Want To Give Back And Look Good? 5 Tips For A More Sustainable Wardrobe
If there is one trend that’s not really a trend, it’s sustainability. The environment and the planet both matter, and if we are spending time thinking about both, we've got to figure out how to give back. Two words that often don't sit together are stylish and sustainable, but when it comes to your dream wardrobe, you should be able to love what you wear and without any guilt at all!
I've spent much time over the last year or two trying to move to a more sustainable lifestyle. And working from home during lockdown has solidified that for me. Commuting less has a massive benefit to the environment, and I find myself choosing to walk and cycling more. I've massively cut down on single use plastics and I'm actually enjoying plant based cooking and meat free days. If we can give back to the environment in these ways, then why not in sustainable fashion?
Given the rate of clothing produced every year that ends up in landfill, it’s a smart choice to ensure that what you are buying comes from an ethical supplier. We can critique our runway looks as much as we want, but unless we’re critiquing where we get our outfits, then what’s the point? So, with that in mind, I’ve put together some of the ways I'm aiming to give back while still looking good.
When it comes to what you buy, consider the fabric you’re using. While cotton clothing is preferred, it’s also true that 99% of the cotton grown in the world is done so with harmful chemicals. They are also produced very quickly, which contributes to the pollution of the water in the countries in which they are made. Consider buying organic cotton if you really want to buy into the comfort, as this way you’ll have less of an impact on your environment.
Did you know that the average woman has around 150 items in their collection? The problem here is that less than half of this figure is actually worn. Streamline your clothing collection and recycle what you don't use, saving those clothing items from landfill. Donating your clothing to charity makes them a sustainable option, as you’re not dumping them in landfill and earns money for a worthy cause too.
Really see your wardrobe. I set myself a challenge over lockdown to make as many outfits from one garment as possible. I have a pair of navy shorts I tend to wear with a white Tee on casual days or a white blouse for more dressy occasions. I actually managed to create 11 different outfits by combining my shorts with other items already in my wardrobe! Apps such as Cladwell and Stylebook can help you create virtual outfits from items in your closet.
Buy pre-loved clothing where you can, it's better for your purse and the environment. Buying preloved means that you’re saving clothing from polluting the manufacturing cycle and saving you money at the same time. In addition to charity and thrift stores, there are a host of online options for buying second hand now, from the well known sites like Ebay to apps like Vinted and Depop.
Repair everything as they rip or tear. You can find videos on YouTube to teach you how to sew, but if you learn to mend your clothes, you’re going to save yourself a lot of money when it comes to clothes if you know how to do it. Also look to revamp items, upcycling is such a great way of creating a new much loved garment from an old piece. The more you mend and make-do, the less you buy and the less you contribute to the energy use of the fashion industry.