Gen Z and sustainability: am I doing enough?

13 May 2021
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Do the words sustainability and climate change stress you out? Studies show that Gen Z is suffering from climate anxiety because they are faced with too much negative information in regards to the climate crisis. 

Some young people have been found to cry or even have full-blown panic attacks because of the helplessness they feel. And especially in an industry like fashion, where just buying clothes can seem inherently unsustainable, we’re here to change your view on how you can contribute to bettering the world. 

But before we get into anything, let’s tackle the world « sustainable », many industry professionals agree, people have different views as to what it means. For some, it might be solely buying secondhand clothing while for others it is to stop buying completely. And both views are more sustainable than the alternative of consuming in an unconscious way, right?

So let’s focus on your vision of sustainability and take into account that every little step really does help. In terms of fashion, here are a few steps we thought could be easy to keep you on or get you started on a healthy relationship to being sustainable, keeping the positives in mind.

Let’s dive into it:

1. Adopt better consumption habits

That might seem like a lot, but in a world where we are taught that you need more and more clothes and we can see celebrities wearing new clothes every week-end, changing your consumption habits is a first step towards a more sustainable approach to fashion.

Digitalising your wardrobe can be one of the ways to help you. According to a research study we did with the University of Glasgow, having all of your wardrobe on your phone enables you to have a clear view of what you have, leading you to better consumption behaviors. 

2. Think twice before buying

Though shopping is extremely fun, by being in the thrill of it, you might end up buying a lot of things you don’t actually need and not wearing them at all. So when you go shopping, think about if you really need the item and if you are going to get a lot of wear out of it.

You can even take us shopping with you. See a black basic top and think that you need one? Just whip out your phone and scroll through your wardrobe to make sure you don’t already have a few of them.

3. Make your clothes last

This is one of the most important steps to creating a more sustainable wardrobe. If you have clothes that you love but that are worn out, repair them! You can either fix it yourself if it is something small or send it to be cleaned and restored if it is something you can’t do on your own. 

Then, rewear the items, and reuse them! Be creative and find new ways that you can wear your items. If you have a cardigan, wear it as a wrap top, or back to front. Reusing your clothes can be very creative.

4. Measure your progress

Whenever you have time, measure your progress compared to last year. Look through your digital wardrobe, do you have more items that are rated Good or Great by Good on You? Then that means your wardrobe also has a better impact on the planet.

You can also check out some carbon footprint calculators, that will help you have a better idea of how you can offset the carbon you have contributed to the environment. Just being a part of Save Your Wardrobe will enable you to join a community that prevented 32000 kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, and if you’re a part of that, you should be proud!

5. Take a breath, you’re doing amazing! 

Keep repeating our steps and know you are doing a great job.

For other steps to help you continue on your eco-friendly stress-free journey, check out last week’s blog, where we speak with Sustainable Style coach Myriam Loda about how to be conscious with your clothes.