Lead by example. This is perhaps one of the most crucial steps you can take to influence others to live sustainably and choose better when it comes to their style. As much as you can, try to be a walking billboard for ethical fashion. Dress with joy, take pride in your clothing, and take any compliments as an opportunity to explain its ethical credentials. Don't miss any chances to showcase how easy, effortless and joyful ethical fashion can be.
Be knowledgeable. Be ready to answer questions – read up and know your stuff. When faced with a question on why organic cotton is better, be ready to share the facts: that it uses much less water and eliminates the use of pesticides. If you end up in a conversation about second-hand fashion, be ready to share the reasons why you choose it. And if someone you know has doubts about giving up leather, remind of its connections to deforestation.
Use social media wisely. More than just a place to put your holiday snaps, social media can be a very powerful tool for change. Since its arrival on the scene, social media has become an important instrument when it comes to social justice movements – an example of this is the Black Lives Matter movement, which was galvanised by activity across the internet. No matter your reach, use your profiles to spread the word about why you choose ethical fashion. Many people's eyes have been opened thanks to a video, a documentary, or other shareable elements.
Dispel the myths. Many people are wary of approaching sustainable fashion due to long-living myths about it, such as it being limiting, expensive, or less than stylish. One of our jobs as ethical fashion advocates is to dispel these stereotypes and show that even if these things did come from somewhere (there is no denying that shopping from sustainable brands can in fact be pricier than a spree at your local shopping centre), they aren't necessarily representative of the entire ethical-fashion realm (second-hand shopping is booming and offers endless affordable opportunities).
Have a swap party. Why not create your own ethical-fashion initiative? Swap parties are perhaps the easiest way to get together in the name of sustainable style – and it's basically free shopping. Invite friends and ask them to bring clothes that are in good shape, but that they no longer wear. Swapping clothes is an easy, free and sustainable way to renew your wardrobe, as well as find a new home for the clothing that for some reason it's time to part ways with. Win-Win.
Host an ethical-fashion film night or book club. Make it a fun night, but still meaningful. These days, there is no shortage of materials when it comes to educating yourself on where our clothes come from. Put out some popcorn and watch Slay or The True Cost, or host a monthly book club where you approach To Die For by Lucy Siegle, or How to Break Up with Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo (or, shameless promotion for my own book, Vegan Style). Have conversations about what you learned and leave inspired and empowered.