More and more of us are becoming mindful of the impact our purchases have on the world. But what does this mean for your closet? Do you have to stop buying new clothes if you want to look after the planet, or can you still enjoy fashion and remain environmentally and socially responsible at the same time? Here are five tips for embracing sustainability with your clothing…
Do your research before you buy
Whichever way you look at it, some clothing brands are more environmentally and socially responsible than others, so it’s always worth doing some research to find out about the brand’s values before you buy.
As an example, retailer ASOS have rolled out a number of initiatives that have made it a leader in sustainable and ethical fashion. This has included developing its own employee training program aimed at eliminating all forms of modern slavery and ensuring a robust human rights process throughout its supply chain, as well as the implementation of an ethical clothing glossary on its website that seeks to make it easier for consumers to make more ethical and sustainable choices. What’s more, 34% of all fibers used in ASOS brands now come from sustainable sources.
Stop buying stuff you won’t wear
How many times have you bought something on impulse and then only wore it a handful of times – or, worse still, never worn it at all? If you’re looking to embrace sustainability, you should definitely take a leaf out of Eco Age founder Livia Firth’s book and only buy something if you can commit to wearing it at least 30 times. As well as saving money and reducing waste, it’ll also make it much easier for you to organize your closet.
Make your clothes last longer
It sounds obvious, but you’ll ultimately need to buy less stuff if you can make your clothes last longer. If you want to take better care of your items, begin by washing them less frequently. Continually exposing fabrics to water and detergents makes them wear out more quickly, so it’s worth holding off on washing items until they really need it. When you do need to put them in the wash, always pay close attention to laundry labels and ensure you wash each item using the correct settings.
Source second-hand clothes
Instead of always buying new, why not scour your local charity shop or second-hand store for a pre-owned bargain? If you’re prepared to do a little searching and digging around, it’s possible to uncover some truly unique items at bargain prices. It can also be a lot of fun and means you’ll greatly reduce the risk of buying something that literally everyone is wearing.
Donate your old items to charity
Following on from the last point, why not donate all your old clothes to the local charity shop? As long as the item is in decent condition, you’ll be able to support a worthy cause and give someone else the chance to wear and enjoy the item for many years to come.