conscious direction. Additionally, this wonderful post by Fashionista is a great resource when I want to learn more.