As part of our journey towards an eco-friendly world, we got together with one of our favourite sustainable bloggers Katherine Ormerod, to get her thoughts on sustainable fashion. Featuring everything from tips on how to shop more sustainably to her favourite pieces from the Monsoon S.E.W collection, this is the place to start (or continue) your eco-conscious journey.
Can you tell us a little about what sustainable fashion means to you and why it is so important when it comes to how you shop?
Sustainable fashion is firstly about your mindset and attitude to shopping and re-evaluating the need/want relationship. I used to buy a lot of things I thought I needed – I’ve since realised that it was more that I was caught up with wanting things for the wrong reasons. I now buy things either because I need them for a specific use in my wardrobe or because they’re entirely new and offer a different way of dressing. It’s important to me to be more sustainable because it’s a tangible thing we can all do to help the planet.
What do you look for from brands when shopping sustainably?
The full gamut really. Recycled fabrics, new material innovations, buyback schemes. A general focus on investment rather than trend-led purchases. It’s also about transparent supply chains, ethical treatment of the people making the clothing and a fair, living wage. Obviously, this can’t all happen overnight, but it’s a commitment to these changes and motivation to do things better – with a clear plan of how they’re going to do that – which is what I look for most.
What is your favourite piece from the Monsoon S.E.W collection and why?
I love this printed dress because of the cut – and the beautiful sleeves. It’s something which could be worn on multiple occasions and lots of different ways. Knee-high boots, sandals, sneakers…
For people who want to start shopping more sustainably but don’t know where to start, what would be your top three tips?
My first tip would be to try everything on you own. Donate what doesn’t fit or feel you. Recycle anything which is overly worn or damaged. Then start wearing what’s left. Only when you know what you have can you work out what you need.
Work out why you buy clothes – is it as a pick me up? Is it out of boredom? Buying anything should be either due to a necessity or an overwhelming have-to-own desire – and that’s something which realistically shouldn’t be happening every week.
Shop vintage and shop second-hand when you can. If you have to buy new, really look at the fabrication. The best thing you can do is to only buy pieces in a single fabric – just wool or just polyester – it makes it easier to recycle. Remember how thirsty cotton is, organic or not and don’t immediately discount synthetics because they can be easier to recycle too.
Outside of fashion what would you say is your favourite eco-friendly/zero waste product?
I’ve got a great keep cup from Byto which I love for my many many coffee runs.