It can be hard to hold onto the clothes sitting in our wardrobes, especially when there are so many offers instore and online to tempt us. The rapid rise of fast fashion in recent years has posed a significant threat to the environment that has caused a greater awareness for being sustainable in fashion. Some of these negative environmental impacts include water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste.
But lucky for us, there are things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and be more sustainable in our fashin. Although the thought of forming a sustainable wardrobe is pretty intimidating, it really isn’t as hard as you think. And it’s definitely worth it in the long term.
Shop sustainable brands
The most difficult thing when it comes to creating a sustainable wardrobe is where to shop. Luckily for you, it’s been made so much easier in this day and age as by brands who have a focus on sustainability. A quick Google search will result in an endless amount of brands for you to explore. Aditionally, you could also take a look at some of the sustainable ranges from high street stores like the H&M’s Conscious Collection.
Donate your unwanted clothes
Recycling your clothes by donating them to a local charity shops means they can be used again by someone who actually wants them and will actually put them to good use. It will also mean they won’t immediately head to a landfill site. Additionally, you could consider popping your pieces on Depop or similar clothes selling apps like Poshmark or Vinted.
Emma Watson, who has become the unofficial face of sustainable fashion, perfectly sums up the benefits of shopping vintage clothes: “Every new item of clothing made has a substantial carbon footprint attached to its manufacturing; but the amount of new energy needed to produce vintage clothing is zero. Vintage clothing has a huge role to play in making fashion more sustainable and reducing a global footprint that includes the 132m metric tons of coal used yearly through the production of new fibres, dyeing and bleaching of garments and the 6-9 trillion litres of water used by the industry.”
There are loads of vintage shops around and it’s easy to find one by searching on Google Maps in your local town/shopping areas. You could also check out second-hand clothing apps like Depop to see if there’s anything there that takes your fancy.
Wear trans-seasonal clothes
This is all about wearing pieces that are suitable for you all-year-round. This means you’ll avoid restricting yourself to only wearing your clothes for a few months of the year. Therefore, our top tip is to spend the bulk of your hard earned money on pieces like jeans, tees, jumpers and jackets that are versatile for all climate conditions.
Buy quality over quantity
Although the inexpensive prices and huge discounts might be tempting, try your best to stay away from the fast fashion brands like boohoo and Missguided. You’re better off buying more sustainable pieces that cost a bit more and last longer, than a ton of cheaper items that don’t have the same longevity.
However, if you do find yourself tempted, try using the ‘reGAIN’ app that many fast fashion brands have partnered with. You can recycle unwanted clothes in exchange for discount coupons for your favourite online stores.
Although this one might be obvious, it is really important! And the fact that you’re here reading this is a good start! Educating yourself on the benefits of sustainable fashion and the consequences of fast fashion to the environment will help you to understand the issues and make it clear what you can do. Some of my favourite podcasts that really helped me gain a better understanding were ‘Dressed’ and ‘The Wardrobe Crisis’.