What is a sustainable wardrobe?
Having a sustainable wardrobe means, that all your wardrobe contains makes a lesser footprint on climate and environment, that conventional fashion. Buying quality clothes, shoes and accessories, taking good care of your clothes, wear everything you already have in your wardrobe a lot more – and you will soon find yourself making a lesser footprint on the climate and environment.Why having a sustainable wardrobe? Well, why not? Isn’t it far better to wear clothing you know has been made under conditions safe for both workers and environment? But it demands that you re-think.
It’s quite easy to live by
Buy clothes that last
I think we’ve all bought clothes we knew wouldn’t last more than a few times wear, either due to poor quality, or due to it being so fashionable that it would be out of fashion within shortly. Price and quality do not always go hand in hand, however if you want sustainable clothes which is also ethically produced, does cost more.
You’ll quickly learn which fabrics will last. Look into your wardrobe and have a look at the label of each piece of chothes. Learn what your favorite garments are made of and from. You probably have some old favorites in your wardrobe and some new items that already look a bit worn. Go for garments of the same quality like the ones you’ve had for a long time.
Look at the labels
Sustainable fashion is on the rise. The fashion industry is painfully aware that more consumers want to wear clothing that are both sustainable and ethically manufactured. Many of the large sales platforms like Asos, Zalando and Boozt already offer the possibility to shop more sustainable. Whether you shop online or in stores, go for clothes clearly marked GOTS, EU Flower and FairTrade on the labels.
Find new favorite brands
Find out whether your favorite brands are sustainable or have sustainable sub-brands. Go Take a deep dive into your wardrobe, check all your clothes if they are labelled with one of the above. Please note, certifications are very expensive and a lot of smaller independent and upcoming brands are opting out on being certified due to the costs.
Buy cloths you can use all year round
Is it necessary to have that winter jacket or coat you rarely use? Or the winter boots you’ve never even used, but are nice to have in case we get snow (which we never do)?
Wear your clothes
Take a thorough walkthrough in your wardrobe. Sell all the clothes you never use or give to a second hand shop. Surveys have shown that we wear less than 20% of our clothes on a regular basis.
Live by the 30 wears rule. Whenever shopping, consider if you will wear the clothes at least 30 times. Download the 30 Wears app to track how much you actually use each piece of clothes, footwear or accessory.
Have you learned how to thread a needle? You have surely experienced buttons falling off a blouse or shirt, an underwire tearing the fabric of your favorite bra or a seam is torn. Save a lot of money by repairing the clothes. When my boys were little, I made patches from old jeans or shirts and did a lot of repairs. I’ve saved hundreds of euros through the years.
If you can’t – it don’t bother – do the repairs yourself, you can find a tailor or seamstress almost everywhere. Many towns also have repair cafés where you can have a cup of coffee while having the repair done. These places are mostly run by volunteers and the income goes to local charity, sports clubs and other activities.
Want to do it yourself – it’s quite satisfactory – have a look at YouTube, where you’ll find thousands of DIY videos.
Take good care of your clothing
Wash as recommended on the inner label. Wear it one day more before washing (not underwear and socks).
Don’t use the tumbler more that necessary. It does wear your clothes and uses a lot of power.
I’ll say it again; wear your clothes for several days before washing. Some think it’s absolutely gross, but if you – like most of us so – shower every morning before work, you are clean. If you don’t have a physical work, you don’t sweat. Hang up your clothes for airing, when you come home and you can use it once or twice more. If you are WFH – like many of us do these days – you can easily use the same outfit for several days.
Socks and underwear must be washed after each use, due to hygiene.
More efficient detergents and washing machines enables you to wash a lower settings. Wash at 30 degrees C instead of 40. Only use prewash for very dirty clothes, underwear, towels, dish cloths and bedlinen.
See you clothes as an investment
Consider all new clothes are an investment, as price and quality often go hand in hand. Thus, it makes sense to shop more expensive clothes that will last longer. Over time you will be able to save quite a lot of money.