Reducing your carbon footprint is all about reducing waste. These 10 tips will help you create a wardrobe you love and don’t have to replace every 5 minutes. The less you replace, the more sustainable your wardrobe is.
1. Identify with and fall in love with your core style
One of the main reasons why we end up having a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear is because we have not identified our core style. Once you know what this is, scouting for ideal items will come naturally to you.
Think critically about what image you want to portray with your clothing as well as what looks good on you and what is practical and comfortable.
Some common core styles include classic/ sophisticated, romantic, bohemian, biker, and streetwear. When you know your core style, you won’t purchase items that don’t suit you or the rest of your closet. This ensures these items will be worn and enjoyed for years to come.
2. Invest in quality items
Invest in a few key quality items that are built to last. Choose items that are sturdy and well made. Some examples of great quality items include leather sandals or boots, a great coat, or a well-fitting pair of jeans. These items may cost a pretty penny but can last you up to 7 years or more.
It is also worth your while to keep your cupboard well stocked with basic items (like white t-shirts, camisoles, a little black dress, pumps etc), these items compliment your more expensive pieces and help keep your wardrobe looking fresh (without you having to buy a whole set of new clothes every time you want a change!
3. Only buy a few statement pieces
Fashion is unfortunately not timeless, rather spend your money on quality items (and some key basic items) rather than fill your cupboard with fashion pieces. Fashion items usually pack quite a punch and are not easily mixed and matched for different effects.
This means you are going to feel like you are wearing the same outfit to every event and this will make you want to buy more and more and more!
4. Learn to mix and match
Mixing and matching is an art! If done correctly, you can make several outfits from a relatively small wardrobe without it looking like you have been reusing your clothes. Remember that the aim of the game with a sustainable wardrobe is to have less clothes because less clothes means less resources used to create your look.
5. Buy clothes that actually fit
Don’t even buy a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit with the idea that you will lose/ gain weight to ideally fit into it. This very rarely happens, and you will end up with a cupboard filled with clothes that you literally can’t wear!
6. Buy local
A steadfast way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy local clothes made from locally sourced materials because transport leaves a massive carbon footprint. By doing this you are supporting your local economy and helping it grow.
7. Swap clothes with friends and family
Before you throw anything away and buy any new items, have a swap meet with friends and family. Remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
8. Visit your local thrift shop
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Consider stocking your cupboard with some vintage items found at your local thrift shop. Not only will these items be the epitome of ‘reuse’, but they will most likely be pretty easy on your wallet as well!
9. Look after your clothes
Don’t wash clothes that aren’t dirty (save water, detergent and expand the lifespan of your clothes), just because you wore something once does not qualify it for a wash. Take the time to follow the washing instructions on the label and learn to dry and store your clothes appropriately so that they retain their shape and colour.
10. Learn to fix small breaks and tears
Our final tip is to learn how to mend minor breaks and tears in your clothes before they ruin the item. If this is not in your wheelhouse, find someone who can do this for you. Sewing up a tiny hole or replacing a worn-out heel will extend the life of your clothes and prevent permanent damage.