How To Shop Sustainably This Holiday Season

How To Shop Sustainably This Holiday Season

By Sam Fleming

Source: Getty Images / Grosecu Alberto Mihai

As the holiday season enters full swing, many are preparing by purchasing presents for their loved ones. According to Mental Floss, 50 percent of consumers intend to have clothing among the gifts they buy. With garment manufacturing having a significant impact on the environment, it is essential that shoppers consider where they look for their clothes. 

Why it matters: The fast fashion industry produces waste and consumes water at increasingly excessive rates.

With an estimated 50% increase to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, fast fashion will continue to harm the environment if consumers and companies don’t take sustainable action.

Getting In The Sustainable Spirit
Before hitting checkout on this year’s holiday shopping cart, consider these eco-friendly options that both the environment and loved ones will surely appreciate.

Research Sustainable Brands:  An environmentally focused business that supports your aesthetic as well as ethical values is just a search away.

  • United by Zero is a Chrome extension that determines the sustainability of everyday clothing items and offers environmentally conscious alternatives
  • Fashion Checker is a database that allows consumers to see which clothing brands pay their employees a living wage

Invest in Second-Hand Clothing: Finding well crafted, pre-owned clothing has never been easier.

  • Vestiaire Collective is an online marketplace where used designer fashion pieces can be bought and sold
  • With over 5,000 brands and 200 million items spanning apparel to home goods, Poshmark is a second-hand community buzzing with trade
  • In the United States alone, there are over 25,000 resale stores and this number continues to grow

Maybe you don’t have to buy: To prepare for this year’s holiday party, try these innovative ideas that can help save money and the environment.

  • Host a sustainable clothing swap where each partygoer picks a name and designs an outfit for that person from their existing wardrobe
  • If you plan on wearing an outfit just for the occasion, renting can be the perfect solution

Every year, consumers spend millions of dollars on wrapping paper just for it all to end up in landfills. So no matter how gifts might look this holiday, re-using or stepping away from traditional wrapping paper entirely can help combat this tremendous excess.  

Spreading Eco-Friendly Cheer
Recognizing the upturn in environmental harm that takes place this time of year, here are a few companies that host holiday campaigns grounded in sustainability.

1. Historic Hand-Me-Down Holiday Collection

Source: Thredup Newsroom

In collaboration with designer Zero Waste Daniel, resale business thredUP has introduced a new collection called “Full Circle”. The first of its kind, the collection features holiday clothing made entirely from upcycled materials ranging from $10 to $60.

Centered in allowing shoppers to buy gifts sustainably and on a budget, the collection also includes home goods and a range of items for pets.

2. Everlane’s Guide To Gifting
Containing more than 100 stylish holiday clothing options, Everlane is promoting sustainability through its hand-picked selection this year. From sweaters designed with recycled wool to cashmere cardigans, their Gift Guide offers an eco-friendly winter wonderland for anyone to explore.


3. Take Action With Patagonia

Source: Patagonia

Funding over 1,000 organizations working towards solving global issues and putting 1% of revenue toward the environment, Patagonia is dedicated to blending clothing with sustainability. For winter 2022, Patagonia has assembled a variety of holiday garments made with ethical fabrics and durability in mind.

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