The decades of the fashion industry moving at breakneck speed and churning out new garments every hour, one thing is clear: the planet is paying the price.
Even with the recent attempts of some brands to appear greener, it is also up to consumers to work towards a solution. The good news is that you can help reduce the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry in a few simple steps.
One of the most straightforward strategies is to simply extend the lifespan of your wardrobe. Here’s how:
- Buy Quality over Quantity
Do you remember the last item of clothing that you bought which you ended up only wearing once? With ever-evolving trends, there is pressure to keep up, which leads to more people buying cheap, fast fashion garments.
The mass production of cheap and poorly-made clothes is increasing the amount of textile waste. Those trendy $10 dresses come at a much higher cost to the environment. Purchasing higher quality garments is a more sustainable way to reduce the environmental impact. More quality made clothing is more durable and long-lasting, so you won’t need to buy pieces so frequently.
Double-check your intended purchase by investigating the fabric thickness, the construction of the garment, and the stitching quality. When selecting shoes, look at the construction, the material, the sole and the insole, you will easily be able to tell if they are built for the long run. Properly-made shoes can be worn for years and even passed down if they are looked after, which is why it is worth taking your shoes to a reputable cobbler at the first sight of any damage.
- Repair Damaged Garments
It can be better for your wallet and for the environment to invest in repairing your clothes, rather than throwing them away. Cleaning stains and fixing holes is easy and can often be done yourself with a quick stitch or two.
Here are some more reasons to keep your clothes in good condition.
- When you take care of your clothes, they have that brand-new, unworn look.
- Repairing small holes avoids them turning into big tears, which can be harder to fix.
- By acting quickly, you will save money on specialised dry cleaning and complicated repair services.
Here are some things you can do to avoid your garments ending up in a landfill.
- Take care of stains before they embed themselves into the fabric.
- Take delicate garments to the dry cleaners for professional service.
- Fix tears, rips, fraying edges, and split seams if you have basic sewing skills.
- Visit a tailor who can patch up tears that you can’t fix yourself.
- Swap Clothes Instead of Buying New Ones
Consider a clothes swap with friends and family–you might be surprised at what you can exchange. It is even possible to swap shoes, simply give them a clean inside and out. Many cities now have cloth swap events that can be found online or via social media groups. There are some amazing pieces to be found for next to nothing.
- Donate Your Clothes
One other way to maintain an eco-friendly closet is to donate items you no longer want. Many charitable organisations or initiatives no longer accept clothing donations that are not in wearable condition. Therefore, make sure you donate garments that are not stained or heavily damaged– another reason to keep your clothes in good condition. If someone you know needs a particular item of clothing or is the same size as you, then offer it to them instead of throwing it away.
- Invest in a Capsule Wardrobe
Right now, capsule wardrobes are wildly popular, and for good reason. They alleviate the need to constantly buy new garments by focussing on a few effortlessly interchangeable quality pieces.
With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll only own a limited number of essential items that you can wear year-round. Select clothes that are durable, easy to style, and flatter your figure. When it comes to your shoe collection, integrate a few pairs that are practical, stylish and easy to coordinate with your clothes. Think about which essentials you need such as boots and sandals, then select a high-quality pair that will be worth repairing over the years.
Choosing clothes that are classic and comfortable is the first step to a more sustainable wardrobe. From shoes to outfits, invest in pieces that you will still love in years to come and opt to repair items to extend their use. With a few simple practices, your wardrobe can become more eco-friendly in no time.
My Healthcare Rewards team x