Fashion is a great way of expression and, for many of us, it is a vital part since it’s the way we show who we are. However, I think that we have lost control over how we view clothing and we overconsume it. This has become harmful to the people involved in the production process and the environment, so it is about time to be more conscious in the way we choose to succumb to it. I have done many changes toward the better over the last year, so today I will be sharing my tips on how to create a sustainable wardrobe too.
If you are interested in doing the same, you don’t want to miss them!
How To Create A Sustainable Wardrobe
After having a really cluttered wardrobe full -in the most part- of fast fashion brands and unworn clothes (some even with their tags on) I realized that I’ve had enough! I was getting tired of cheap, mediocre quality stuff and I wanted more than polyester t-shirts and denim that wears out after a few washes.
Also, learning about how mass-produced fashion pollutes the environment and harms the people involved in the process made me even more skeptical. This is why I decided to get rid of the clutter and start from the beginning. I have a full post on how to declutter your wardrobe, so I am not going to bother you with that, instead, let me tell you how to create a sustainable wardrobe that will last you through the years.
Avoid trendy items
The majority of the clothes I had, were trendy pieces that I wore only a few times since they went out of fashion pretty quickly. On the other hand, the items I decided to keep were classic styles that are still relevant today and will be in the years to come. Opting for classic pieces is a great way to ensure that you will be able to keep them and love them for more than one season. This way you use your clothes to their full potential and there is no need for a new wardrobe every year.
Buy high-quality materials
The clothes that looked like new, despite the endless washes, were the ones that were made of high-quality materials. Most of the materials have the potential of being of high quality, however, it is not very easy to find or very cheap to buy. The best way to know if a fabric is meant to last is to touch it. Does it feel soft or rough? Ready to fall apart or it can hold many washes? Don’t be afraid to pay a little extra, because it will worth it in the long run.
Quality over quantity
As with many things in life, the same rule applies to clothes as well. It is better to have one or two good quality t-shirts than ten that look cheap and fall apart after a few wears. Many will argue that the production of high-quality clothing has declined and it is not very easy to find affordable options anymore, but you need to keep this motto in mind as well.
Prefer sustainable and ethical brands
When there is the alternative of a sustainable option of the item you like I recommend going for it. This way you support practices and companies that take care of their employees, do not harm the animals and respect the environment. Plus the quality of the clothes is guaranteed since they are not mass-produced.
Buy second hand
I could talk forever why buying second-hand items is a great thing, but let me just say that it is a win-win situation. The person that doesn’t want an item is getting rid of it and you are scoring a great price for something you want. Plus this practice is environment-friendly since no new resources are needed nor new energy is consumed.
Keep a wishlist
By keeping a specific wishlist and trying to stick to it, I realized that I stopped purchasing stuff I don’t need and I will never wear. If you don’t already have one, I recommend creating it asap. Then leave it for a while and revisit it again when you are about to go shopping. Review the stuff that is on it and erase the ones that are not speaking to your heart anymore. This way you will not succumb to any impulse buys, but you will go for things that you have been wanting for a while. In most cases, they are items that will last you for a long time.
Cut back on purchases
Pretty self-explanatory, but you don’t need to go shopping every weekend (rings any bells?). Eventually, you’ll realize that you don’t need 50 t-shirts and 30 different knits to dress stylishly. On the contrary, having fewer clothes will make your creativity show more, since you will be wearing the same items in a variety of ways.
Wait before you cut the tags
Usually, after I go shopping I have the bad habit to cut the tags and throw the new clothes to the washing machine. However, I found that to not work, since over the years I have ended up with many unworn clothes that I couldn’t return anymore. When you are back home I recommend to try on the new clothes, pair it with your own and see if you like them. Then leave them in your closet with the tags on and see if you’ll reach for them until the return date is due. If not, it is time to take them back to the store.
Take proper care and repair your clothes if you need to
Washing your clothes according to the instructions of the manufacturer is crucial if you want them to last. Take them for a dry clean or wash them by hand if you need to. Also, if something needs to be repaired, do it. Don’t wait for it to fall apart and to throw it away. You will prolong its life and make more use out of it.
Sunglasses: Gucci | Coat: Old | Scarf: Burberry | Knit & Trousers: Stradivarius | Bag: Dolce & Gabbana | Shoes: Nike
Creating a sustainable wardrobe, apart from reducing my overconsumption of clothing and contributing to the harm of the environment, has made me more creative and I am very pleased with that change. Of course, we need to keep in mind that it is a work in progress and no one can do everything all at once! Mistakes will happen, and we will unavoidably consume mass-produced clothes since they are everywhere. However, I think even a small change is an important step towards improvement.
Question of the day: What is your No1 tip for a more sustainable closet? Make sure to share it in the comments section below!