Making Your Wardrobe More Sustainable
We’re living in an age where we’re growing increasingly aware of the impact that we’re having on the very planet we rely on for a home. Documentaries, government initiatives, social media posts and more are constantly highlighting the need for us to lead greener and more eco-friendly lives.
Many of us have already started implementing change, undertaking positive steps, such as cutting out single use plastic, switching to electric vehicles, using paper straws and more. But have you considered how your clothing can affect the planet too? Believe it or not, the fashion industry is one of the main culprits when it comes to damaging the Earth and we need to make conscious decisions to make our wardrobes more environmentally friendly.
Here’s some further information that can help you to achieve this.
Perhaps the most significant problem that has established itself regarding fashion and the planet is fast fashion. Chances are you’ve heard this phrase thrown around a lot, so let’s take a moment to get to understand what it actually is. Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon and many people find themselves participating in it without even realising the problems. Fast fashion is essentially a business model that uses cheap materials and labor to create clothing at a high speed. Many brands operate online, shipping goods en masse around the world. The focus of fast fashion centres around price rather than the quality of the products it produces. The idea that you constantly have to have new and different outfits for social media posts means that many fast fashion outfits are only worn once or twice before being disposed of, so wearers don’t feel the need for the outfit to have genuine quality or be designed to last. Many fast fashion brands will sample concepts and designs from fashion shows and seen on celebrities.
Why We Need to Be More Sustainable
Fast fashion has had a hugely detrimental impact on the environment. Few people are aware of the full extent of this, so it’s important for us to highlight fast fashion problems that will result from purchasing clothes from brands revolving around this business model.
- Water Pollution – producers of fast fashion tend to dispose of waste from the manufacturing process improperly. It is often dumped straight into natural water supplies such as rivers, polluting the waters and resulting in the presence of anything from mercury to arsenic in animals’ natural environments. This can destroy habitats and damage species ranging from plants to fish, mammals and more. Waterways also often lead to the sea, spreading the damage further.
- Excessive Water Usage – we should avoid wasting water whenever possible, but the fashion industry is one of the biggest water consumers in the world. A lot of this falls down to the dying processes used. The average producer will require around 200 tonnes of freshwater to dye just one ton of fabric. Mass cotton production also uses a lot of water, with roughly 20,000 liters of water used to grow just 1kg of cotton.
- Microfibre pollution – all clothes need to be washed, however, the synthetic materials commonly used in fast fashion products tend to be cheap, low quality and can shed microfibres. Believe it or not, around 700,000 microfibers will be released into your washing water each time you wash these clothes. This can pollute waterways and the aquatic life within them.
- Textile waste – fast fashion treats clothing as highly disposable. Rather than standing the test of time, products will deteriorate quickly and need to be thrown away. This produces a lot of landfill, with the average Western family throwing away roughly 30 kg of clothing every year.
Making Your Wardrobe More Sustainable
So, what can you do to make your own wardrobe more sustainable? If you’re used to shopping with fast fashion brands, you may feel a little lost as to where to source your clothing if you cut them out of your favourite retailers. The good news is that there are countless steps you can take to make a positive difference. Here are just a few!
Only Buy What You Love
Start out by only buying clothes that you genuinely love and can see yourself wearing time and time again. Whether that’s sexy lingerie, jeans, jumpers, dresses or anything else, make sure to be selective and to avoid buying items for the sake of it.
Focus on Quality
You want your clothes to stand the test of time. The better quality materials and sewing that has been put into the items, the better they will last. You want clothes that can be cleaned, worn and worn again countless times without fraying, ripping, bobbling, coming out of shape or any other problems. Sure, quality may mean spending more on the item at first, but it’s much more cost effective than regularly replacing low quality purchases.
Buy Second Hand
There are now countless places where you can buy second hand clothes with ease. Of course, you have the traditional option of thrift stores or charity stores. But you also have plenty of online options where you can search for specific items, brands or sizes. Consider platforms like eBay, Depop, Etsy and more.
If you like the vintage look ,you can also search through vintage stores. These tend to stock items from the 90s and before.
Remember that it’s totally normal to rewear your clothes. You don’t need a brand new dress every single time you go out. It’s not the end of the world if someone sees you in the same thing twice.
Of course, there are many things you can do for the planet, but changing your shopping habits in regard to your wardrobe is definitely a brilliant place to start. Hopefully, we’ve provided all the information you need to get this eco-friendly journey off to the best possible start for you!