This blog focuses on the sustainable fashion. So, especially for Earth Day I brought you some tips how to make your wardrobe greener and feel as good on the inside as you look on the outside.
1. Buy less
Buy less! How long can you hang on without buying something new? Some people including some popular bloggers challenge themselves to no buy anything for as long as a year. These challenges can be good attempt at breaking a habit of shopping. Many people don’t realise that they go shopping to address other issues, some go shopping with friends just for fun, others when they are bored or frustrated. Think of what could you do instead? Try not to go clothes shopping unless you need something specific.
People who go shopping without the purpose often end up buying multiples of the same thing like another pair of jeans. Know what you’ve got, go through all your clothes regularly. Ideally make up an inventory of all your clothes. It doesn’t take long to forget what’s at the bottom of a drawer or back of a wardrobe. A regular sort through will remind your what’s in your wardrobe so you wear a wider range of your clothes.
Shop your closet first. Before you go shopping for new stuff, rummage through what you’ve already got. Maybe there’s something you haven’t worn in a while. Maybe you can combine items differently to create a new outfit. Making outfits will also help you identify the gaps in your wardrobe, so you know what to buy next time. In my experience the wardrobes are usually missing on basics, that are not so exciting to buy, but very important a they will be a backbone of many outfits. Lastly, when you cannot find such item in any shop think of sawing it yourself.
2. Buy smarter
And when you do buy, buy smarter! Buy a good quality clothes in classic styles, so that they are much more likely to stand the test of time.
Secondly, know what your style is like. Don’t buy something that is not in your style, just because it is on this season’s must haves list, or any other list of items you suppose to own. Personalise your list of basics and accents to suit your style, lifestyle and climate you live in.
Give a capsule wardrobe a go. A capsule wardrobe is a limited collection of clothes that coordinate well and can be worn in a number of different ways to cater for multiple occasions. In due course we will be covering the subject in much more details.
The most versatile pieces – the basics, as previously mentioned will help you to create a multiple outfits from clothes you already own and that’s why the basics should make up the most of your wardrobe, allowing you to maximize the use of each item you have.
Thanks to having a capsule wardrobe, each new season you only need to add a few new pieces to your existing collection to keep it current and exciting, and not to start from scratch each and every single time.
3. Buy second-hand
Buying second hand clothing has much less environmental impact and it is nice knowing that you’re contributing to the solution rather than the problem. It can be fun too. Try finding something unusual and quirky in a second-hand shop, guaranteeing wearing something no one else will have. Give charity shops/thrift stores, vintage shops, second-hand markets a try and you’ll be amazed at what you can find there.
4. Choose lower impact fabrics
This isn’t simple. Growing organic cotton uses fewer invasive chemicals but still uses huge amounts of water, and dyes are still an issue. Claims that clothing is made from recycled plastics need to be carefully checked for greenwash. (There have been reports of manufacturers buying in new plastic bottles to remake into fabrics, so they can claim to be recycling).
Try instead clothes made from natural fibres like hemp, undyed organic cotton, linen (which is made from flax) or even soy (yes it really exists, check out soy-silk or soy-cashmere). Clothes made from any type of wool like cashmere, lambswool or merino will be a good choice too.
Natural fabrics are nicer to wear but also better for your health, because harmful chemicals used for production of clothes can absorb through your skin. Plus, your skin can breathe when you are wearing natural fibres.
Clothes from natural fabrics are also often of better quality, so they will last you longer.
5. Make your clothes last
Look online for advice on how to store and clean specialist fabrics. Wash clothes inside out on the coolest, gentlest cycle possible. Avoid tumble-drying. Hang garments to avoid the need to iron.
I believe that it’s important to repair, alter, or rework garments when they are worn, damaged or ill-fitting, and not simply throw them away. Repair if possible. Alter items that no longer fit you. Try to refashion pieces you don’t want into something new and exciting or upcycle them into something useful. You can do it on your own or use online services like Clothes Doctor to revitalise your wardrobe.
6. Dispose of unwanted clothes responsibly
Hold a swap event. Donate to charity both wearable clothes and ones that are worn out. Bag up the worn-out ones and tell the charity shop they’re rags, and they’ll sell them on for recycling. If your worn-out clothes are made from natural fibres (cotton, wool, silk, hemp, bamboo etc), you can compost them.
Remember, donating second-hand clothes doesn’t let us off the hook. Rich nations produce more second-hand clothing than they can resell. The majority is sold on to poorer countries where it undermines local markets. Treat donating as your last resort – only when you’ve exhausted the other avenues above.