Like all trends, what's popular in fashion can change in a flash.
After all, the biggest fashion brands, like H&M, offer at least 12 collections yearly just to keep up with trends. As a result, Business Insider reveals that fashion generates excessive waste — with 85% of textiles ending up in landfills every year. Not to mention, fashion contributes to 10% of total carbon emissions, while polluting our waters too.
Because of how much environmental harm the fashion industry is causing, consumers have a responsibility to make their wardrobes and fashion habits as sustainable as possible. Fortunately, being an eco-conscious consumer doesn’t have to mean splurging hundreds of dollars on a brand new linen shirt or throwing out all your fast fashion items. It’s completely possible to make your wardrobe sustainable without spending too much.
That being said, here are a few ways you can make your wardrobe sustainable without breaking the bank:
Quality over quantity
It’s time to change the mindset of buying certain clothing because they are cheap or on sale. If you find yourself buying a new shirt every other month because the old one is no longer in good condition, it will cost you more in the long run compared to if you shelled out more for a well-made, good quality shirt. Start thinking of clothes as investment pieces, as this will also help reduce the amount of clothes that just end up as waste.
Choose timeless and well-fitting styles
Being sustainable doesn't mean that you have to completely give up buying any clothes. Like we said, you just have to be certain that what you choose is an investment that you'll love for years. As such, it's good to select pieces that are timeless and will flatter your body type and style the most. If you're on the slim side, Pretty Me's guide to the best dresses for petites notes that wrap dresses and v-neck dresses are great at elongating your figure. You may want to avoid bulky, puffy clothes as they might not flatter your natural structure. On the other hand, plus-size women could do well with bold patterns and prints. Veer away from horizontal stripes, as this might make you appear wider. Of course, these tips are just a basic guide to choosing clothes you'll actually love and use. But at the end of the day, go with what makes you feel most empowered and happy.
Care for your clothing
Take the time to read the care instructions of your garments, and make sure you follow them. Reviewed’s guide to cleaning fabric explains that different fabrics need specific ways of cleaning to make them last. For instance, acrylic fiber can be washed with warm water in a washing machine. On the other hand, you can wash linen with cold water, but don’t overcrowd them in the washer. Aside from learning how to wash your clothes properly, learn how to repair them as well to give them more use.
Recycle old clothes
The average ‘lifespan’ of a piece of clothing should be at least 30 wears. And once you've outgrown it, see if you can still give it new life by recycling it. Our ‘11 Ways to Recycle Your Old Clothes’ guide shows that you can even rent or sell them if they're still in wearable condition. You can even consider wearing it in other ways. Still have those jogging pants from high school physical education classes? You can still use them as pyjamas. Need rags for cleaning? Peek in your wardrobe and see if you can cut up old tees. You can also simply donate your clothes to charity too.
Having a sustainable wardrobe might seem restricting at first, considering you would have to give up spending a lot of money on fast fashion brands you like. However, being an eco-friendly consumer is easier than you think — and definitely worth it in the long run.
Exclusively written for kindbag.co by Cara Conner