Ever wondered how you can incorporate sustainable habits into your South Asian shopping this wedding season? With festive clothing becoming more and more expensive, South Asian fast fashion is on the rise and its easier than ever to buy affordable, but low-quality, wear-once outfits that contribute to our ever-growing global clothing waste. Luckily, being more environmentally intentional with your South Asian wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few ways you can be more sustainable with your South Asian wardrobe, no matter your budget!
Get Creative with What You Have ($)
Fashion doesn't always have to be about constantly buying new clothes. One great way to be sustainable with your South Asian fashion choices is to get creative with what you already have in your wardrobe. Mix and match different pieces to create new outfits and styles. Experiment with layering, accessorizing, and combining different colors and textures to create fresh looks without buying anything new. We love mix and matching blouses with different skirts, sarees, dupattas, and pants to transform a traditional outfit into a more modern, and original one! Achieve several new looks without spending a dime on a new outfit and avoid having to buy something brand new which may just sit in your closet after only one or two uses.
Take Care of Your Existing Pieces ($)
Another important aspect of sustainable fashion is taking care of the clothes you already own to make them last longer. Hand wash, spot clean any stains, mend any small tears or loose buttons promptly to prevent further damage. Consider investing in quality hangers and proper storage to prevent snagging and wrinkling. By extending the lifespan of your clothes, you reduce the need for replacements!
Borrow Something from a Friend ($)
If you have a special event or occasion coming up and need a new outfit, consider borrowing something from a friend. Borrowing clothes from friends and family is a great way to expand your wardrobe without spending money or contributing to additional clothing production. Plus, it can be fun to explore your friend's style and try something new. Just be sure to return the borrowed item in good condition and offer to lend your clothes in return, creating a sustainable fashion cycle!
Shop Secondhand ($$)
Shopping secondhand is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact, especially with South Asian fashion. It's so common to only wear an outfit once or twice and then not want to wear it again. Instead of spending hundreds on a brand new outfit you'll only wear for a few hours, shop pre-loved from resale platforms like Sakhya where you can find amazing steals for gently used high quality outfits you may want to keep for years, and often times up to 80% off the original retail price! Shopping pre-loved also lets you develop your own unique South Asian style if you’re not looking to follow the latest trends. With resale, you just might even find a vintage designer item that will make you stand out of the crowd at your next event!
Renting clothes has gained popularity in recent years as a more sustainable alternative to buying new and staying up to date with the latest fashion trends. Many online platforms offer clothing rental services, allowing you to rent designer and high-quality clothing for a fraction of the retail price. Renting is a great option for special occasions, events, or parties where you may not want to invest in a one-time outfit. It helps reduce the demand for new clothing production and encourages the sharing economy, making it a more sustainable choice for your fashion needs.
Invest in High-Quality, Timeless Pieces ($$$)
When it comes to purchasing new clothing, focus on quality over quantity. Investing in high-quality, timeless fabrics and pieces that are built to last is a key principle of sustainable fashion. Look for well-made garments, made from natural or sustainable materials, that will withstand wear and tear over time (silks, cotton, linens, etc.). Avoid trendy items that are likely to go out of style quickly, leading to impulsive purchases and contributing to fast fashion culture. By opting for timeless pieces, you'll create a versatile and long-lasting wardrobe that transcends seasonal trends and reduces the need for constant replacements.
Shop from Truly Sustainable Fashion Brands ($$$)
Finally, do your research and support fashion brands that prioritize sustainability throughout their supply chain. Look for brands that use organic, recycled, or upcycled materials, prioritize fair trade and ethical labor practices, and have transparent and traceable production and logistics processes. These brands often have certifications or labels indicating their commitment to sustainability.
This wedding season, see if you can apply one of these sustainable shopping options the next time you're looking for a new South Asian outfit!