How to Create a Sustainable Wardrobe

The choices we make day to day impact our planet. There are a limited number of resources available and the Earth is only able to put up with a particular amount of greenhouse gases in order to stay healthy. It can sometimes be hard to identify ways in which you can be sustainable, so it’s better to focus on one area at a time. Follow these tips on how to create sustainable wardrobe to get you started.

Where should I shop?

It would be a good idea to do some research before you shop. There are many sustainable brands, such as People Tree and Thought among others, providing a range of different clothing and styles. Try some brands out then pick out your favourites!

It can also be beneficial to shop vintage or second hand. This not only reduces the clothing sent to the landfill, but takes the pressure off the high street.  Vintage clothing is thought to be easier on the bank account whilst allowing you to find items which express your personal style – sounds good to us!

What do I need to know about the type and quality of the fabric?

The fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world therefore it is important to check the type of fabrics used within the making of a garment; this information is often found on clothing labels or/and the brand website. Some fabrics are more sustainable than others, for that reason, it is better for the environment to choose clothing made from natural and biodegradable fabrics. In addition to that, purchasing higher quality garments mean they are likely to last much longer than those made out of poor quality materials and so can be worn more times before being recycled.

How can I minimise waste?

Consumption is a huge problem. It is common for consumers to purchase multiple items of clothing which are only worn once before they are disposed. To be more sustainable, think about the purchase; will you make good use of the item? Don’t let it sit in your wardrobe! Wearing clothes 50 times rather than 5 is said to reduce carbon emissions by 400% per item, per year.

How can I wash my clothes more sustainably?

Washing your clothes is more polluting than you realise! By washing your clothes at lower temperatures and only when needed you can reduce the water and energy used. You can help the environment whilst saving yourself money – sounds like a no brainer right?  Furthermore, this method allows your clothing to retain their colour and minimises the wearing down of the fabrics enabling them to last for longer.

How do I dispose of my clothes?

Do not bin your damaged clothes. Many items thrown out can easily be repaired. It is easy to get hold of a needle and thread and it won’t take long to learn. Alternatively, find someone to do it for you. This enables the garment to last longer therefore limiting the amount of waste created. For anything unfixable, the textile recycling industry can deal with damaged clothing. It can then be made into new items such as padding for chairs and cleaning cloths etc. Unwanted clothing in better condition can be passed on. These could be given to family or friends – why not exchange any unwanted items? Local charities are always happy to accept donations. Not only does this give the item a longer life, but it raises money for a good cause of your choice.

Let us know how you maintain a sustainable wardrobe in the comments below!