Shopping Fashion Sustainably: A Guide to Conscious Consumption

Your Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Fashion Shopping

Fashion is a form of self-expression, but it can also have a significant impact on the environment. As we strive to make more sustainable choices, it's important to rethink how we shop for clothing. 

Emilia believes in living and shopping in a more conscious way. Here are some of her tips to help you shop fashion in a more sustainable way:

Think About Versatility & Use 

Before deciding to buy a piece of clothing, think about when you will wear the it and how often. 

Choose items that can be styled in multiple ways and paired with different pieces in your wardrobe. You will get more wear out of each item and avoid the dreaded graveyard pile in your cupboard.

 Emilia wearing the Stella Blouse over a white Cara tank and black trousers standing in front of a bush without leaves. A blonde haired women seated on a rattan chair wearing a white Stella blouse with beige wide legged Tara trousers. Emilia wearing the white Stella blouse with green hemp shorts leaning against a pole in the desert at sunset.

Wait 24 Hours 

If you're tempted to buy something on impulse, try waiting 24 hours before making the purchase. It will help you decide whether this is an impulse buy or if you really need or want the item.

One In, One Out

Adopting a "one in, one out" approach can help you maintain a more manageable wardrobe. For every new item you buy, consider getting rid of something else.

Emilia personally donates a lot of clothing. She has a dedicated box where she puts clothing in to be donated or given away. It's ready to go to go to stores like Thrift for Good.

Avoid Bold Patterns

If you follow Emilia on social media,you already know that bold patterns are not her thing and she opts for white, black and muted colours. The main reason she chooses not to wear big, bold patterns is because it's harder to style in multiple ways, leading to fewer wears.

In order to shop more sustainable opt for versatile, classic pieces that can be mixed and matched easily. And if you like those bolder patters and colours, consider having those in accessories. Or just a few pieces here and there. That can then be worn easily with your plain pieces.

Consider Your Climate and Location

When shopping, consider the climate and where you live. Choose fabrics and styles that are suitable for your environment to ensure you get maximum wear out of your clothes.

For example living in a hot country like Dubai, Emilia loves to wear Tencel. It's flowy and looks amazing in loose and oversized clothing and definitely has a cooling effect. 

It's one of the main reasons EMILIA OHRTMANN clothes are made of Tencel.

Support Small, Local, and Sustainable Brands

Emilia is a keen supporter of small local brands, because they are unique and they are more sustainable. Off course, as a business owner,  she just love to support other small business owners.

Emilia prefers to buy online and skip the mall walks. She tends to follow brands on social media and if she likes what she sees, she'll give them a try. These brands are usually recommended by a friend, in Dubai or found at one of the pop up events that she attends on a regular basis.

So look for brands that produce in small quantities and prioritize sustainability in their production processes. Brands that are open about how they do business. These brands often care deeply about their products and materials.

Check the Labels

Always check the labels before purchasing. Look for items made from natural and organic fabrics, and avoid synthetic materials like polyester, which is essentially plastic. I basically only buy cotton, linen, Tencel and Cupro.

Ensure Proper Fit and Know Your Style

Make sure the item fits you well and flatters your body shape. This can help reduce the chances of buying something you won't wear often.

It might be good to invest in a personal stylist who can help you determine your body shape and what really fits you. There a are a few in Dubai that we have worked with and they are all great. Personally and from a sustainable point of view I would recommend Silke Styles and Leisha Naik.

Avoid Duplicates

Before buying, consider if you already own something similar. Avoid getting the same thing in the same colour, as they add unnecessary items to your wardrobe.

Yes, we believe Emilia needs to remind herself of this all the time:) Do you really need another white shirt?

Consider Your Lifestyle

Think about your lifestyle and what kind of clothing you need. Focus on buying pieces that suit your daily activities and can be worn in various settings.

Emilia spends time in three areas. With her kids, at work or in meetings but nothing too fancy and she doesn't often go out. So a wardrobe that can be dressed up or down is perfect for her. She likes pieces that look good with sneakers or high heels and something that will fit with her special blazer.

Focus on Timelessness

Opt for timeless pieces that won't go out of style quickly. This can help reduce the need to constantly buy new items to keep up with trends.

Shop Secondhand

Consider shopping at secondhand stores or online platforms. Buying secondhand reduces the demand for new clothing and gives pre-loved items a new life. In Dubai I love La Suite for example.

By following these tips from Emilia, you can make more conscious choices when shopping for fashion and contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly wardrobe.

For more styling videos, essential wardrobe tips and minimalistic living, make sure to check out our Lifestyle section.

Make sure to tag @emiliaohrtmannofficial when you create your essential, confident style with any of our pieces!