By Claudia Cole
Like many of you, I love fashion. I love it even more when it is sustainable and doesn’t come at a harmful cost. Building a sustainable wardrobe can often seem like a daunting and costly transition. It was for me at first, which is why I’ve put together a guide to giving your wardrobe a sustainable makeover.
It’s no secret that fast fashion is the second-largest polluter following the oil industry. Not only is overproduction a significant cause of concern, but so is clothes utilisation.
Worldwide, the average number of times a garment is worn before it’s discarded has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago. It is estimated that more than half of fast fashion produced is disposed of in under a year. In the UK, as much as 73% of an average person’s wardrobe has never seen the light of day.
Although fashion brands are partly to blame, we as consumers must change our habits to make a change. While a makeover usually consists of wiping the slate clean, building a sustainable wardrobe starts within.
How To Get More Out Of Your Wardrobe
As much as I love to utilise my existing wardrobe, I’ll always recommend a donation detox. Going through your clothes can help you determine what you need and what no longer serves you. This will make room for future items and prevent you from making impulsive purchases.
While some garments may not fit or suit you anymore, they might be what others are looking for. That’s why it’s essential to pass it on. Donating your unwanted clothes is a great way to help others to become sustainable. Just drop off your unwanted clothes at your local charity shop or the nearest recycling bank. Alternatively, you can sell your clothes on apps such as Depop and Vinted to make some extra cash.
Show A Little Love
When it comes to the clothes you do decide to keep, it’s vital that you use them. I’ve fallen into the habit of regularly wearing the same few items each week many times. While that’s not a bad thing, there was still a fraction of my clothes that wasn’t getting worn.
I cope with this by rotating my existing wardrobe, showing each garment some love from time to time. This helps to extend the lifespan of my favourite gems, making them last longer.
Mend & Save
How we care for our clothes is a crucial part of how long they last. Whether it’s cashmere or denim, ensure you follow the proper instructions to keep your clothes looking their best.
However, when your garments do begin to show wear and tear, it’s useful to learn how to mend. Not only does the mindful habit do wonders for the soul, it increases the lifespan of your wardrobe. It also saves you money and lessens future replacements.
Before You Spend
The best way to shop sustainably is to do your research. This is exceptionally important when it comes to the quality of the fabric. It’s always best to opt for fabrics that are durable and sustainably sourced or uses recycled materials.
Research is also beneficial to know whether a brand’s values aligned with yours. Therefore, when you do decide to make a purchase, you’ll feel reassured knowing that brand operates with suitability in mind.
Go For Pre-loved & Vintage
Another way to build a sustainable wardrobe is to embrace second-hand and vintage clothing. It’s the perfect way to discover generational gems whilst preventing clothes from going to a landfill. Put an end to the demands of fast fashion and follow our guide on top tips for vintage shopping.
The 30 Wears Test
Created by Livia Firth, founder of Eco Age, the #30wears campaign has changed the way we shop. It involves asking yourself whether you see yourself wearing an item at least 30 times before you buy it. This is an excellent way of being mindful whilst you shop.
We as consumers have forgotten the importance of quality over quantity, but that can change. Building a sustainable wardrobe is a start, proving to be well worth it in the long run.
What sustainable fashion tips do you swear by? Share with us in the comments below.