Yes, you can wear that Christmas sweater. Here’s how style plays a role in your sustainable holidays without leaving a huge carbon footprint.
The holiday season is always the perfect time to get dressed up, put in the extra effort and make sure you look party-ready at all times. But is it possible to get party-ready while sticking to your sustainable lifestyle? Sure, it adds a bit of challenge into the mix, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
The holiday season is excessively wasteful as it is — from the emissions produced from shipping gifts to the increase in waste, and of course, all that holiday travel. But our fashion habits? They matter more than you might think.
Recent research from Berlin’s Hot Or Cool Institute, a sustainability-focused think tank, found that the average consumer should only purchase five new garments per year in order to meet Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. In a location with four seasons, they say a person only needs an average of 85 garments total.
“We’re consuming more and more fashion at cheaper prices, and with a shorter [usage] time per item—nd it doesn’t add up in terms of climate,” Lewis Akenji, managing director at the institute and the report’s fellow lead author, said in a statement.
Style tips for sustainable holidays
If you’re looking for ways to decrease your carbon footprint, ensuring your holiday wardrobe is sustainable is a great place to start.
These tips will make it possible for you to dress for the holiday season while making eco-conscious decisions. You’ll be looking just as stylish and party-ready as everyone else while sticking to your sustainable ethos.
Opt for quality not quantity
The first tip when picking your perfect holiday wear is to focus on quality. It’s not about owning a ton of clothing, rather it is about owning high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. This means you’re not going to be adding an overwhelming amount of textile waste.
Besides being high-quality, think about how each item will work with your existing wardrobe. Because you’re aiming for a streamlined wardrobe, you need to be able to mix and match all your pieces. Picking up one or two items may be all that’s needed to infuse holiday fun into your wardrobe.
So that could mean instead of a holiday sweater you only wear a few weeks a year, you mix and match color-themed basics: a red sweater paired with a green skirt has as much of a holiday vibe, for example.
Can the piece be worn year-round? Or, at least, all season?
An important question you may want to ask is whether or not the piece can be used year-round. This is how you get the most use possible out of your clothing, simply tweaking items by layering them as the temperatures drop.
Granted, this won’t work for every style but versatility should factor into your holiday wardrobe. This can help make your wardrobe more evergreen; layers give you options to keep items in rotation and a smaller wardrobe overall.
Opt for sustainable knitwear
One of the most popular fabrics for the winter season is knitwear thanks to how warm and cozy it is. But designers are now recognizing that knitwear can also be fashionable and are making pieces in flattering and trendy cuts, bold and beautiful colors and even interesting prints and textures. This means you’ll find pieces that are perfect for the holiday season as they have a little added flair to them.
In terms of sustainable knitwear, choose natural fabrics instead of synthetic ones. Keep in mind it’s all about how the material is sourced and produced that makes it sustainable. You also need to be sure no synthetic material has been mixed in.
Simply can’t live without that Christmas sweater? Secondhand is the perfect place to find that cringy Christmas sweater, Santa costume, or hat. It’s also a gold mine for gifts and crafting opportunities if you’re handy that way: can you combine sweater parts from several thrifted items for one perfect holiday sweater?
Accessorizing can also change the entire look and feel of an outfit. But to stay true to your sustainable lifestyle, look for secondhand accessories. What’s fun about this tip is that you’re bound to find unique pieces that will act as a statement, turning any outfit into a holiday one.
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