Wednesday, February 26, 2020

How to Incorporate More Sustainable Fashion In Your Closet

How to Incorporate More Sustainable Fashion In Your Closet

Fashion is fantastic! It's fun, gives you the ability to express your personality, and even help boost your confidence. But we do need to be aware of fast fashion and how much we purchase from it. As convenient and budget friendly as it may be for us, has a great deal to answer for. Some companies providing fast fashion contribute to horrible working conditions in factories around the world. It also comes with a huge environmental price tag. Fast fashion is responsible for irresponsible GM cotton farming and the huge problem of textile waste, leaching harmful compounds into our oceans and poisoning the wildlife, plant life and indigenous people that depend on them. Fast fashion has its place, and I don't believe you need to fully abstain. In fact, I really like it when I want to try a trend out and have even found plenty of garments that have a more timeless style and thus have staying power, versatility, and durability in my closet.  But how can we reduce the impact elsewhere?

How do you make sure your gorgeous new spring wardrobe doesn’t come with a side order of guilt? Don't worry! There are lots of great ways in which you can look good while also doing your bit for sustainability. 

Buy used wherever you can

If you can wear it, you can buy it used. In fact, the whole family can look fantastic and do their bit for sustainability while also saving a lot of money. Even prestige brand clothes, accessories and jewelry can be bought used. Check out these prices on a used Rolex Daytona. Most of my designer items are secondhand and I have no regrets. I've gotten some great deals and I'm not so fussy about wearing them because of their reduced price tag. I also love buying used clothing for my children when I have the opportunity. They grow so fast and get everything stained so if I find something in good shape used, I'm all for it! There are no shortage of places where you can buy great used clothes and accessories. Thrift stores, buy/sell apps, garage sales and, of course, eBay as well as specialist used and vintage clothing stores are a great source of new and upcycled fashion that can help you look good while saving money and the planet.

Even dedicated followers of fashion will struggle to justify buying new when they’ve seen all their available options.   
How to Incorporate More Sustainable Fashion In Your Closet

Buy organic and fairtrade cotton

Cotton is a staple in many closets. It’s a natural and versatile fabric that’s good for all skin types and stands up well to repeat washing. However, the world of cotton farming is surprisingly cutthroat. For this reason, when buying new cotton you should exclusively buy organic and fairtrade cotton to support the farmers who are currently being muscled out of the market by cheaper GMO crops.

Find ways to get more outfits out of fewer clothes

Sustainability Momma Bea Johnson is a queen of zero-waste fashion. Take a leaf out of her book and learn about how you can (and should) mix and match garments to make a range of different outfits and make familiar clothes look brand new with different pairings. On her website, you can see the ways in which she’s able to make 50 outfits out of just 15 garments. Even the busiest socialite would struggle to find a use for 50 outfits, yet few have anywhere near as little as 15 items in their closets.

Avoid impulse purchasing

Shopping has become a way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon rather than the process of buying the things we need. Don’t fall into the trap of buying new clothes just because you’re bored. Try making a list of things you need in your closet and sticking to the list. An impulse buy every once in a while is fine and adds interest and fun to your wardrobe, but a closet full means your closet probably isn't as versatile as it could be. 

How to Incorporate More Sustainable Fashion In Your Closet

Don’t wash your clothes unless they need to be washed

Finally, when you wash and tumble dry your clothes, not only are you using more water and energy, you’re contributing to tiny cotton particles getting into the water supply. And when cotton is in water it doesn’t biodegrade in the same way as in air and can  actually be harmful to the environment. Of course you want to be fresh and hygienic… but think twice before you wash. Aside from active wear that you wear at the gym, most items can be worn 2-3 times before washing. Leggings can be worn 2-3 times and jeans should actually be washed as rarely as possible. You can try freezing them to get rid of odors. 

And of course, when you decide an item no longer has a place in your closet, don't throw it away! Try giving it away, donating it, or you can even take it to a place that recycles textiles. That way your old clothing won't end up in a landfill. 

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