How To Create Your Own Sustainable Wardrobe
For several years now we have been taught the value in living sustainably when it comes to food and general living eg. Reusing, recycling and repurposing, using reusable grocery bags, composting our food scraps, supporting local fruit and veggie grocers etc., but what if we take it that one step further and apply the same rules when it comes to our fashion and more importantly our wardrobes.
Firstly it is really important to highlight that there is several different ways that you can have a sustainable wardrobe and I will list them below with references to continue your sustainable journey:
- Vintage and second hand - Desert Lily Vintage
- Up-cycled - Deset Lily Vintage up-cycle collection
- Organic cotton and natural fibres - Sustainable Fashion
- Ethical brands and fair trade - Fairtrade
- Sustainable and ethical on-line fashion boutiques - The Green Hub
- Vegan and cruelty free - Orange Oranges
- Made locally and / handmade - The Dress Collective
Ok time to get into the nitty gritty, the changes that you can make today for a better tomorrow.
- Evaluate your wardrobe
Like with any new habit or change a great place to start is always evaluating what you have in your wardrobe. Take away and put to the side all the clothing, and accessories that you have not used in the past couple of years, if you are feeling game take away all of your garments that are too small or big - you know the ‘oh maybe I will fit into them one day’ garments. Sort out the clothing that you have set aside into sell, donate, swap and reuse piles – we will get to this further down the post. Now take some time to look at what you have in your wardrobe. Take as long as you need, seriously. I did this and had a little cry at what I had been holding on to. The clothing that I never wore, the memories around some of the clothing that I had held onto for way to long but never wore as it was too small, the pre pregnancy outfits that I was wishing and dreaming of squeezing into but don’t actually like anymore and importantly the money that I had wasted on impulse purchases. Alright so once we have let go of the old it is time to be ready for the new.
- Sell and donate
Time to physically let go of all the clothing that either has price tags on them, still in the original shopping bags and stuffed to the back of the wardrobe (or maybe that is just me. Lol). Ebay and Buy, Swap, Sell site are great for getting money back into our pockets. Remember only sell clothing that is in great condition with no damage, this is also important to note with your donate pile. Do not donate clothing that is dirty, damaged or worn out as you will only be creating more work for the volunteers that are sorting through your clothes and if they are not worthy of selling they will end up in landfill anyways.
- Reuse, recycle and repurpose
This is really important when looking at your existing clothing and the reuse pile. If you have some fast fashion clothing in the mix that have become worn out, come away at the seams or not wearable consider repurposing the material into DIY projects , using them as rags for around the home or donating the materials to a local mechanic (they are always looking for donated rags to be used when servicing cars). If you would like anymore information a great site – recyclingnearyou
- Swap, borrow or lend
Time to focus on your swap pile. Call your friends and family together for a fun day/night of swapping, remember to get the most out of this you need to have party goers to be as close to your size as you to get the most out of it. There is also great clothing swap events held within your community and state, a great one we love is the Clothing Exchange which run great events all around the country.
- Make a list
Yes I am that person; a list is so important in not only stopping you from getting distracted and impulse but is key to making sure that you only buy the items that you truly need. Are you into capsule wardrobes? Take a look here. With your list note down items that you need to buy to supplement your lacking wardrobe, list down also your sustainable options eg. Australian organic for basics, second hand for designer clothing or up cycled for unique and edgy. Keep this list somewhere close and accessible, as the idea is not to go on a shopping binge but to gradually build your wardrobe.
- Quality over quantity
Now to the super fun stuff creating your new sustainable wardrobe. This does not have to be expensive; actually the whole idea is to not fill your wardrobe up to the brim with new clothing. The concept is to have a great variation of clothing and accessories that you can interchange into several look and styles. Take time to really look at the garments that you are buying and ask yourself - Will I wear this more than three times? Does it fit me and do I feel confident in it? Can I create more than two looks with this item? Asking yourself these questions is going to be great in really deciding if this particular item is going to add value to your life and wardrobe.
So when applying these changes to our fashion and more importantly our wardrobes getting dressed in the morning, shopping consciously and living sustainably is something that makes you feel empowered, confident and you know your making positive change for a better tomorrow.