For many of us, we hear the term ‘sustainable fashion’, we learn a little about what it entails and we are eager to start being better and being more sustainable. The only issue is - how and where do you start?
Search the internet on how to start supporting ethical fashion and in typical internet style (excuse the pun) you’ll find the usual combination of: highly valuable information, a mixture of controversial opinions, followed by a few misleading facts and some completely worthless reading! The most common debate is the “do you start again, throw out what you have and buy all new, sustainable fashion items? Or do you act sustainably and use what you have until the time comes when you will subsequently replace it with sustainable alternatives? The choice depends on you, but the most rational option would be the latter.
The art of supporting sustainable fashion involves supporting ethical brands, buying items of clothing made using eco-friendly fabrics and manufacturing processes, as well as preventing textile waste! We can all start being more sustainable today without rushing out to buy from ethical, eco-friendly brands! Here’s how to be more sustainable in 5 easy steps!
1. Learn what colours suit you so that you don’t buy the wrong colour that you’ll hate forever and never wear.
2. Learn what styles and textures suit your natural body shape and silhouette. Dress for the body shape and physical features you have rather than what you want, and you’ll always dress well!
3. Consider what you really need from your wardrobe: a small but tailored capsule collection of items that suit you perfectly and can be effortlessly mixed and matched without any thought? Or a more complex wardrobe of vintage garments, on-trend pieces, a huge range of accessories, as well as essential classic pieces? Unless require a wealthy collection for work purposes, I’m sure that most of you would feel better having a neat and stylish wardrobe full of quality items that never fail to flatter your shape and skin colouring. In this case it would be better for you to create a capsule wardrobe of items that you can effortlessly throw together to achieve a stylish outfit! This doesn’t have to mean you have a limited choice or always have to look the same. Take a look here at my 29 items to a perfectly stylish wardrobe checklist here – all of these items can be mixed and matched with little effort but guarantee you look fabulous all the same!
4. Don’t rule out using thrift stores! Here’s why… Second hand shops, charity shops, vintage boutiques, thrift stores. There are so many ways in which to refer to clothing outlets selling pre-owned items. What’s most important is what they represent – reusing clothing thereby preventing textile waste! Not everybody is keen on the idea of wearing items of clothing that once belonged to somebody else, so here’s a little food for thought. In some cases the items you pick up in thrift stores have actually been worn far less than brand new items you purchase from high street stores. In many cases, second hand clothing stores are full of items that were mistake purchases and have only been worn a couple of times or never at all! On the other hand, high street stores receive huge volumes of daily shopper traffic ranging from ‘the teen that just wants to try on items after school’ to ‘the keen shopper that’s going to try, buy, and possibly return everything’. My point is that more times than not, the items you buy on the high street have been worn/tried on more times by lots more people than something you might find in a second hand shop. Additionally, there are some quality items on offer in thrift stores, available at a fraction of their normal retail price.
Don’t forget that when conducting a thorough ‘wardrobe weeding’ session, offloading your unwanted fashion items to a charity shop/pre-owned fashion store is also a good idea. It eliminates waste and puts your old goods to better use!
5. DIY. Upcycle. Revamp what you already have!
You’d be surprised at just how many more years you could get out of an old shirt with a button missing (Fix: sew on a new one), or a plain t-shirt that bores you (Fix: sew on sequins, fancy buttons, add a brooch). There are lots of easy DIY fashion tutorials on Pinterest, Youtube, as well as on my own site. You’d be amazed at how quick and easy it is to completely transform your old clothing in the matter of minutes!
Finally, if you’re missing shopping and are in need of a little inspiration on how to revamp clothing you already own, take a trip to the mall for ‘research’ purposes only! Enjoy browsing round the carefully curated collections on display, but instead of taking an armful of hangers over to the counter, take out your camera phone and take pictures of garment details, styles and fits that appeal to you. Quite often, the items you see on shop displays are very easy and affordable to replicate at home. Take for example, a t-shirt with button details along the shoulder line. The extra detail makes the garment look expensive but sewing a couple of buttons onto a t-shirt couldn’t be simpler and is something anybody could do at home!
Supporting sustainable fashion and being more sustainable is highly creative and incredibly rewarding. Once you start implementing these 5 easy steps, you’d be amazed at how enjoyable your journey becomes!
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