As soon as you mention the word sustainable, peoples eyes tend to glaze over and thoughts of what to have for dinner start popping into their heads.
Yes, it’s kind of a boring subject. Sometimes.
The thought of a sustainable wardrobe might fill our heads with ideas of hippie kaftans, yoga pants, and clothes made from hemp and bamboo (don’t knock it until you have tried it…)
But that’s only such a small part of it.
To have a truly sustainable wardrobe you don’t have to limit your shopping to a few brands or look on the other side of the globe. It’s actually not limiting at all to shop sustainable.
Just follow these 3 rules for a truly sustainable wardrobe.
1. Buy less, but buy better – It doesn’t have to be from any particular brand. You just have to love it and wear it for a long time. Skip the trendy “I wear it for a month when it’s in and then toss it” stuff. Instead, hone in on your truly unique personal style and get items that fit you and your wardrobe perfectly. Make sure to wear it to death before you replace it.
It’s not always about what you buy, but sometimes more about what you don’t buy. Skip the 5 items from the high street and buy one thing you love love love by a designer and you are on your way to a truly sustainable wardrobe.
2. Do your research – If you don’t have the budget for designer clothes. Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to vegetable-dye your own fabric and make your own harem pants just yet.
Instead, choose well within the budget you do have. Some high street brands got great sustainable ranges. Like H&M Conscious Collection – affiliate link. Look for fair trade, ecological and transparent labor policies. Try to find out where the clothes are made and buy from countries where you know the workes will earn a fair wage for the job put in.
There are of course more or less sustainable fabrics, but if you are new to the idea. Just get yourself a few bits in organic cotton and you can go from there. It’s an interest that has to grow on you to actually be sustainable for your lifestyle.
And if your favorite brand ticks none of these boxes? Be vocal! Press for change. If more of us speak up, eventually they will have to listen right?
3. Borrow, swap, mend, sell and recycle – Imagine getting to dive into your friend’s wardrobe and pull out your favorite pieces to call our own for a few months? Why not, it’s not just sustainable, it’s loads of fun too!
Sell anything you have fallen out of love with on sites like Vestiaire Collective.– affiliate link. And why not buy something new second-hand with the cash? Pre-loved is the shit! Not only do you end up with designer gear to high street prices, but you are also doing the environment a big favor.
Mend broken things, organize a clothes swap or why not start a WhatsApp group with all the girls in your size who you could pool dresses to go to weddings in? (I’m in one, they are brilliant. I’m never ever wearing the same dress and neither are my friends!)
The thing about sustainable is that most of the time, it actually ends up saving us money. And you wouldn’t know by looking at your wardrobe that it is in fact sustainable. (Even though you should indeed brag about it).
Sustainability is becoming a lot more normalized and more and more fashionistas and brands are joining in. Until we are 100% there it’s up to us to do our best to help the progress move forward.
I’m hoping I have inspired you guys to keep these 3 simple rules in mind when you are out there shopping for your sustainable wardrobe.
Photo – Ida Zander. My dress is by H&M Conscious collection – affiliate link