In the last few decades, we had a chance to witness some major changes in the fashion and clothing industry. While the large corporations are dictating the trends, small business owners are struggling to build their own brand and sell quality and timeless clothing. Every half an hour, up to two tonnes of unused textile or outdated clothing are dumped in Australian landfills, which is a good enough reason to make fashion more sustainable.
As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to adopt environmentally friendly practices. Although that’s easier said than done, let’s see what you can do to make an impact and create a culture of sustainability.
Minimise the use of chemicals
If you’re selling your own garments, it’s advisable to pay attention to what type of clothing dye you’re using. Some clothing dyes contain toxic and harmful chemicals that eventually end up in the ocean. But, there’s a simple solution for this issue.
Although it’s impossible to suddenly stop using chemicals to deliver quality products, minor improvements can help you create a culture of sustainability. So, for example, instead of dyeing your fashion pieces, you can opt for sustainable alternatives such as organic cotton, hemp, or recycled polyester. In addition, by minimising the use of chemicals in the manufacturing process, you will slowly learn how to incorporate practices that are good for the environment.
When you become a part of the fashion industry, you’ll realise that even small changes can make an impact. So, research before committing to buying new machinery and ensure they’re all energy-efficient. That way, you’ll manage to reduce your utility bills while making better choices for the environment. If you buy used machinery and appliances, you’ll save even more money.
Reuse and repurpose
Sewing clothing for your business will leave you with hundreds of kilograms of scraps. Instead of throwing the unused textile away, recycle the fabric waste and create new stylish picks or scrap bags using nothing more but old fabric.
However, there are other ways to repurpose fabric waste. For example, you can cut your fabric into rags and use them for cleaning purposes. Using fabric to clean your workstation will extend the life of your machinery and keep the scraps away from landfills.
Offer additional services
Believe it or not, people will always find a way to get rid of their old clothes. Fashion trends are constantly changing, and almost everyone wants to refresh their wardrobes with stylish clothes. But, if you offer additional services to your customers, such as clothing repair, you can encourage them to repurpose or repair their clothes instead of throwing them away. If possible, allow your customers to bring the old clothes to your store and find a way to give their clothing a second life. You can do that by repairing seams or replacing buttons on their coats or jeans.
As a business owner, you already know that you won’t be able to sell all the clothes you currently have in your store. However, these clothes don’t have to end up in the trash. Instead, offer discounts and encourage your customers to recycle. If you’re selling clothes that you’ve sown, you can easily resell them by creating new tops out of dresses or turning outdated jeans into jackets.
Carefully choose your wholesale suppliers
When choosing your wholesale suppliers, it’s essential to partner up with those who tend to sell timeless clothing picks. For example, a trusted manufacturer who sells wholesale party dresses will help you boost sales by offering quality clothing your customers would want to keep in their wardrobe for ages. Every woman needs quality fabric in their closet, so be sure to carefully choose your wholesale suppliers before partnering up with someone who can do more harm than good to your business.
Stay informed and educate others
As you become a part of the fashion industry, you’ll have more opportunities to learn about sustainable fashion. People are coming up with new ways to save the environment, so be sure to stay informed and make informed decisions before committing to buying new products, fabrics or gadgets. On top of that, you can teach other people who work in this industry about the harmful practices and highlight why fast fashion is harmful to our environment.
The clothing industry contributes to pollution every day. Even though you won’t make drastic improvements overnight, you can effectively manage change in your business and become a trusted sustainable brand. In addition, many people would rather invest in a sustainable brand than buy clothes from larger clothing companies. With that in mind, you can boost your income and grow your business by creating a culture of sustainability and helping others find a way to be kinder to the environment.
Written by Liam Smith. Find him on Twitter
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