If you’re used to buying outfits at the click of a button to stay on top of the latest trends, you might find it overwhelming to suddenly dive into the world of sustainability when it comes to fashion.
But there are a few simple steps to dip your toes and get you started that will not only help the environment but also declutter your wardrobe and please your wallet.
Change your idea of what fashion is
Embracing a sustainable wardrobe starts with identifying what you already have. Changing your mindset to ignore all the advertisements telling you that you need to buy more will help you see that you have solid pieces that serve as your own personal fashion statement.
Do a cleanse
Take a long, hard look at your closet and get rid of what doesn’t make you happy. Keep the pieces that you love, wear, or that make you feel good. MadeSafe.org suggests compiling three piles – keep, donate, and recycle – so that you can easily determine which pieces are meant to be in your life and closet and which ones you can kiss goodbye.
Figure out what’s missing
Take a thorough look at what you have in your three piles and ask yourself why you’re keeping or donating certain items. Find out what you’re missing and make a list – those are the staple pieces that you really need to shop for rather than what’s being marketed as hip in the moment.
Look through your basics
We often forget about the essentials like underwear and socks. While you’re in the swing of things, get rid of any worn out basics. MadeSafe.org suggests replacing them with natural fibers and other conscious materials.
Grab safe materials
Which brings us to the next point… picking eco-friendly materials for your garments! Organic cotton, wool, linen, silk, and hemp are natural materials that are biodegradable meaning they will break down when thrown out or recycled in the future. Materials such as polyester, rayon, nylon, and acrylic are synthetic materials that should be avoided as they will not break down and will contribute to pollution.
Choose ethical brands
Sustainable brands are great, but sustainable brands that shout their ethics from the rooftops are even better. Companies that are transparent about their ethics avoid child labor, pay employees fair wages, and have good working conditions. Look for symbols for B Corporation Certified, Fairtrade International, and bluesign.
Look for high-quality
By choosing high-quality products, you’re ensuring a long lifespan and avoiding fast fashion. This is perfect for those gap items you identified earlier. High-quality items are a bit more expensive, so you’ll likely have to budget for them, however, cutting back on items you don’t need can help.
Embrace thrift store items
Thrifting can land you trendy pieces without breaking the budget! And since these pieces already exist, you’re technically purchasing recycled pieces and not contributing to the production of more clothing. When you gear up to head to the thrift shop, go in with a purpose and keep your eye on the prize: only things you need! You don’t want to end up with another pile of clothes you won’t wear that you have to recycle or donate.
Borrow or rent
This is a great option for special occasions or holidays. Instead of buying a dress, outfit, or costume you’re never going to wear again, opt to rent or borrow instead. This way you don’t fill up the closet with unnecessary items.
Take care of your items
Treat your prized possessions with love and care! Store seasonal clothing properly, follow care instructions, and repair all issues before throwing an item to the curb. You’re wardrobe is an investment, and the better you take care of your items, the longer they’ll last!
For more ideas on how you can save the planet, visit 1Thing.