It’s hard not to recognize the environmental perils of the fashion industry and while many of us strive to be part of the solution, building a sustainable wardrobe can still feel like an impossible task.
After all, sustainability is such a loaded word! What is a sustainable wardrobe? Can a wardrobe ever truly be sustainable? I could dive into all the research behind sustainability in a lengthy blog post, but the truth is there is no right or wrong answer, and no easy way to be 100 percent sustainable.
So let me tell you what sustainability means to me: it’s about making conscious shopping choices. For me, that includes buying items that will last and supporting brands that I know are doing their part to help the environment. It’s a start, but it's just the beginning.
Here are 5 ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable!
The environmental impact of the clothing industry is largely due to the production of fabrics that emit harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Fashion accounts for around 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, and nearly 20 percent of wastewater. That’s why more than ever it is important to read the information on our clothing labels and to choose to shop natural, and environmentally friendly materials.
“Buy better” also means that you should aim to buy quality over quantity. Clothes that can stand the test of time will always be better for the environment. That means you should avoid buying trend items you will only wear for a season and opt to buy good quality clothing even if that means spending more on an item. Rachel’s number one fashion rule: Less is definitely more.
Follow the 30 wears rule
Excess clothing is most harmful to the environment, which is why you should make the most use out of your clothes. Before you buy a new item, ask yourself ‘How often will I wear this?’, and commit to wearing any piece at least 30 times.
Care for your clothes
It’s important to treat your clothes well to help them last as long as possible. Go the extra mile to ensure your clothes last, by carefully following wash instructions and by storing your clothes properly. It would also be wise to learn how to repair your clothes. Often a hole in your shirt can be fixed with a simple needle, thread, and YouTube tutorial!
Get rid of your clothes responsibly
The way you discard your used clothes is also a big contributor to your eco footprint. Many stores offer recycling programs where you can drop off your used garments. It’s equally important to donate unwanted clothing instead of letting it sit in your closet. This small action will allow you to help others to be more sustainable, so they can invest in your old pieces, rather than buy new ones.