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The beginner's guide to building a sustainable wardrobe

@jillettingerethos profile image

sustainable wardrobe Photo: Cottonbro

When we think ahead to the future of fashion, there’s one question that is on everyone’s lips–is sustainable fashion the new trend? Yes and no. While there has been an increased spotlight on sustainability, which will make it even more important in the months and years ahead, it is not a new thing.

In fact, for the past few years, consumers have been looking to do their part, something that we’re starting to see more and more of. In fact, in 2020, 46 percent of fast fashion retailers (clothes that are designed to be worn when something is in style and then discarded) reported a decrease in purchases 2020.

Putting our best foot forward for a better future

Why the change? During the pandemic, we saw the impact that our actions have on the globe when we were all in lockdown, nature flourished, and it got people thinking about the world we live in and what we want from it, a new normal. After all, with 35 percent of all microplastics released into the world’s oceans coming from synthetic textiles, it’s only right people look at their clothes.

See also: Editor’s pick: the most stylish men’s vegan leather goods

sustainable wardrobe Photo: Ralph Lauren

In fact, we’re seeing a much bigger proportion of people making adjustments when shopping such as:

  • Over half of men (53 percent) in the UK buy from sustainable brands
  • 67 percent of consumers consider the materials of products they’re buying and if they’re sustainable when making a fashion purchase
  • 55 percent of consumers felt that sustainability was more important than quality and value That’s all well and good, but what are some examples of sustainable fashion? Read on to find out more.

1. Shop for sustainable, vegan materials

Look into which materials are sustainable before you go shopping; some of them include but are not limited to cotton, hemp, linen, Pinatex, and more.

2. Create a capsule wardrobe

Having a good wardrobe doesn’t need to mean having loads of clothes. Instead, selecting pieces that are of good quality and can be worn in a lot of different ways will not only be more sustainable it also saves your wallet.

3. Support businesses who are open and honest about their ethical stance

People want to support businesses that are doing their bit to provide sustainable, eco-friendly clothes made by workers who are paid fairly. Shoppers are also savvier when businesses are trying to pull a fast one, as 69 percent have recently stated that they don’t always trust brands and retailers that say they are sustainable.

There are many ways that retailers can be more sustainable, one way is through limiting the amount of water they use in the clothes making process, some businesses are making this a priority. In addition to this businesses are using more sustainable materials such as hemp which is much more sustainable while also being able to be used across the board.

4. Shop secondhand and vintage

Many people have asked—is sustainable fashion more expensive? It doesn’t need to be head to your local charity shop or car boot sale for some excellent finds. Have an idea of what you want in mind? Try websites such as The RealReal or Vestiaire Collective and give clothes a new lease of life!

See also: 5 vegan alternatives for silk if you love “silky” soft fabrics

sustainable wardrobe Photo: Tradesy

5. Pair old and new pieces

Following on from the above point, fall in love with older pieces by pairing them with some of your new ones–you can even create a whole new outfit with older pieces you haven’t used in a while.

6. Back local production and industry

Try shopping locally, or at least within your own country. There are so many small gems that are overshadowed by big businesses! Ask for local recommendations too.

7. Invest in pieces that never go out of fashion

If you do want to buy a piece that isn’t as eco-friendly as you hoped, make sure it’s a piece that will last a long time. In this insane, you’re looking for good quality fabric and pieces that can be worn for years without looking outdated.


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@caropanfan profile image
caropanfan1 YEAR AGO
Thank you, Jill, for doing your bit and teaching us how to do ours!!🙌🏼👏🏼👏🏼🥰
@freckledtrini868 profile image
Very informative. Thank you
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