If you're anything like me, COVID-19 lockdown was marked by a decrease in everyday expenses like petrol, parking and sushi... but also a big increase in online shopping.
Despite wearing the same trackpants everyday, I shopped feverishly for items for my post-lockdown wardrobe. My smugness over not driving a car for a month was diminished by the little surge of guilt every time I pushed 'add to cart', or when the courier began to know me by name.
Obviously I'm not going to stop shopping any time soon - don't be ridiculous - but as we all know, the more fast fashion we buy, the more resources are used and the more future waste is produced.
To ease the Earth's load a little, I decided to make the move away from fast fashion to clothing which is a little kinder to the planet and necessary causes. If you're also looking to steer towards more 'feel-good' choices, we've put together a guide of brands helping your wardrobe and the planet - but not perhaps your savings account.
Mi Piaci Miha sneaker
A good sneaker is key in the cooler months - something fashionable and wearable, to be thrown on with jeans or activewear. If you want to be comfortable and eco-conscious while you're running around saving the planet, Mi Piaci's Miha sneaker is made from REPREVE: a traceable, certified material made from recycled plastic bottles and waste products reclaimed from landfills. REPREVE is also said to help to offset the use of petroleum in the manufacture, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process.
Witchery's White Shirt
Every wardrobe needs a crisp, classic white shirt and this one comes with the knowledge that you're funding some bloody important research when you buy it. All of the proceeds from Witchery's White Shirt go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) to fund vital research on early detection. Ovarian cancer is the most deadly of all gynaecological cancers and has no early detection test - many people believe a pap smear leads to a diagnosis, when it often doesn't. Researchers need your funds as much as your wardrobe needs this shirt.
You've probably seen this activewear pop up on your Instagram feed, but you probably didn't know there was an eco-friendly background hiding behind the stylish designs. Nimble has recently launched its new sustainable 'Spritz' collection, using custom-engineered 'MoveLite' fabric, made out of recycled plastic bottles. The brand says it's saved nearly one million bottles from ending up in oceans and landfill so far. While in the past recycled fabrics have felt a bit rugged, these leggings and crops have passed my personal 'pilates and brunch' test with flying colours.
We may be heading into winter, but if you're dreaming of far-off summer holidays, you need to add Kalakoa swimwear to your cart - bright, bold and beautiful swimwear that stays on your bod and is kind to the environment. Made by former award-winning surf lifesaver and athlete Toni Burke, each piece has been tested for its 'stay-ability' to ensure it won't come off during beach action. The fabrics are made from Carvico Vita, a material created from fishnets salvaged from the ocean, and the same REPREVE lycra as the sneakers above, again made from plastic bottles and waste products reclaimed from landfills.
That's right, your old shopping mall fave is stepping things up with an eco-friendly range made from recycled plastic. Their super soft recycled polyester knitwear is made from 98 percent recycled clear plastic water bottles and is a sustainable alternative to virgin polyester as it prevents plastic from going to landfill. The production of recycled polyester uses 30-50 percent less energy and about 90 percent less water than the production of virgin polyester as well - so be warm AND smug about your contribution to the planet!