7 Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Sustainable

woman fixing clothes on the rack

Your wardrobe is probably overflowing with clothes and still, despite that, you will buy that cute shirt you like so much. Did you know that every time you buy a new thing you will only wear once, you’re polluting our planet?

That’s right. The fashion industry is the world’s second worst pollutant because each season it contributes to both water and plastic pollution. And not just that, the fashion industry also contributes to waste. 

In the last decade, many big fashion brands have indeed started to focus more on sustainability, trying to use more recycled or organic materials. However, that’s simply not enough, waste and pollution are still there. 

Is there something the consumers can do? Good question, and yes, there are great ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable and, in that way, contribute to preventing further pollution.

If you’re interested in bringing sustainability to your wardrobe as well, here it’s how it can be done.

Buy less clothing or buy secondhand

First, let’s address the elephant in the room – do you need all that clothing? The first step in making your wardrobe more sustainable is limiting yourself by trying to buy less clothing.

As the consumer society that we are, constantly buying new things, regardless of what they are, is detrimental to our planet. But you as an individual can do your best to buy fewer clothes. 

If you need to buy clothing, try buying secondhand only. Thrift shops, charity shops, and other similar secondhand outlets are becoming more and more popular which means that people are slowly starting to become more eco-conscious. Plus, secondhand clothing is cheaper!

Shop quality, sustainable clothing

Another way to make your wardrobe more sustainable is by changing your attitude toward shopping. If you can’t avoid buying clothing, try at least to be a mindful shopper. What does that mean? 

Well, first of all, don’t buy clothes and accessories just because they are on sale or discount. Sales and discounts are traps set by brands to lure us to buy more for seemingly less money. The truth is completely different, and in the end, we’re left with wardrobes full of unworn or barely worn clothes.

Instead, why not try to buy quality, sustainable clothing but only when we need it? This clothing may not be on sale, but if it’s quality and sustainable it will last you a long time and you won’t contribute to pollution.

Buy organic and eco-friendly

Since you’ve decided to start buying sustainable clothing, you should also learn about organic, eco-friendly clothing, as well. Organic clothing is made from organic, natural materials grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards. This means that no pesticides, toxic chemicals, or synthetic fertilizers have been used to grow these materials.

Organic types of materials include cotton, silk, wool, jute, linen, hemp, and wood even. This means that you should pay attention to the type of clothing you’re buying. 

Instead of buying clothes and accessories made from microfibre fabrics, try buying organic cotton or linen fabrics, for example. As for accessories, you can now easily find chic wood sunglasses, organic hemp bags and belts, organic cotton socks and hats, and so on. Options are endless.

Don’t throw away – mend and alter your clothes

Every year an average person throws away around 37 kilograms of textiles. Those textiles end up in landfills and ultimately they make up 7% of landfills globally. Terrible, isn’t it? What can be done about it? 

On an individual level, we can all try to throw away less clothing and instead, mend or alter it. If there is a rip on a piece of your clothing, use a needle and thread and mend it. If you feel like some of your clothes are dated, find ways to alter or reimagine them.

Recycling and upcycling clothing is something each and every one of us can do to make our wardrobes more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Don’t be afraid to wear outfits and clothing more than once

The best example of a sustainable wardrobe is simply wearing what you own – over and over again. Don’t be afraid to repeat outfits and wear clothes you own more than once.

Admittedly, it’s difficult not to follow all the new fashion trends we are constantly surrounded by. However, you may have noticed that fashion sort of repeats itself – the 70s are very much in, Y2K as well. What that means is that you, too, can repeat your outfits, clothes, and, accessories – there’s no shame in it, and even celebrities are doing it now.

Organize your wardrobe

Try organizing your wardrobe more often. Doing this regularly will give you the chance to find out what you have. It’s not uncommon that we put certain clothing pieces out of our minds because we have them stored somewhere deep in our wardrobes.

By organizing and reorganizing your wardrobe, you’ll discover new old things you’ve completely forgotten about. This, in turn, will give you the chance to style your outfits differently. 

Also, organizing your wardrobe will make you realize that you have enough clothing already and that you don’t need more. Because let’s face it, less is more – even clothing-wise.

Wash less and avoid tumbling dry

Washing your clothing, especially machine washing and tumbling dry ruins clothing. And not only that but often running your washer and dryer contributes to energy and water waste.

To prevent the waste of energy, water, and your clothes, you should reduce the number of times you wash your clothing. 

You can wear your garments more than once and only then wash them. Also, avoid tumbling dry as much as possible and try to dry them naturally whenever you can. It would also be wise to learn other habits we have that keep ruining our clothing.

As you can see, creating a sustainable wardrobe is easier than you thought. All you have to do is start with what clothing and accessories you already have and find ways to reuse and recycle them. Try to avoid throwing away clothing.

Also, when buying new, try to be an ethical shopper – look for secondhand items, or buy items made of organic and eco-friendly materials. And that’s all.

Written by Jasmine Anderson

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