This summer is set to be as different as it’s ever been, with many of us not able to travel abroad or even across the border for our holidays as we routinely do. But we’re fortunate to know better than most on this side of the world, that summer garms are not only reserved for trips abroad. Even though many facets of our ‘new normal’ are still continuing to develop, we should count our blessings that we live in a place like Gibraltar. The fact that we’re able to bask in the sunshine for a significant portion of the year, and make trips to lovely beaches mere minutes away from our houses is a luxury we can all truly appreciate.
We’ve all adapted to living more minimally recently, which could very well be translated into all aspects of our lives. The past few months have only served to highlight our habits (the majority of them arguably not so great), with many of us overtly expressing a desire to start living more sustainably as a result. The road to sustainability, however, can be a bumpy one due to its many complexities. Essentially, what we want to know is: what is the fashion equivalent to switching to metal straws, ditching plastic bags, and using reusable bottles? These are all excellent adjustments that many of us have made quite successfully in the last year or so, but when it comes to fashion, most of us continue trudging along in the dark.
Lucky for us, there is an increasing number of recycled and sustainable bikini options out there these days, and you won’t have to look much further than your usual high street haunt. Underwire is appearing on more bikini tops than ever before. Once hidden away underneath the fabric, reserved for those who needed the extra support, it’s now being used as a deliberate design detail. Whether you’re on the busty side, or not particularly well-endowed, this style is for everyone!
The shops are already teeming with a whole host of slides, sandals and summery footwear. Excuse the name, but thong sandals are set to become all the rage this summer, while last year’s strappy styles are back with a vengeance as expected. You’ll find vegan leather options in practically all of your favourite high-street shops these days.
When it comes to sustainability, activewear is one of the more difficult sectors to get right, due to the nature of the materials used in workout clothes. There are many brands out there that are committed to being a part of the solution, offering leggings and other products made from recycled plastic bottles!
The basket bag is one of the most versatile styles around, and one that is able to take you from the office right to the beach. They’re simple and tasteful; perfect for everyday use, while elevating any outfit to instant chic and put-together status. They’re largely made of natural materials such as linen, straw and raffia too, so you really can’t go wrong.
This year I’ve assigned my summer wardrobe a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kind of significance, so even if I’m just lazing around my balcony, or making a shorter trip to the beach than usual, getting dressed every morning is something that I’m urging myself to get excited about. And with this added layer of consciousness, the whole process feels much more purposeful.
A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU IN THE PATH TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY
- Wash your clothes less, and avoid the tumble dryer if you can. Even washing at 30 degrees is meant to reduce energy usage by up to 40% compared to the standard 40-degree wash. Drying naturally should be a much easier choice throughout the summer months too.
- Organise your wardrobe to find old discarded pieces you can bring back to life. We all have a lot more time on our hands these days so it’s the perfect time to do it.
- Consider the fabrics you purchase carefully. Opt for organic cotton wherever you can, as well as other natural options like linen, hemp and raffia. Recycled fabrics are much more prevalent these days too!
- Buy less and recycle! The fact is that we probably buy a lot more than we actually need. Invest in items that will remain on high rotation in your wardrobe for seasons to come. When the time comes to get rid of old stuff, always opt for donation or recycling.
- Do your research and read labels. Most eco-related information is communicated transparently in product packaging, whether that’s water usage or information about recycling. Making informed decisions is the most powerful position you can put yourself in as a consumer.
- Shop from small local businesses where you can, as well as considering vintage and charity shops.