Everyone should be working towards making their lives more sustainable for the planet and one easy component that we have control over is our wardrobes! Making your wardrobe more sustainable certainly isn’t about throwing everything away and investing in a whole new organic wardrobe, as that would certainly be counterintuitive. Instead, it’s about maximising what you have in your wardrobe as much as possible, and if you do need to add new items, doing it in the most sustainable way possible. Not only will this be helping the environment, but it will also help your bank account for the long term! So, let’s find out some super simple ways to move in the direction of creating a more sustainable wardrobe.
Be Creative With What You Already Own
The best piece of advice we can give you when it comes to making your wardrobe more sustainable is to be creative with what you already have in your wardrobe. Utilising what you have and reducing the demand for new items is the best thing you can do, so go through your wardrobe and think about things that you very rarely wear.
Take them out and put them onto your bed or floor, then think about how you could style them to make you fall in love with them again. This could be styling them with a newer piece of clothing, or heading to a charity shop and having a look around for inspiration. Or, type the description of the item online along with “how to style”, for example “how to style a khaki cargo skirt”. This will show you so many different options to style your clothing that you might have never thought of before. For example, maybe you have only ever styled your cargo skirt with t-shirts, but never thought of wearing it with an oversized jumper, tights and chunky boots. You can transform your wardrobe by not doing anything at all really in this case!
When you are pulling things out that you never really wear, it could be that they don’t make you feel great or don’t fit you properly, in which case, head to Depop or Vinted and sell them, or drop them off at a charity shop. If you do opt to sell them, you could then use the money to buy more sustainable items for the future, which you could then spend in charity shops so you’re still supporting them.
Buy Better Quality Less Often
Now that you know how to make the most of what you already have, you will probably also know where the gaps are that you need to fill with some wardrobe essentials. So, we would always recommend buying better quality pieces less often. Sometimes you will get really lucky and be able to find fantastic quality items on second hand websites or in charity shops, however sometimes you will also find items that might not last very long. So, make sure you are regularly checking second hand places for the things you are looking for, but if you really want to add something, it’s absolutely best to buy something that is very good quality.
Say a good quality pair of jeans cost you £100, this might seem like a big investment, but they will likely last you 10 years, if not longer. This is a much better, and more sustainable, option compared to buying a £10 pair of jeans and needing to replace them every 6 months. This also means that you are able to enjoy much better quality clothing, and with that usually comes better customer service. For example, when you buy a pair of Levi’s jeans, they will repair them for FREE for LIFE! How great is that? You simply wouldn’t get that kind of service elsewhere. If expensive items like this aren’t in your budget, make sure to check on Vinted and Depop as you are more than likely to find what you are looking for. The only issue with this is that it’s rare you’re able to return items if they don’t fit, so it’s best to know exactly what size you need before committing to the purchase.
Do The 30 Wears Test
Another great way to make sure that the items you’re adding to your wardrobe are sustainable is to do the 30 wears test. Before you buy something, ask yourself “will I wear this 30 times?”. If the answer is yes, it’s likely that it’s going to be worthwhile in terms of the resource that it took to make that item. Of course, you should aim to find pieces you will wear more than 30 times, but this should be the absolute minimum to make sure you are adding the right pieces to your wardrobe. We completely understand that there will be some items that you don’t have the opportunity to wear that many times, such as wedding guest dresses that you might only wear once a year. However, we love to buy something more simple in this situation, like little black dresses, and then style it with different accessories, makeup looks and hair-do’s so you feel like you’re wearing a new and different dress every time!
Consider Going To A Seamstress/Tailor
Something else you can do to make your wardrobe more sustainable is to consider going to a seamstress or tailor. If something doesn’t fit you very well anymore but you still really like it, don’t just throw it away. This is especially the case if it’s a good quality piece, as you could still have years and years of wear left in it! So, instead, take it to a seamstress or tailor. Minor alterations like taking in the waste or shortening sleeves on something can cost as little as £10, when replacing a good quality item could cost five times that! It’s always worth getting a few different quotes so you’re getting the best deal, or if you’re crafty, you could get a second hand sewing machine, watch some YouTube videos and learn to do minor alterations yourself! This will save you so much money in the long run, and you will get much better over time, trust us.
Wash Your Clothes Less Often
Our final tip to help you make your wardrobe more sustainable is to wash your clothes less often! This will save you energy and therefore money, but more importantly, it will help to prolong the life of your clothes. When you wash clothes, the process does put strain on them, which can weaken certain materials and require you to replace them more often. So, only wash your clothes when you need to. Things like jeans and jumpers only need to be washed every so often, whereas things like t-shirts will need to be washed more often and underwear after every wear. Just be more mindful about when you are throwing things out to wash and you will notice that your clothes start lasting much longer.