With £30 billion worth of clothes hung unworn in UK wardrobes, the impact of our shopping habits is having a huge devastation effect on the environment. Impacting water pollution, waste disposal, crop irrigation, greenhouse gasses and human lives, the fashion industry is now the second biggest polluter on the planet. Fast fashion is the new norm and rather than having two collections a year, online retailers are bringing out new lines, every month, week and even day. Many of which are being sold at discount prices. The strategy of selling bottom line clothes, not made to be long-lasting and easy to fall apart, encourage consumers to consistently buy clothes week after week, without regard for the impact this is having on our planet.
Designers such as Stella McCartney and Mara Hoffman are leading the way in sustainability within the industry. Designing clothes which are ethically produced and use more sustainable materials, both Stella and Mara are increasingly open about how their clothes are manufactured and how their supply chains are built. The idea of creating increasingly sustainable clothes lines is slowly trickling down through high street retailers. Large chain stores such as international brand H&M have released specialized lines such as organically sourced cotton T-Shirts and recycling initiatives. And although, buying said ‘specialized’ lines is a step in the right direction, showing retailers that there is a larger demand for these products-there are also numerous other ways in which we can create a more sustainable wardrobe. Too, for those that cannot afford clothes within the higher price point of hand crafted designer items, it is possible to make a difference within our own wardrobe. This is possible by looking at various aspects of the clothes we buy: where we buy, what we buy, how we look after them and what we do when we are ‘finished’ with them.
10 Ways To Create A More Sustainable Wardrobe:
The Capsule Wardrobe.
Keep to one wardrobe. Having a smaller wardrobe limits the items you buy, if it doesn’t fit – don’t add to it.
Buying items which will match the rest of the wardrobe – this limits the amount of clothes and accessories you will buy and each item has many others to mix and match within the colour palette.
Mend & Repair.
Repair clothes when they are damaged. Sew on buttons, re-sew hems, patch up holes and organically dye washed out colours.
Shopping habits come from style inspiration, so click unsubscribe on all the fast fashion emails that always lead to your unnecessary fashion purchases.
If you have clothes you do not want, fit or need anymore – organise a clothes swap event. Rather than throwing away clothes, you will be able to update your wardrobe with items from other people and recycle yours.
Look into where you are buying your clothes from. Try to shop clothes made from eco-friendly materials and from companies with sustainable supply chains. To find out more about affordable sustainable brands click here.
Buy Second Hand.
Not everyone wants to buy from charity shops, but shopping in vintage stores or on websites like eBay, makes it possible to find designer clothes at a fraction of the price or rare gems for every style.
Wash & Dry.
Washing at a lower temperature not only saves energy, it too helps keep the colour and is less likely to misshape clothes. Whilst, hanging clothes out to dry, saves the environmental and financial cost of using a tumble dryer.
Create A List.
Planning your wardrobe is essential in buying more of what you need rather than what you want. Write a list of items which you want to buy and if you do not really need the item-cross it off. Left with items you need, if 2 months later you still need the item, then you buy.
Love Your Clothes.
Loving your wardrobe is the key to being more sustainable. Clothes are worn to empower and represent you-you should love each and every item you own. If you do not love it, you will not take the utmost care of it. If you do not love it, you will not re-wear it. If you do not love it, you do not need it.