Just lately I have been making a conscious effort to be kinder to the environment just by making little changes. Like making sure I recycle everything that can be recycled. Another way in which I can be kinder is by making sustainable clothing choices!
The fashion industry is a wasteful one. From the manufacturing process to the transportation methods to what can be many different locations involved in the process, it is not an industry that’s been kind to the environment.
Stella McCartney recently spoke about how the industry needs to change, but is there anything that we as consumers can do? Perhaps you’re sick of looking in your wardrobe and having the familiar ‘nothing to wear’ moment? Do you regularly buy very cheap clothing knowing you can throw it away without much thought if it goes out of fashion next month? Fast fashion is wreaking havoc on the environment, and we can all play a part in reducing it’s harm.
If you’re aiming for a greener 2018, these tips should help you change your approach to how you buy your clothes.
Choose sustainable clothing
For wardrobe staples like a good pair of jeans, winter jumpers and coats, consider paying more for good quality that you’ll wear again and again. Good quality clothing will stand the test of time – you’ll find that they will last longer and will also resist fast fashion. Research companies to find how their clothes are made and consider choosing more sustainable options.
Hire clothes for special occasions
For occasions that call for something extra special, consider renting an outfit rather than buying one. If you’ve got a big event coming up like a wedding or a big party, take a look at what’s on offer from Rent the Runway or Hire the Catwalk. You pick your outfit, receive it in the post and just send it back after your agreed rental period. Using one of these sites means you can wear a great outfit, but know that it’ll be used again and not left in your wardrobe forever more. If you do wish to actually buy a new outfit, make sure you can justify it by wearing it on several occasions (it’s ok to wear the same outfit twice – if anyone judges you for that, that’s their problem!)
Try to buy second hand clothes
eBay is a great place to find clothes. If you find yourself lusting after a new outfit in a shop, do a quick search on ebay and see if you can get it second hand. Many people buy items that are still pretty much brand new – they might have taken it home to find it doesn’t fit like they thought, or have only worn it once or twice. Just watch out for postage costs – you may need to find a courier service yourself if the seller doesn’t offer postage.
If you’d rather do your shopping in person, charity shops are fantastic places to find hidden gems, and for a fraction of their price when they were brand new. Charity shops are also a great place to look for books, DVDs and board games!
Have your old clothes altered
Over time our favourite clothes get damaged and need some TLC to get back to how they once were. Many problems are easily fixed like lost buttons, rips and slight sizing alterations, so try taking these clothes down to your local tailor to see how they can help. You might even like to take on the sewing project yourself – perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to sew and making a small alteration or adding some decorations to an old piece of clothing could be just the thing to get you started.
Arrange clothes parties
Why not get your friends together for a clothes party? Invite some friends round for an evening and ask everyone to bring pre-loved clothes that they don’t want anymore. It’s a great way to catch up with loved ones and swap clothes – you might just find a wonderful outfit that your friend no longer wants and get rid of some of your old clothes without having throwing them away into landfill.