We all know that plastic straws are bad for the environment, but what else should we use less of or altogether stop using?

Did you know that fast fashion chains come at a very high cost to the environment, contributing to water pollution, toxic chemical use and textile waste? Low cost garments produced at large quantities are compromising ethical manufacturing by using fabric dyes that are harmful to the environment. Textile dye is the second largest polluter of clean water after agriculture. 

Although some governments are doing their best to enforce legislation and guidelines for a more sustainable environment this may be a very slow and bureaucratic process. However, the good news is that we can make our voices heard and contribute as individuals by making our own choice of purchase. If you want to make a difference then it's important to make mindful purchases. Here are some ideas that may get you thinking:

Slow Fashion
Look out for brands that don't produce large quantities of garments. You don't want to support a brand that will have large quantities of their merchandise end up as land fills. Do careful research about the company you buy from.

Classic Design
When you choose to buy a garment bare in mind the life span of the piece, if you think that you can live with the item forever then it's a good ethical purchase.

Quality
Your purchase should be of good quality. Keep away from items that you may have to throw away after a few washes. If you take good care of your quality items they should last you a lifetime. 

Materials
Ask sales staff about the sustainability of the material you are purchasing. Keep away from materials that are at the end of the environmental benchmark chart, such as Silk, Rayon, Viscose, Conventional Cotton, Natural Bamboo and Wool. Also avoid items that need dry cleaning.

Impulse Purchases
Curb your impulse purchases and question yourself if you really need it, does it go with the rest of your wardrobe, are you able to love it for a long time and will you be wearing it many times?