An Honest Approach to Starting a Sustainable Style for Men

Blog, Eco-Fashion, Men's Fashion, Sustainability, Sustainable Fashion

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A Beginner's Guide to Sustainable Fashion for Men

Sustainability is a hot button topic in most areas of our lives, from everyday tools we use to what we eat. It’s an important shift that we are making to take care of our environment. It’s also something you can work into your style as well.

Just to be clear, I’m that guy who stands in front of the three sorted bins with my trash/recyclables/compostables for twenty minutes before I actually correctly sort them. So, if you’re like me, making your wardrobe more sustainable can at first sound like a daunting task.

For us folks who are just getting into being more green and learning more about it, I’m focusing on three keys to keep in mind to help pump up your style sustainability.

1. Materials

The first one is pretty easy, believe it or not; just read your garment’s label. Paying attention to what your clothes are made from is a great first step! Organic, plant based materials are a solid way to go. Think organic cotton or linen.

If you’re cool with animal products, wool isn’t a bad option either. It’s a product that regrows (hair, duh) and is also great in colder months.

An even better move is to buy pieces made from recycled materials. It’s a thing now! I recently picked up this recycled denim cardigan from J Crew. Not only did it look good, but it had some cool depth to it because of the denim fibers.

The real win was the karmic brownie points achieved (I’m speculating of course) for not creating more waste when buying it! There are a lot of major brands that are exploring recycled materials – Reebok, J. Crew, and Nothing New to name a few.

Related Blog – What Are Sustainable Fabrics?

3 Sustainable Men's Fashion Brands to Consider

Outerknown

Shirts, trunks and jackets made from recycled material

Arvin Goods

Eco-conscious everyday basics made in Seattle

Toad & Co.

The OG’s of social & environmental garments

2. Manufacturing

This next one takes a little more effort, but it’s worth the research. It might not be enough to just buy clothes made from renewable resources because even they can require a lot of energy and waste to produce. I was shocked at finding this out too. Water often gets used and polluted during the manufacturing of clothing. That’s why I recommended organic materials up above because just like food, they usually use fewer chemicals in the production process.

My best advice is to find brands that are conscious of their manufacturing process. A lot of the time, you can find this in their “about” sections on their websites because they are proud to share their own sustainable practices.

About a year ago, I tried this shirt and pair of pants from WearCivic, which is parented by Taylor Stitch. At the time they made their clothes from Merino and Sorona to create a new fabric. They chose to use materials that would require fewer resources to turn into garments than traditional fabrics.

3. Timeless Style

How many of you saw “$$$$” when I mentioned organic materials twice? Sustainable fashion can come with a higher price tag, but that is another way to make your style more sustainable. Buy smart and buy less.

I’m sure you’ve seen that before. You might spend a little more on a few pieces, but that’ll force you to purchase pieces that are going to last longer. Focusing on building a timeless wardrobe rather than one that follows the latest trends means that you’ll probably experience a lower turnover rate in your closet.

In other words, you’re not buying and getting rid of pieces as frequently, which means you need less, which also leads to a more sustainable wardrobe. You win! Hint: my general rule to shopping is to make sure the piece I’m buying is going to last and be versatile so I don’t quickly go getting rid of it.

If you do find yourself getting rid of pieces, start by trying to sell or donate them. There are a lot of good resell marketplaces for fashion, like Poshmark or Ebay. They help you avoid throwing away clothes and earn you extra cash. That’s being green in two ways and totally another win!

If your items aren’t selling, then you can donate. Who knew all those hand-me-downs were actually a sustainable fashion practice? Either way you choose to clean out your closet, you’re taking a step to avoid the landfill!

Conclusion

You don’t have to make all the sustainable changes right away. Like I said before, it can be overwhelming to dive into this and transform your whole closet. Keep the items you have for as long as you can before you donate or sell them.

When making a new purchase, try to stay conscious of what you’re actually buying. That’s what I plan to do going forward and should get you started too!

If you’re interested in learning more about sustainable materials and manufacturing check out – 6 Of the Most Sustainable Fabrics

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David Komisarchik

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