Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you already know how large of an impact the fashion industry has on our planet (hint: it’s the 2nd largest contributor to global warming!). So… what can you do to minimize your contribution to this?
Here are 7 easy ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable:
1. Invest in nice basics
It’s easy to be tempted to buy cheap basics like camisoles and v-neck tees because, simply, they’re nothing ‘special’ so why pay up? Here’s why: these kinds of pieces will be staples in your closet forever. Rather than buying new camis once a year because they’ve pilled and lost elasticity, invest in higher quality basics with longer lifespans.
2. Ditch fast fashion
Fast fashion is like fast food: cheap, produced in mass quantities, mediocre-quality at best, and just generally bad for you and the planet. Instead of buying into trends, figure out what you genuinely like. What pieces in your closet are you always reaching for? What do those pieces have in common? Discovering your true style will not only help you avoid jumping from trend-to-trend, but also help you curate a closet full of items you truly love. Tip: Pin outfits you like on Pinterest to an “Outfit Inspo” board and see what types of outfits you tend to gravitate towards.
PHOTO: Les Sublimes Paris Tank
3. Make a wishlist
Another great way to avoid unnecessary purchases is to make a wishlist in your phone notes. Anytime you want something, add it to this list instead of buying it right away. Each time you add something, look back at previous items on the list and assess whether you still want them – if not, delete them! If you still want something after 2-3 months, go ahead and treat yourself ;)
4. Host a clothing swap!
Paired with some light apps and cocktails, these can be so fun and are a great way to recycle clothes within your community. Just ask each person to bring a few items (in good condition) in need of a new, loving home and get swapping!
5. Shop consciously
First, decide what you value most. You aren’t going to be able to buy an item produced locally (reducing CO2 emissions) and support foreign developing economies, so what matters most to you? Shopping secondhand is going to be the least-wasteful way to shop, but there are also ways to shop ethically for new clothes. Depending on what you value, you might look for clothing made of recycled or natural fabrics, vegan or cruelty-free pieces, or you might emphasize ethical factory conditions. Moral of the story: always do your research!
6. Get creative!
Nothing says a fun, homey and self-satisfying weekend like a DIY project. Check out Pinterest for lots of recycled clothing inspiration, including how to turn a t-shirt into an infinity scarf, make jeans into an apron or repurpose old sweaters into cozy couch pillows.
7. Take good care of your clothes
A key – if not the key – to a sustainable wardrobe is making your pieces last a long time. This means don’t wash them too often. Opt for alternative ways of killing bacteria and eliminating odor such as putting your clothes in the freezer or spraying them with a vodka-water mix (sounds weird, but trust us). When you do wash your clothes, make sure to wash with cold water and hang dry as much as possible! Minimizing washing is better for your clothes and the environment – plus, less laundry days! Who’s complaining?
Have any suggestions for fun DIY projects or other ways to naturally eliminate odor? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends so they can see how easy (and fun) it can be to have a sustainable wardrobe :)