In our last blog, we investigated the true cost of fast fashion – revealing the shocking statistics behind the clothes we wear every day.
To help you reduce the carbon footprint of your wardrobe, we’ve put together our top ten tips for shopping more sustainably.
1) Declutter and donate
If your wardrobe is overstuffed with items you haven’t worn for years, but you still find yourself saying “I have nothing to wear”, it could be time for a clear out. To create a more sustainable wardrobe, start by decluttering your existing one and donating or recycling your old, unwanted clothes. In the words of Marie Kondo – if it doesn’t “spark joy” then let it go!
2) Swap statement pieces for staple pieces
Most of us only wear 20 percent of the clothes in our wardrobe on a regular basis, and the carbon footprint of these unloved garments is significant. Instead of splashing out on statement pieces that you’ll only wear once, try building a capsule wardrobe of versatile staple pieces that you can mix and match
3) Quality over quantity
The rise of fast fashion means our clothes are often mass-produced and made cheaply, instead of being designed to last. By opting for quality over quantity and spending a bit more money on a few high-quality items, you’ll significantly reduce the carbon impact of your wardrobe.
4) Reflect before you buy
Email marketing campaigns and flash sales are designed to encourage impulse purchases, and it’s all too easy to end up spending money on clothes you don’t actually want. Instead of shopping on a whim, when you see something you like wait 24 hours before buying it. Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age (a company which certifies brands for their sustainability) suggests applying the ‘30 wears’ test and asking yourself whether you’ll wear something a minimum of 30 times before buying it.
5) Hold brands accountable
Do your research – if a brand isn’t transparent about their sustainability policy then reach out to them on social media and hold them accountable by asking those important questions. Over the last few years, a growing number of eco-conscious brands have emerged, making it much easier to shop sustainably by buying clothing with a low carbon footprint.
6) Shop second hand
One of the most sustainable ways to expand your wardrobe is by shopping second hand. Not only will you be saving the environment by buying pre-loved clothes, but you’re also more likely to find something completely unique.
7) Rent your wardrobe
Clothing rental services are revolutionising the fashion industry having grown in popularity over the last few years. With so many services to choose from, you can rent the latest on-trend pieces for a fraction of the retail price – perfect for a special occasion like a wedding or a holiday.
8) Care for your clothes
It goes without saying that if you take care of your clothes then they will last longer, so make sure you’re treating yours with the love and attention they deserve. Washing your clothes at lower temperatures not only keeps your clothes looking newer for longer, but also uses less energy, therefore lowering the environmental impact of your wardrobe.
9) Repair and upcycle
If you’re wearing an item of clothing a lot, some wear and tear is inevitable – but often we find ourselves throwing clothes away when they could actually be fixed quite easily. Instead of throwing damaged clothes away, support your local seamstress or cobbler and get them repaired. You can also use this as a way of upcycling old items of clothing or getting clothes tailored if they don’t fit you anymore.
10) Offset your impact
While there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your wardrobe, it’s almost impossible to eliminate this completely. To combat this, consider taking the money you’ll save from buying less clothes and putting it towards offsetting the carbon footprint of the purchases you do make.
To find out more about how we can help you offset your carbon footprint, click here.