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Make Your Next Splurge A Sustainable One With This Beginner’s Guide To Eco-Conscious Shopping

By Sophie Hart

Your tote bag gets a regular workout at the supermarket, you opt for public transport in lieu of driving to work, and you carry your monogrammed reusable coffee cup everywhere. You’re making sustainable strides and it feels oh-so good. 

But what about your wardrobe? According to the Global Fashion Agenda, across the next decade, the fashion industry’s carbon footprint is set to increase to 2,791 million tonnes and will create 148 million tonnes of waste. Yep, it can feel overwhelming. 

The good news is the power lies with us and our style choices. Collectively if we all make more considered choices, we’ll make a world of difference. And here to help make your transition to eco dressing and shopping easier, we’ve teamed up with Australia Post to curate the ultimate beginner’s guide.

Support Eco-Concious Designers

Lockdown taught us the importance of backing small, local businesses and despite what you might think, eco-conscious shopping won’t limit your style choices. We love The Iconic’s Considered Edit that curates eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and fair trade products. You can even rock sustainable activewear at the gym, thanks to brands like P.E. Nation and their sustainable edit. We're also big fans of HoMie. Part social enterprise, part streetwear label, HoMie is your go-to for super cool 90s-inspired threads. For more sustainable but equally covetable brands, head here

Don’t Be An Impulse Shopper

We’ve all been there. Standing in a store, ready to try on a garment, only to find that the line to the dressing room is too long. You hold the shirt up to your frame, trying to gauge if it will fit and decide it’s close enough and buy it straight off the rack. You get home and (unsurprisingly) discover it doesn’t fit so it finds a new home in the bottom of your closet until your next spring clean, which leads it to an op shop—or the bin. 

Or, perhaps you purchase online en masse because you’re unsure which size will work best with the full intention of returning the size you don’t want. Surprise, the garment lives alongside all your other unloved purchases before you send it off to the op shop. Of course, donating these impulse purchases to charity is always a good option. However, it’s always best to avoid these purchases from the get-go because according to Clean Up, of the clothes that go to charity, only an estimated15% are resold and the rest end up in landfill. Try to go in-store and take the time to try different sizes, or shop digitally from brands you’ve bought from before and know your size. 

Ditch Excessive Packaging And Always Recycle

We love the thrill of coming home to find a parcel waiting on our doorstep. It’s like Christmas Day. But what we don’t love is when our new purchase is wrapped in layers of excessive packaging. While packaging is crucial to protecting our new purchases, there are certainly ways you can lessen the impact this has on the planet. If your package was sent via Australia Post, you can actually recycle these plastic satchels at REDcycle bins located at your local supermarket. Better still, the majority of Australia Post's plastic satchels now contain 80% recycled content. And by the end of 2021, Australia Post’s entire plastic satchel range will contain recycled content—and that’s certainly something worth celebrating. 

Resell Your Preloved Threads

Reselling your preloved threads online is not only a great way to make some spare cash but you’re also working towards a world without waste. A circular economy is all about eliminating waste through the continual circulation of resources—like your old kicks or threads. And when you mail your goods to their new home via your local Australia Post Office, you can feel good knowing that it won’t contribute to carbon emissions. Some of their carbon-offset projects include Native Forest Regeneration in NSW and Indian Wind Projects, which installs clean energy in Tamil Nadu, India, where power would otherwise be generated by a fossil-fuel-fired power plant. To date, Australia Post has offset 107.85 million parcels since the program started in Oct 2019 and offset 206,026 tonnes of emissions. That is equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off the road. Plus, send a follow-up message to your buyer to let them know about Australia Post’s recycling initiative so your package doesn’t end up in landfill—winning!

Carbon-neutral deliveries and recyclable packaging? It’s a yes from us. Send your next package in-store or shop from Australia Post retailers and keep your eco-conscience clear. Head here for more information about Australia Post’s sustainable initiatives. 

Image credit: Marcelo Rangel

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Australia Post and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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