Most people realize now that we are quickly depleting the planet’s resources and struggling to keep up with the ever-growing demand of the consumer. One of the worst things out there for the planet is clothes. Fast fashion has a huge impact on the planet, with many of the pieces ending up in a landfill soon after being purchased. If you know the dangers of fast fashion and purchasing more clothes than you have places to wear them to, it’s time to start working on your sustainable style. Below, we’ll take a look at 11 steps to sustainable style that anyone can use:
- Buy Second Hand
Start by buying secondhand and looking for secondhand pieces before you buy a brand new piece. You can find almost new pieces on sites like Depop and Vinted at a fraction of the cost, and you’ll be putting less of a strain on both your wallet and the planet.
- Go Thrift Shopping
Head out thrift shopping and look in vintage stores to see what you can find. It can be really fun to wear vintage items and style them up with more modern items. You can find some truly unique items that look amazing and will set you apart. Plus, nobody will have the same piece as you, which is more than you can say for those who shop at the same high street stores!
- Buy From Sustainable Brands
Buying from sustainable fashion brands when you do want to buy a new piece is crucial. Do your research – many of these brands are simply ‘greenwashing’ and making it look like they are greener than they are! Just because something is ‘finished in Portugal’, doesn’t mean it wasn’t made in China by people paid less than minimum wage and then flown over to Portugal, which is bad for both the people and the planet. See if you can find pieces that are plant based, cruelty free, and allergy free and you’ll have some high quality items that you can pair with many different things in your wardrobe. Make sure you consider the impact of pieces before you buy them – for instance, mixed materials tend to be worse for the planet than items that are 100% polyester or cotton.
- Buy Things You Know You’ll Wear A Lot
When you do buy an item, make sure you will wear it a lot. Consider the cost per wear, as well as what you can mix and match these pieces with in your wardrobe. You should be able to think of multiple outfits and ways to style the piece. If you can’t, then it’s probably best you leave it for now as you may not wear it as much as you think.
- Know Your Personal Style
Knowing your own personal style will help you to feel more confident in the outfits you wear. You’ll also waste less money on pieces that you won’t really wear! How would you describe yourself? What words would you use? Do your outfits match up to that? Your clothes should match your style, your lifestyle, and make you feel good. If they aren’t doing those things, then you need to rethink a few things.
- Avoid Trends
Trends come and go so quickly, and this is one of the main reasons that pieces end up on a landfill. Avoid trends, and invest in your personal style instead. If you absolutely must follow a trend, see if you can find a vintage piece that is the real deal first – after all, trends always go and then come back again.
- Know What Has Worked For You And Why
Look back at outfits you have worn that you felt like your best self in. Why do you think they made you feel so good? Was it the color, the fit, or how comfortable it felt? When you know the pieces that have worked for you and why, you can build on that and make sure that any other pieces you purchase in the future match up.
- Know What Hasn’t Worked For You and Why
Just the same way as before, look at what didn’t work for you and why. Maybe you thought you would love something, but you wore it out and realized you hated the scratchy material or the color. When you know exactly what works for you and what doesn’t, you’ll be less likely to buy pieces that aren’t for you. Just because you like the way something looks on the hanger or on somebody else doesn’t mean you should own it.
- Rework Old Pieces
Why not see if you can turn your old pieces into something new? Reworking old pieces can be a fabulous hobby and help you to create some truly unique looks. If you love a fabric of a thrifted piece, then see if you can transform that into something special. Get creative. If you find a vintage or second hand dress that’s a little too big, take it to somebody to have it fitted, or see if you can take care of it yourself.
- Swap With Friends and Family
Clothes swaps with friends and family can be endlessly satisfying, too. Everybody take a big bag of clothes and see what you can find. It’ll feel like a brand new wardrobe to you all, and you’ll get rid of pieces that you no longer like!
- Care For Your Items
If you really want to get into sustainable style, you need to maintain the clothes you already own. Wash them less, and use a wash spray inbetween wears to keep things fresh. Always follow the instructions, and consider dealing with things like marks on the spot instead of putting the whole thing in the washing machine. Mend these items rather than throw them away at the first sight of wear. Only get rid of them when you know they are unwearable, or when they no longer bring you joy – and even then, if you can give them a new lease of life, then do!