With Earth Day on everyone’s mind we’ve been thinking about how sustainability and ethical fashion have transformed from industry buzzwords to true lifestyle changes in recent years. And for good reason—it’s no surprise that updating wasteful habits to ones that are more gentle on the planet, it’s people and animals is picking up momentum—especially in fashion. In 2019 Business Insider reported that 10% of the world’s carbon emissions came from the fashion industry. But new brands are emerging everyday with a goal of rewriting the script of fashion’s negative influences on the planet. But, for shoppers who want to build a more sustainable and ethically sourced plus-size wardrobe, you might find yourself at a loss for where to start—we get it, it can be overwhelming.
As society is growing to accept (eh, kinda, but we’re getting there) the fact that the average U.S. woman is a size 16/18 more extended sizing and plus-size retailers are giving customers the kind of fashion options that reflect this sustainable lifestyle. But there is still room for improvement and more diversity in sustainable fashion brands that cater to curvy bodies. The great thing about building a sustainable wardrobe, is that there is more than one way to do it. Sometimes the technique is more important than the tools—what you buy is as important as how you use it. So while the fashion industry gets it’s stuff together, we are sharing our top tips on building a sustainable wardrobe even if all of your pieces aren’t made from recycled plastic or by a sustainable brand.
Start With What’s Out There
At Dia & Co we make it our business to bring our community the best in plus-size fashion and we are bringing that same energy to sustainability. Here are our favorite Dia & Co sustainable and ethical brands available on the shop right now. DAY/WON; the plus-size activewear brand founded by plus-size model Candice Huffine uses recycled materials and creates their pieces on demand to reduce water usage. One of the newest brands to the Dia & Co family, Girlfriend Collective, is also going the recycled materials route—it takes 25 recycled plastic bottles to make one of their chic leggings. While Nomads, a brand in our newest plus-size swimwearcollection, creates their beautiful swimsuits from high-quality sustainable materials. And last but not least our very own Dia & Co brand Meri Skye features REPREVE denim styles made from synthetic fibers containing recycled materials. From plus-size denim to women’s activewear, you have options to be a more mindful shopper.
The great thing about building a sustainable wardrobe, is that there is more than one way to do it.
Quality Over Quantity
One way to build a more sustainable wardrobe even if all your pieces aren’t made from recycled fabric is to spend more on quality pieces. Everyone loves a sale (your girl included!), but sometimes paying for a quality piece whether it is on sale or not is the best way to go especially if you want to be more sustainable. It means that you will buy 3 pairs of jeans for the season instead of 10. I know what you are thinking, “my thighs rub and jeans don’t stand a chance—that’s why quality material is important!” And paying for it up front is worth it. So, think “capsule wardrobe.”
Because when you really break it down to cost per wear, it’s actually less expensive. Pieces from sustainable brands like See Rose Go (also on the Dia & Co Shop) offer superior quality to offset the more expensive costs with features like cooling technology, 4-way stretch and premium fabric like in their plus-size shirt dressthat can be worn season after season. Yes, spending more money on your pieces will mean that you shop less and are more intentional about what you purchase. The upside is every purchase will feel more like a special treat and you will be doing your part to reduce fashion waste.
Rinse, Reuse, Recycle
If you are going through your closet thinking “none of this is sustainable, it doesn’t fit and it’s not even my style anymore, now what?” Don’t worry, you can even employee sustainable practices when doing your spring clean out. A clothing swap with some plus-size girlfriends is a fabulous way to avoid throwing clothes in the garbage—one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure! Plus, it’s just a fun excuse to get the crew together over wine and fashion. Don’t have any girlfriends that wear the same size as you? Not a problem, there are tons of places where you can donate your clothes. I frequent the Salvation Army mostly because it’s easy but you can also check out donation places like Bottomless Closet and Working Wardrobes that accept plus-size clothing to help women rebuild their lives after traumatic experiences. Or go the entrepreneurial route and sell your clothes online!
Checkout more sustainable clothing at Dia.com today.