Ethical laborRecycledSlow fashionThrifting

What sustainable fashion means to me: as a second hand seller

What sustainable fashion means to me: as a second hand seller
By Renoon

Meet Eleanor: a recent graduate from the UK with a passion for interior design, vintage and sustainability. She shares her thoughts with us on what sustainable fashion means to her and how she spots it.

Hey there, here is Eleanor. Excited to be sharing my thoughts with you on here monthly about my love for secondhand clothes, small, sustainable brands and any tips and tricks I’ve learnt on my own sustainable fashion journey.

A bit more about me: I recently graduated from the University of York, where I studied Politics with International Relations with modules on green politics and sustainable development. This inspired my undergraduate dissertation on the ‘growth of sustainable fashion in the UK’ and has fully cemented my passion for sustainable fashion.

What is sustainable fashion

Currently, I manage a charity shop selling second hand goods and preloved items as well as a Depop page for the charity.

Sustainable fashion has become a buzz word in our society. I, myself, use this term on a regular basis, whether I’m hashtagging away on Instagram or I’m googling sustainable fashion brands. This got me thinking for a long time, how can we define sustainable fashion?

what does sustainable fashion mean

Sustainable, what does it really mean?

Upon reflection, it’s hard to know. There is so much out there on the topic that it seems impossible to ascertain which definition is the right one. It certainly doesn’t help when fast fashion brands jump onto the growing calls for sustainability in the fashion industry and start calling their garments as ‘sustainable’.

Indeed, greenwashing is so evident in our high street today that consumers do not know what to believe. Even as a ‘conscious consumer’, I myself find it difficult to differentiate between sustainable fashion brands and those brands who pretend to be sustainable.

what does sustainable fashion mean

How to shop sustainable?

The best way to go forward seems to determine our own definitions of sustainable fashion. I have put together several factors that I can use to determine my own definition of sustainable fashion. That’s where Renoon tags come handy, you can search items based on what you care most about. Here are a few factors that make up my definition of sustainable fashion.

Who made my clothes? My number one factor is traceability in a garments journey.
Where was the garment made?
What are the working conditions like?
Are the workers fairly paid and respected?

As a general rule, if a brand cannot answer these questions, I do not consider them to be sustainable.

Another factor that helps define my idea of sustainable fashion is the concept of buying second-hand over buying new. The best thing to do for our planet is to buy preloved items in order to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, save our natural resources and reduce the amount of waste going to our landfills, whether this be through a thrifting app or charity shop.

Re-wear, re-wear, re-wear! Sustainable fashion is not just about conscious spending and manufacturing but also actually wearing what you have already got in your wardrobe. This often is overlooked as the most sustainable fashion practice you can undertake. Before purchasing anything new, I look in my wardrobe and quite often I discover something similar or an item in need of more wear. The more you wear what you already have, the more you embrace sustainable fashion. So show your clothes some love!

what does sustainable fashion mean

How about you?

What factors make up your definition of sustainable fashion? Why not spend a few minutes writing these down and using these as a basis to make conscious decisions in the future?


See you next month for another chat about sustainability and fashion. In the meantime, you can find me over @eleanormargaret_ where I share my old outfits of the day and lifestyle content.

What to read next

What is Renoon?

A new way to discover and shop fashion responsibly

Renoon is a leading app for sustainability and fashion. We connect our members with the multitude of brands and platforms to simplify and enrich the experience of combining style with sustainability values.

A destination and community launched in 2021, guiding thousands of members in their sustainability journey. Renoon is not yet another shop; it’s an entire universe of values, untold stories about sustainability and a cohesive place where intentions become reality.

Edit & personalize the sustainability topics in the free app: unlock the universe of values you care about.

Download it now
apple store icongoogle play store icon