How to build a sustainable wardrobe?
Most people have many clothes but do not know how to wear them sustainably. In this article, we will explore some tips on building a sustainable wardrobe.
1. Be honest with yourself
The most crucial step to building a sustainable wardrobe is being honest about what you need and want. Do you find that you put off laundry until no clean clothes are left? Is it difficult for you to part with clothes, even if they are worn out or do not fit? If this sounds like you, then your wardrobe may not be sustainable – at least not yet! The first step in building a more sustainable wardrobe is getting honest about your habits and needs so that you can consciously work on making changes towards a more sustainable closet over time.
2. Buy better quality basics
Quality will always outperform quantity when it comes to sustainably-minded shopping. By focusing on buying better-quality items in classic styles and colors, you’re more likely to use the items more frequently. In addition, investing in basics that fit well, flatter, and work for multiple occasions can help you build a wardrobe full of pieces you love wearing – rather than just “stuff” that seems to take up space.
3. Pay attention to fabric content
A great way to be conscious of sustainable shopping is by paying attention to the fabric content of the clothes you buy. The higher the percentage of natural fibers such as cotton or linen, the better chance the clothing has had less impact on the environment when produced. On top of this, more natural fabrics like silk tend to last longer since they are not prone to breaking or wearing thin – meaning it is less likely you will throw them out and replace them with a new one.
4. Consider the sustainability of production methods
Sustainability is not just about the environment but also about fair working conditions for those involved in bringing your clothes to life. Consider where your clothing was made, if it was produced under fair working conditions, and how that may have impacted the environment. Paying attention to these factors can help you make more sustainable choices when shopping.
5. Know what you already own & feel confident having fewer options
Do you ever find yourself buying things that are “just like this other thing I have”? Or maybe buying items that you “might wear” one day? This is a common problem for many people, but it can be an easy fix. The next time you feel the need to buy something new, take some time to consider your current wardrobe and see if it would make more sense to spend a bit of time styling what you already own or even doing a detox. Getting rid of stuff that is not being worn can help solve the problem so that when shopping (or online window-shopping) happens again, you have space in your closet to fill with things that are truly meaningful to you – whether they are old favorites or brand new pieces!
6. Buy fewer trends & invest in understated basics
It is easy to get caught up in designer runway looks, but investing in trends is not sustainable. Instead, focus on buying timeless basics that can be styled for different weather conditions or occasions. For example, a wool coat will take you through the winter months without buying new options each season – making it more environmentally friendly in both its production and lifecycle. Essential pieces are also an important building block to many outfits – so try focusing your efforts on essentials rather than on trendy items that may not stand the test of time.
7. Donate or sell items you no longer want or wear
Many people have trouble parting with clothes they feel like they “might wear again” one day – but if you have not worn it in over a year, the chances you will are extremely small. Donating or selling these items is a great way to give them a second life while also making extra space in your closet for more sustainable choices.
8. Rent clothes for special occasions rather than buying new
If you only wear something once (or maybe twice), is it worth taking up valuable space in your closet? Probably not. A great alternative to buying brand new clothes for special occasions is renting them instead. This way, you can get the look you want without worrying about what to do with the garment once the event is over. Plus, rental companies usually take care of dry-cleaning to get the piece ready for the next renter.
9. Share with others
Beyond renting clothes, why not share them as well? Buying a new garment is just like buying anything else – whether a latte or a meal at a restaurant. It would help if you had something you do not have and will only use once (or twice). Instead of buying that extra blazer, why not lend one from your friend instead? This way, the clothing item gets more use while also saving money on having to buy additional pieces! If lending is not possible, but you still want an outfit for that special occasion, there are companies such as Rent Frock Repeat that allow you to rent instead of buy.
10. Learn about the circular economy & embrace the lifelong value
The term “circular economy” may sound intimidating, but it does not have to be so complex or confusing that you do not know what to do next – even if you are not well-versed on the topic yet. While there are many facets to consider (such as reuse, recycling, and composting), we think a great place to start is thinking about the life cycle of your clothing. For example, is the garment made from natural fibers that can decompose when discarded? Or does it contain non-renewable materials such as polyester? Thinking more carefully about these factors will help you make better choices for your closet in the long run.
11. Advocate for change & be an ambassador of sustainable fashion
If you want to see real change happen, start by being an ambassador of sustainable fashion in your own life! This means making mindful choices about what you buy, how you care for your clothing, and what you do with items once you are finished wearing them. It also means talking about these topics with others and sharing your knowledge so that we can all make more informed decisions when it comes to our clothes. After all, the more people are aware of fast fashion issues and its impact on both people and the planet, the better chance we have of nurturing real change.
These are just a few things you can do to make your fashion choices more sustainable – but remember, every little bit counts. Every time you make a sustainable choice, no matter how small, it’s one less harmful garment being produced and one step further to a cleaner, greener future. So don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up!
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