The production of new clothing and fashion manufacturing accounts for 10% of all global carbon emissions, which is more than all flights and maritime shipping combined. The industry contributes a huge amount towards global warming and climate change which is slowly destroying our planet. For a lot of fashion addicts, this can be tough to hear because it is not only an interest and a hobby, but also a method of expression and creativity. Fashion is deeply ingrained within our society. Trying the latest trend and dressing up is important to people's identities; it can make you feel confident and empowered. The good news is that we don't need to boycott the whole industry, we simply need to make better choices and change our approach.
Shopping for used and up-cycled clothing
With the rise of eBay, Depop, and Vinted, it has never been easier to shop second hand. There are so many unique gems to be found, which has been made more accessible through re-sellers and small businesses sourcing the coolest items from all over the world. I can almost guarantee that you'll find something similar to what you're looking for on these sites, or something else that is completely unique and that sparks your interest. Reworked vintage clothing is even more exciting because it incorporates parts of used garments to be used in new and exciting ways, but keeping some original features intact. It often involves cutting off damaged parts that would have just been discarded in the trash if it wasn't for a creative intervention, extending the life and history of the garment.
Using tote bags as reusable bags
When it comes to shopping, whether it be for groceries, books or clothing, you should opt for a high quality tote bag which allows you to avoid using plastic bags. A lot of retailers have updated their practices and now provide customers with bags made from recycled materials, paper, or that are biodegradable. However, if you are able to avoid using them, it puts less waste into the world and reduces your carbon footprint. Imagine how many bags you used last month, all of which could have been replaced by one simple handy bag. Keep your tote in your handbag or car, so that you can use it for last minute shop trips. We offer a range of reworked tote bags with an added inner pocket so that they can also be used as a handbag, and to provide you with easier access to your valuables which often get lost at the bottom of the bag.
Repairing and saving your own clothing
Re-wearing your own clothes is one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable. We often throw away garments when damage occurs such as stains, holes and fading. It's especially heartbreaking when this happens to one of your most beloved items. However, a lot of clothes can be saved through simple repairs. For example, if there is a hole near a hem you will be able to easily sew it up, and because it's located near a seam it will be barely noticeable and look good as new. There are also so many stain removers on the market that work like magic and remove the toughest stains, for example Vanish Gold Power Gel. There are many articles online that advise how to treat specific stains so it's worth giving these a go before throwing it away. Another easy way to save your clothes is by cropping - if the stain or hole is at the bottom of your t-shirt, sleeve, or trousers, simply cut it off! Turn your t-shirt into a crop top, or your trousers into a brand new pair of shorts. For more info on how to save your clothes - check out our article.
Buying staple high quality pieces
Fast fashion is not only devastating to the planet, but also the majority of items are made from fabric that is poor quality and they are rushed through the production line to maximise output, which ultimately leads to a badly made garment. These items won't last very long and will quickly be thrown away. On the other hand, it can be difficult to find high quality pieces that don't break the bank, particularly in comparison to clothing made by fast fashion brands, which is why it's so difficult to avoid temptation and buy from them. However, it's important to have hindsight in the fact that higher quality pieces will last in your wardrobe for much longer, and in the long run will save you money because you will not need to replace it every few months. Buying higher quality staple pieces is especially important, because these are items that you will rotate on a daily basis and that will be used the most. Higher quality = longer lifespan, and will not only save you money in the long run, but also reduce your consumption and impact on the environment.
Using your friends wardrobe
Some of us aren't lucky enough to have a sister or mother who's a similar size and whose wardrobe we can dip in and out of, but don't forget about utilising your friends' wardrobes. A lot of your friends would be willing to lend you clothes and vice versa, it's exciting to have access to new clothes at no extra cost particularly for an event or special occasion. It's only natural and very human to eventually get bored of certain items and seek out buying more clothes, especially if you love trying new trends. If your friend owns an item that you're looking for, you could ask to borrow it for a day to see how you would be able to style it and whether the trend is even right for you, before buying it new. You could even organise a clothes swap, whereby you all bring clothes that you no longer wear and trade for something new. Again, this is a way of adding clothes to your wardrobe at no extra cost to your wallet or the planet.
For more advice on how to be more sustainable with your wardrobe, check out our other blog posts and follow us on Instagram.