We all know the impact that fast fashion has on the planet. There is no point in denying it, so instead take the chance to improve your impact. Treat this as one of your new year’s resolutions to help make the world a bit better.

Keep reading to find out how to shop for conscious clothing in 2019.

1. Work with what you have

Going through your wardrobe can throw up so many surprises. After countless fashion weeks, and press events the PlusMinus team have more clothes than most, and always find things we never knew we had.

Sorting through your clothes does not have to be a chore. Do you remember the scene where Carrie is moving in the first Sex and the City film, well it probably won’t be like that either!

Logically empty wherever you keep clothes, and if you haven’t worn an item for a while, try it on. If you love and know how it would work with your current style, great hang her up. If you cannot picture how to wear that dress you have had since you were 17, then it is time to say goodbye and donate her to a friend or to charity.

Having sorted through what you have, the resultant edited wardrobe will act as your brand new capsule wardrobe, that you never even knew you had.

2. Do you really need it

So this post is about shopping, but before you set about making conscious choices about what you are bringing in to your wardrobe. Stop, think, do I really need this? Asking yourself this small and simple question could be one of the most conscious things you do for your wardrobe. Put simply you will be reducing the impact you have on the resources of the planet.

Think of how many times you have bought something that you have simply never worn. Check now, how many things do you have that still have their labels on? If it is more than zero, then quite possibly you may not need to shop for new clothes just yet.

Just FYI we do not judge at all, if you still want to purchase something new, then consider a one in one out policy. Sending the things you no longer want to wear to your local charity shop, allowing that garment to go on and get a whole new lease of life.

3. Shop Vintage

We get it, you want to shop, we know how you feel. A great place to start is Vintage, great style, great pieces that have already stood the test of time. You are also not having an impact on the resources of the planet, because it is not new.

It is also a great way to shop leather and fur if you wish to, as it has already been made for another user, and has had its impact. Now, by purchasing it you are making sure that it was worth something. We also love that this can be done online, we love sites like Vestiare Collective.

4. Buy Organic Cotton

Now you have probably heard that using organic cotton over other materials is good for the world but never knew why. Well, let us tell you why it is so important. Organic cotton is not treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms.

This is great for so many reasons. Firstly it means there is less damage done to the soil and improves biodiversity. Secondly, it means that the farmers who grow and pick the crops are not poisoned, seriously non-organic cotton can kill the people who work in its production. Thirdly it stops the same fate being handed over to the people who turn the cotton into the clothes hanging in our UK stores.

Just like organic food is better for our health so is organic cotton.

5. Buy Vegan Leather

The leather is a luxury material that is coveted the world over but with very little consideration to the animals that are bred to be slaughtered. Until recently many non-leather alternatives could only really be called plastic or PVC and were very damaging to the environment.

Brands such as Alexandra K have worked on synthetic materials such as their freedom leather, which is made of 100% silicone. This unique material is a non-plastic and non-petroleum material, made from quartz sand. This means it’s not only less dependant on raw materials but is less damaging to the environment than the leather alternatives.

Now you have something completely conscious to covet.

6. Support Brands who do not use sweatshops

Most companies will tell you about their ethical credentials, they want you to know about their impact. If you cannot find information about where a company makes its clothes, then that probably means that they are not proud of it.

The H&M group is doing a lot to reduce the impact its brands have, which means you can shop H&M, Monki, Weekday, Cos, Arket and &Other Stories with a clear conscience. We also really rate all of these brands too and see more here and here.

7. Work with your Factory

Don’t write brands off for making clothes in places like India. If it is done well, there is no reason that this is not a good decision.

Lucy and Yak is one brand that has successfully done this, working with several factories to ensure that the working conditions, wage and support systems for their workers were up to UK standards. They are able to scale up their designs and create great stylish pieces that support its makers not exploits them.We are a big fan of shopping ethically, with the market for vegan clothes and ethical gifts booming. With that in mind we have complied a list of where to buy affordable ethical clothing.