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Sustainable Fashion: 9 Ways To Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable

Monday, 14th October, 2019

How To Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable - 9 Tips

I have far too many clothes, and if you’re anything like me, you probably do too.

This comes from a variety of different reasons, to not throwing something away, not recycling or buying more than I need. It’s quite a big problem we all face, but I think it’s something we can all overcome, and there’s a lot of benefits of doing this.

If you’re like me and are you want a more clutter free, sustainable way of living when it comes to your fashion and clothing, I’ve got a couple of tips for you on how you might be able to get there. You’re probably thinking, it will cost more money, but it actually doesn’t have to be that way, and you could actually end up saving a lot of money.

Here are my tips on how you can be more sustainable and ethical while still looking stylish.

1. Stop Buying Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is clothing which is cheap to make, cheap to buy, which means generally speaking it’s not as good quality, but because it’s so inexpensive, you’ll buy more and more. It leads to throw away fashion, because it’s so cheap, it’s easy to replace, or so many clothes you’ve got more than you can actually store.

For this reason, fast fashion is the enemy of sustainability. There’s plenty of reasons to stop buying fast fashion, and the big obvious one for this article is because it’s just not sustainable. A £2 T Shirt may sound like a bargain, so 10 for £20 could sound great, but do you really need to buy that many all at once?

It can take 2,700 litres of water to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt according to World Wildlife, so it’s more eco-friendly to make it a one which will last.

2. Quality Over Quantity (Buy Less Buy Better)

The obvious way to stay sustainable is to spend more money per piece of clothing. It doesn’t have to break the bank, and the beauty of this is your going to buy clothes which are hopefully going to last a lot longer, and will therefore cost you less in the long run.

You’ll feel the benefit, with better quality clothing having a better fit, use better materials and you’ll also feel more compelled to take better care of them, since they cost more. Shop less, and buy better quality items.

3. Only Buy What You Need

Moving on from the quality, you should only buy what you need. If you like fashion, buying is so tempting, especially buying online from your favourite brands. But do you really need to buy 4 pairs of jeans and 3 Winter coats? Probably not. Only buy the clothing you need.

This could be anything from a fresh new tee to a complete wardrobe overhaul. As long as you’re following these guidelines, you’ll still be able to be sustainable while also having fresh new things to wear.

Tips For Sustainable Fashion And How To Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable

4. Buy Staple Pieces Over Trends

There’s always the temptation of hopping on to the latest trends. I’ve done it, and it’s something we all do. The problem with this is that trends change. You can overcome this by giving away your old stuff (as I’ll get onto soon), but a more efficient way would be to buy staple pieces.

A leather jacket, a really good quality Winter coat, a quality white T-shirt, a good pair of jeans…These pieces should last for years to come, and will not go out of style. These are a few staple pieces you can buy and have confidence in spending a little bit more, as they’ll never go out of fashion.

5. Build A Smarter Wardrobe Which You’ll Wear

You have a full wardrobe yet you still have nothing to wear…You’re not alone if you’re thinking this, and you’re natural reaction could be you need to buy something. This is because you’re overwhelmed with the amount of clothes, and since you have so much you have no idea what to wear.

This cycle can actually be overcome by having less to choose from. If you have less it makes your choices more limited, making it easier to pick out the best things to wear. As already mentioned, you can buy quality, staple pieces where you can build multiple outfits with only a few items of clothing which will be forever stylish.

6. Buy 1 Get Rid Of 1

I kind of made this rule for myself – Buy 1, get rid of 1. This simply means I will try not to buy anything new until I got rid of something. Clothes take up room, and if you’ve already got a lot, then you’ve probably ran out of room.

When it comes to this rule I’m not super strict on things. I use this mostly when it comes to basic items which I have a lot of. This can include T-shirts, boxer shorts, socks, jumpers and other items I have a lot of.

My Buy 1 Get Rid Of 1 rule means that I don’t allow myself to buy something new unless I am getting rid of a similar item. For example if I give away or donate a jacket, I can then buy a replacement. This helps me not only buy less, but also keep as much space as I can.

7. Spring Clean: Sell, Upcycle, Donate Or Give Away Your Old Clothes

Just because you’ve had enough of your old wares, doesn’t mean they can’t be put to good use. You can donate, sell, up-cycle or give away the things you no longer wear. If you don’t want to go to a lot of trouble, why not tell friends or family you’re having a clear out, there may be something which they’ll want.

Your uncool uncle or grandad will be happy with something you think isn’t fashionable any more!

8. Reprupose Your Clothing

If you’re into arts and crafts or DIY or perhaps know someone who is, why not try re-purposing your old garments. An old pair of jeans could make a new pair of denim shorts, or you could be more creative re-purposing shirts and denim into something else.

9. Buy From Sustainable Brands

If you want to make a real push for sustainability, you can research brands and clothing companies who have sustainability programs or are ethical fashion companies, and buy from them. Some examples could be H&M who have a sustainable line, and Nudie Jeans who are also very eco-friendly, 2 brands which I really like.

Conclusion

There’s so many reasons for you to be more sustainable in your clothing choices. I know that in the past 2 or 3 years it’s something which I’ve been doing, I’ve donated and gave away some of my wears as well as buying a lot less clothing as there’s just no need, or space for newer items.

I think going forward having a minimalist wardrobe is better, so if you can start that way I would definitely recommend it. If you’re starting point is like mine with a full wardrobe, some of the tips above should help you.


Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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