How to make your wardrobe more sustainable. Sustainable fashion used to have a not-so-stylish reputation.
The phrase conjured up images of rough fabrics, unsophisticated style and patchwork techniques.
Today, with clothes being made cheaply and costing so little, many people wear them a couple of times before disposing of them.
Fast fashion, traditional and social media, as well as pop culture have created a cult of consumerism that’s more rabid than ever.
This has led to the fashion industry having a huge carbon footprint, with it being the second-largest polluter, after oil.
However, in recent years, eco-friendly fashion has become a more popular concept, with more people looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
While it’s impossible for you to make your wardrobe more sustainable overnight, here’s some tips on how you can improve it bit by bit.
Quality over Quantity.
Instead of buying 10 cheap items of clothing that fall apart after one or two washes, how about buying 1 or 2 quality piece to your wardrobe that last? You will look more sophisticated and you’ll spend less time in the morning wondering what to wear. Look for items that are made with durable natural materials, sustainable textiles or clothes that are handmade. They may cost a little bit more, its longer lifespan will save you money in the long-run.
Buy vintage or second-hand clothes.
Vintage or second-hand clothes are arguably better options when it comes to sustainable fashion. They give you variety, you can find something really unique and they are usually cheaper than buying new.
Make or buy upcycled clothing.
Upcycled clothing are pieces made from old stuff, like a bag made from an old pair of jeans or earrings from old computer parts. With the help of YouTube and Pinterest, you can learn to do it yourself, or there are several brands out there that offer ready made upcycled clothing and accessories.
There are some things, like underwear, that are better bought new. You can shop for local options, meaning they require less carbon emissions from transport. Usually, clothing transported over long distance is sprayed with formaldehyde to stop it from wrinkling, which is another reason to buy locally. And locally made clothing is less likely to come from a sweatshop.
Research the sustainability of your favourite brands.
A lot of brands are claiming to be sustainable or conscious but how do you know if they are being truthful? While it can be tricky to find out what goes on behind such big companies, there’s a great tool called Rankabrand, which uses an in-house scoring system as well as customer reviews to give a brand a sustainability score. There are many brands out there dedicated to sustainability, such as Stella McCartney.
Take care of your clothes.
If you take care of your stuff, they last much longer and you won’t need to throw them out as frequently. Read the garment’s care instructions, wash at a low temperature and line-dry. If you take care of your stuff, you also won’t need to buy as much.
How to make your wardrobe more sustainable