Sustainable Fashion – 5 Ways to Build a Sustainable Wardrobe
And we’re back to regular schedule! (Blog post every Wednesday and Friday)
First off, I feel like I owe you, my loyal readers, an apology for the silence. You don’t deserve it and I’ll do better.
It is currently 2:15 am and for the past three to four days, I have been working non-stop on an assignment so much so that I’ve had very little time for anything else, not even to eat.
I recently went back to study and the schedule with everything else I have going on is just ridiculous which means I have to use any spare moment I have to plan content and everything else in between. So instead of sleeping, I am writing this today, on Tuesday morning so that you get to read it on Wednesday.
Now that that is out of the way, let us get into what today’s post is about – SUSTAINABLE FASHION.
I’ve always on an unconscious level been participating in sustainable fashion since my teens. But what is sustainable fashion, you ask? Well, sustainable fashion is a little bit difficult for me to explain so I have sourced the definition from undressrunways.com; sustainable fashion is about being kind to the environment, responsible with earth’s resources and “treating our fellow garment workers like human beings”. This means looking at the tag, using what you have and being creative in your wardrobe choices.
Does that make it clear enough now? Good.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been participating in sustainable fashion since my teenage years. I spent some time in the UK and discovered the wonders of charity shops. Think what you will, but I always manage to snag some good quality, inexpensive items at charity shops. £5 for a Dorothy Perkins jacket? Yes, please! This sort of carried over to my older years and even today, I will still occasionally visit a thrift store or vintage store – that is my absolute favourite!
Wearing an item of clothing that is pre-loved has never bothered me especially because I make sure the outfit is in good condition and I wash or dry clean before I wear it.
Sustainable fashion is not an easy thing to practice in a consumerist society. We seem to want to acquire more not less without much thought about how our incessant purchases affect the environment.
But it’s not too late to make a change, here are five ways to build a more sustainable fashion wardrobe:
1. Less is more
Buy less. Quality over quantity. In this age of social media, its social suicide to not have a lot of everything thanks to influencers and bloggers – guilty! – showing off their excess. But to be sustainable and care for the environment, it is necessary to re-think your purchasing decisions. Wearing the same thing over and over again can be boring for some that like variety but on my blog and Instagram page, I often share more than one way to style an outfit mostly to help your pocket but also to help the environment.
So, the next time you go shopping if it is not a need but a want then just leave it. The environment and your bank account will thank you.
2. Wash less
Do you need to wash your jeans as frequently as you do? The answer is an emphatic N.O! According to Who What Wear, on dailyedge.ie, you should only be washing your jeans every 4 to 5 wears. Some of your clothes also don’t need to go in the washing machine after every wear. If there is no sweat, stain and it doesn’t smell, wear it a second time. The more you wash, the more likely your clothes will fade and then you’ll have to replace them and that costs money but more importantly, you’re not helping the environment.
But that’s more advice for me than it is for you.
3. Vintage & Thrift Shopping
I love a good bargain but aside from the exciting quirky, one-of-a-kind items, you find while vintage shopping, you are also helping the planet. There is nothing wrong with wearing second-hand clothing. You do it when you try on an outfit at a store. But what’s great about thrifting or vintage shopping is that no one else will have the same outfit as you. They can try but they will never be you.
Instead of throwing your unwanted clothes in the bin (I’ve done it before and I’m not proud), why not recycle or donate it to charity? H&M is a fashion brand that has been at the forefront of sustainable fashion. In 2018, H&M collected 20, 649 tonnes of textiles for reuse and recycling through their garment collecting initiative. Read more about it here.
5. Buy Eco-friendly brands
There are sustainable, eco-friendly brands that use recyclable materials but they often come at a hefty price. For example, international fashion designer, Stella McCartney of the eponymous name brand has been creating sustainable luxury fashion for more than 20 years now. One of her eco-canvas monogram Falabella bag costs $910 upwards, yikes! But in South Africa, there are affordable, local and ethically sourced brands like Sitting Pretty and Fundudzi among many others.
You don’t have to do all 5. You can do 1 of 5 or 2 of 5 but just start.
As a fashion blogger, it’s very easy to get caught up in the act of acquiring and we do this without thinking of the damage to the environment. But whatever you are, you can help the environment with any of these steps and a change in your mindset.
Cover image sourced here
Fashion image sourced here