9 Steps to a more Sustainable Wardrobe

Sustainable Wardrobe

In recent years, the fashion industry has faced intense scrutiny, revealing shocking practices like big brands incinerating their excess stock and overflowing landfills with unsold items from the Western world. This calls for a shift towards building a sustainable wardrobe to address these issues.

However, navigating sustainable fashion can be overwhelming, thanks to the lack of transparency from many brands, leading to “greenwashing” and confusing information. This makes it challenging for the average person to make ethical purchase decisions.

But fear not! Most of us genuinely want to positively impact the planet, which is fantastic. It’s important to understand that sustainable fashion isn’t about following trends but embracing a different mindset that goes against the wasteful norms of the fashion industry.

We’re thrilled to start this journey to a more sustainable lifestyle with you. We’re not eco snobs here; we won’t preach or judge. Instead, we believe in taking small, meaningful steps together towards a better future.

Our team is made up of consumers just like you. We’re learning and expanding our knowledge about sustainable choices every day. Making sustainable fashion decisions may seem challenging and costly, but there are numerous ways to approach it. Start by assessing your current wardrobe and identify items you wear and love regularly. Prioritise quality over quantity, investing in timeless pieces that stand the test of time. Consider thrifting or buying from ethical brands that value people and the planet.

This post contains affiliate links.

What Exactly is a Sustainable Wardrobe?

Sustainable fashion is a mindful approach to clothing that considers the entire lifecycle of a garment. It involves using eco-friendly materials, ethical production practices, and fair treatment of workers. Key principles include reducing waste, promoting responsible consumption, and supporting sustainable brands.

Fast fashion’s environmental impact is alarming, with its rapid production and disposal leading to excessive resource consumption, pollution, and garment waste. It contributes significantly to the global climate crisis and threatens ecosystems and biodiversity.

Embracing a sustainable wardrobe offers several benefits, such as reducing carbon footprint, supporting ethical practices, and curbing overconsumption. It encourages timeless fashion choices, lasting garments, and a positive impact on the environment.

Another great approach is to repurpose and upcycle old clothing, giving it a new lease on life. Caring for your clothes and repairing them when needed extend their lifespan and reduce the need for constant replacements.

Remember, you don’t need to overhaul your entire wardrobe overnight. Every small step counts and progress is made one decision at a time. Let’s build a more sustainable future, starting with our wardrobes.

Ethical-Underwear-Brands

1. Buy Less and Better Quality

Let’s dive into this fashion journey, shall we? For over a century, fashion marketers have pushed us to splurge and shop like there’s no tomorrow. But guess what? This relentless consumerism has led us down a perilous path.

It’s shocking to think that tons of clothing end up in landfills or get burned, while many people struggle to find even a basic meal or warm clothes. Something’s gotta change!

Fast fashion, the culprit behind this mess, is deliberately made to wear out quickly. They want us to keep spending on new stuff non-stop. But here’s the game-changer – sustainable, ethical fashion!

This marvelous movement is all about quality over quantity. Picture this: I’ve got dresses that I’ve cherished for a whole decade, and you know what? Every time I wear them, people shower me with compliments. It’s like my little fashion secret – “Oh, thanks! I’ve had this for 10 years!”

Pro tip alert: keeping your weight steady actually extends the life of your sustainable wardrobe. Plus, don’t you worry if you haven’t worn something in a while. Fashion trends are cyclical, and those fantastic pieces might just come back in vogue. So hold on tight to those classics that still fit like a glove!

It’s time to be mindful shoppers and choose clothes that are timeless and durable. Not only will it save the planet, but it’s also budget-friendly.

You know what’s even better? We’re making a real difference here, one chic outfit at a time. So go ahead and flaunt those stylish, sustainable pieces like the eco-superstar you are! Remember, being eco-chic is the ultimate trend that’ll never go out of style!

2. Buy Mindfully

Most of us, myself included, at some point or another have treated ourselves to a bit of retail therapy, but making purchase decisions when you’re emotional isn’t the best idea. 

Before buying something new use this test:

  1. Is this a good fit for your body shape?
  2. Can you mix and match it with other things in my wardrobe?
  3. Does buying this brand and product fit with your personal value system?
  4. Will I wear it 30 times or more, for the next 3+ years?

Making mindful purchase decisions allows you to evaluate the reasoning behind your purchase. It will help you waste less and save money in the long term. I have many friends, that I love dearly, who have items in their “not so minimalist wardrobe” with the labels still attached months after it’s been purchased!

Buying more sustainably means that the items you do purchase should be constructed with quality, last several years, fit you beautifully and make you feel like a million bucks every time you wear it.  

3. Research the Companies and Brands you’re Buying From

It might sound daunting and time-consuming, but important purchases are worth researching. Knowing where your clothing comes from will help you understand:

  1. What the company is doing to reduce its environmental impact
  2. Whether those who made the product are treated fairly
  3. How transparent the company is about their production processes
  4. From which materials the products are made
  5. How far it will travel before it gets to you (closer is better of course)

We have created short a list of 10 ethical and sustainable fashion brands to get you started, Remake has an extensive list of sustainable and ethical brands that’s also quite helpful.

Repair-Minimalist-Wardrobe

4. Repair

Taking the time to repair your favourite pieces, either yourself or by using a local seamstress, will save you countless hours of shopping for something new again and again. You will reduce waste, carbon emissions and you will be supporting a local business if you pay for someone to repair it for you.

5. Buy Vintage and Trade

Thrifting and trading are becoming more and more popular, there are some great sites such as Thrifted, Beyond Retro and local charity shops are great examples of where you can find incredible items for less. See our list of online thrift stores for a few ideas.

Thrifting helps reduce the demand for new clothing production, which is a major contributor to environmental pollution and resource depletion. By buying second-hand clothes or trading, you give a new life to pre-loved items, preventing them from ending up in landfills.

Moreover, thrifting supports a circular economy, where clothing gets reused and repurposed, minimizing waste and conserving valuable resources. It also reduces the energy and water consumption associated with the production of new clothes, making it a greener choice.

Thrift stores often offer unique and vintage pieces, allowing you to express your individual style without contributing to the homogenized fashion industry. You can discover hidden gems and stand out with one-of-a-kind outfits that no one else has.

“The whole thing of clothes is insane. You can spend a dollar on a jacket in a thrift store. And you can spend a thousand dollars on a jacket in a shop. And if you saw those two jackets walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t know which was which.”

Helen Mirren

6. Rent for Special Occasions

If you need a statement piece that you’re likely to only wear once, renting is a great solution. There is an increasing number of rental stores at a range of prices that will help you look great for every event, and your more sustainable & minimalist wardrobe won’t be clogged up with single wear items. It’s a win-win for everyone! Companies such as Hirestreet and Hire the Catwalk are options to consider

7. Buy Timeless Chic

Think timeless chic that fits your personality and body shape perfectly when you buy new pieces. The best ones are those that make you feel more confident, relaxed and happy. Timeless pieces are designed to endure changing fashion trends, meaning they won’t go out of style quickly, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

By opting for classic, versatile items, you create a more sustainable wardrobe that stands the test of time. This helps combat the fast fashion culture that encourages constant consumption and waste.

Classic chic often boasts higher quality and craftsmanship, making them more durable and less likely to wear out quickly. As a result, you contribute to a circular economy by extending the lifespan of your garments and reducing overall clothing waste.

Choosing your clothing wisely encourages thoughtful consumption and a focus on quality over quantity. By valuing and caring for your clothing, you align with sustainable practices that benefit both the environment and your wallet. So, embrace timeless fashion to make a lasting impact on the planet and your personal style.

Keeping up with the latest fashion trends really is exhausting and hard work, rather spend your precious time on the things that count, family, friends and experiences. The older you become, the more you’ll appreciate the timeless silhouettes in your go-to sustainable wardrobe that makes you feel incredible. 

Minimalist Wardrobe

8. Wash Less

This might sound a little too “extreme eco-warrior”, but hear us out. Washing your clothing after every wear adds to environmental damage in a few ways:

  1. Using laundry detergent and its associated packaging adds to the environmental impact
  2. Washing most fabrics that contain things like acrylic, polyester and elastane sheds microplastics every time it’s washed. Studies have shown that garments can shed up to 1,900 fibres a wash which most likely will end up in the ocean where fish will ingest them, which in turn will end up on your plate (unless you’re veggie of course)
  3. Exessive washing and using a drier reduces the life of your carefully selected pieces

Whenever you’ve worn something inspect it and please smell it too, to see if it does need washing before putting it in the washbasket and use an eco-friendly and zero waste laundry detergent when you wash. Things like jeans can be worn many times before it needs a wash. 

9. Go for Sustainable Fabrics

When it comes to sustainable fashion, eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton and hemp take center stage. Organic cotton is grown without harmful pesticides, reducing environmental impact, while hemp is a versatile plant requiring minimal water and pesticides. Both materials are biodegradable, ensuring a more sustainable end-of-life for clothing items.

Natural fibres aren’t always a foolproof solution as the cotton production process for e.g. use a lot of water. Fabrics like bamboo, which is turned into a type of Ryaon, and hemp can be better in this case but usually contain a percentage of elastane to give it stretch as they don’t have the same stretch capability as synthetic fibres so washing only when needed. 

Choosing sustainable materials for clothing brings several benefits. Firstly, it minimizes the use of toxic chemicals, promoting healthier ecosystems and protecting farmers’ well-being. Secondly, it reduces water consumption, a critical resource in the fashion industry. Lastly, sustainable fabrics typically have a smaller carbon footprint, contributing to the fight against climate change.

For those interested in embracing sustainable fabrics, numerous brands and resources cater to eco-conscious shoppers. Brands like Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, and Reformation prioritize sustainable materials in their collections. Additionally, organizations like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) provide valuable information and certifications for sustainable fabrics.

Final Thoughts

Building a sustainable wardrobe is not just a fashion trend; it’s an essential step towards a greener and more responsible future. By embracing eco-friendly practices, we can significantly reduce the fashion industry’s environmental impact and promote a more ethical and compassionate approach to clothing.

It’s crucial to take action and make conscious choices in your fashion journey. Every small decision, from supporting sustainable brands to thrifting and caring for our clothes, contributes to a larger positive impact on the planet.

Together, we can be part of the sustainable fashion community and create a powerful movement for change. By sharing knowledge, supporting one another, and encouraging responsible fashion practices, we have the potential to transform the fashion industry and protect our planet for future generations. Let’s unite in this mission and make a difference by building a sustainable wardrobe that not only reflects our style but also our values. Together, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and stylish future.

Sharing is caring!

4 thoughts on “9 Steps to a more Sustainable Wardrobe”

  1. Love these ideas! We try to mend clothes and by thrift as much as is convenient, and it truly makes a big difference! Clothes should be made to last, it’s sad when they fall apart after one season or less.

    1. Absolutely, there are really nice thrift stores popping up everywhere now!

  2. Very informative post! Though I had some basic ideas of sustainable clothing, your post made me more clear ??

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top