SEVEN TIPS FOR A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE
1. The most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own
It’s an obvious one but still worth pointing out. Throughout this journey we have found that the best intentions sometimes spur on counterintuitive actions. In a bid to be sustainable some will throw out what they have and replace with a sustainable alternative. The most sustainable option is nothing! So the first step is use the wardrobe you have, don’t replace unless it’s needed and don’t purchase additional items simply because you understand the supply chain.
2. Invest in better
The old saying buy cheap, buy twice is so pertinent to both the fast fashion industry. That throwaway outfit wouldn’t be so easy to throw away if it was good, long lasting quality. A lot of the unsustainability from our wardrobes are driven by the cheap garments that are pumped out of fashion brands to meet ever changing trends. These items are good for a quick wear but a few goes through the wash and they either fall apart or look less than new. That’s why they’re so replaceable. To extend the life cycle of your clothes, make sure you’re investing in good quality items that will stand the test of time.
3. Buy things with multiple purposes
It’s very easy to be tempted with a new outfit for each new event. But using your buying power to buy better, buy less doesn’t just mean a better quality of clothes, it also can be used to make better purchasing choices in regard to how much rewear you can get from an item. The life cycle of an item of clothing increases sustainability, by purchasing items that can hold multiple uses, you are increasing the responsibility of your wardrobe.
4. Leave time before a purchase
Delayed gratification is a thing! Sometimes we get so caught up in the idea of buying new clothes that the rush comes from the thrill of purchase rather than the actual item itself. There is a reason that companies send payday marketing emails or discount codes; the rush of new is short lived and exciting! Once you feel the need to purchase something, try leaving it for a few days to see if you actually need that item, or if you’re just chasing the high of consumption.
5. Look after your clothes!
Especially if you invest in better items, you can do a lot to elongate the life of your clothes. From washing on 30 degrees, hanging items carefully and even treating any spills as soon as they happen to avoid long lasting stains; taking good care of your current clothes increases their usability and therefore lifecycle.
Before moving in together, I spent 14 years living with my best friends. This meant that wardrobe swapping was just a given. You would often come home to someone in your room rifling through your clothes. Just because you don’t live under the same roof as someone doesn’t mean these trends we started in houseshares can’t continue. By swapping clothes with friends (and strangers, clothes swaps are a huge thing) we can not only extend the use of items we own – but we also get access to an entire new wardrobe without spending a penny or damaging the environment.
7. Try your charity and vintage shops
Moving to London, I was actually amazed with how many charity shops there are! I love browsing charity shops because you never know what you’re going to find and you’re also supporting charities. Vintage shops are also a great shout – you not only get to look through some of the longest lasting trends in the world, but you can get designer goods and well known brands for far less than the high street. Some of my greatest (and best quality) clothes come from vintage and charity shops. They’re such great items where you not only feel like they had a life before you, but you are also less likely to turn up somewhere wearing the same as someone else!