HOW TO WEAR A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE ON A BUDGET
There is something in the simplicity of a sustainable wardrobe that makes it irresistibly wholesome. Like a home cooked meal, a sustainable wardrobe fills you with a sense of love and care as your wardrobe goes from being a chaotic mess to a clean, neat space for your clothes.
Much of the appeal of a sustainable wardrobe is in its minimalism: the neutral colours, natural textiles, clean space, the eco-style concept, and clutter-free simplicity all appeal to the person who wants to journey away from fast fashion consumerism and its devastating effects on the environment, and towards a sustainable wardrobe that is both affordable, stylish, and achievable.
With that in mind, it is important to remind yourself that the journey towards sustainability is a process. It takes time to create and nurture a sustainable approach to your sense of style. So, if you’ve ever wanted to create your own sustainable wardrobe, but have no idea where to start, then our following recommended guide to creating a sustainable wardrobe on a budget will inspire you to begin your eco-style journey.
- CREATE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED.
By creating a list of what your wardrobe needs, you are unlikely to spend money on clothes you will only end up wearing once. It’s a good idea to be practical when creating your list: think about your lifestyle and identify what clothes complement it; think about clothes you will likely wear over and over again; and clothes you can easily dress up and dress down so that you can adapt them for many occasions. The objective is to keep clothes for longer, so you may want to create a foundation to your sustainable wardrobe first such as choosing neutral colours like black, tan and white over bright colours or patterns; and natural or recycled textiles, like linen or denim, over environmentally unfriendly textiles, like polyester. As foundations, you can add other colourful or patterned clothing to your wardrobe later.
- BUY LESS, BUY QUALITY.
Nothing complements sustainable living more than buying less clothes of greater quality. Clothes made from quality materials or production methods last longer, transforming your wardrobe from a chaotic mess of cheap items to a showcase of quality clothing that will help you look and feel stylish for longer. When you choose quality over quantity, you stop being part of a buy-and-throw-away consumer culture where your budget is exhausted. Instead, you choose clothing that has value to your life, your budget, and the environment
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- CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE BRANDS.
Sustainable brands pride themselves on using eco-friendly materials and production to create high quality, eco-stylish clothing. Examples of this include using new technology to produce quality textiles from recycled material, like plastic bottles that would otherwise continue to pollute our oceans, as well as a commitment to ethical production, like ensuring their supply chain is certified of child-free labour, providing fair wages that support workers, and adopting innovative approaches to further reducing environmental harm to our earth. Thanks to the growing demand for sustainable living, there are many affordable sustainable brands available to choose from, and when purchasing any clothing from a sustainable brand you are not only investing your money into ethical and/or eco-friendly businesses, you are feeding a demand for sustainability that will eventually change how some of the world’s biggest fashion polluters do business.
- HAVE AN THE ECO-STYLE MINDSET.
Sadly, due to the consumerism mindset, more and more textiles (including clothes) end up in landfill, and at least 8 million tonnes of waste from textile production pollutes in our oceans each year. By adopting an eco-style mindset, the focus is placed on sustainable choices in life, allowing you to make wiser, more meaning choices in regard to the clothing you choose to own and love.
- TAKE CARE OF YOUR CLOTHES.
Clothes require care so that you can enjoy them for longer. Some great ways to take care of your clothes include wearing an undershirt underneath your favourite item of clothing to help keep it sweat-free and prevent discolouration; using a microfibre bag when machine washing clothes; or folding clothes away neatly and storing them in appropriate areas of your wardrobe. By caring for your clothes, you will begin to value them; and in valuing your clothes, you will be well on your way to a sustainable lifestyle where every item in your life is cared for and has value and meaning in your life.
- USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.
One of the biggest misconceptions about creating a sustainable wardrobe is that you have to get rid of what you have and start again. Fortunately, this is not true. Before you do anything, spend an hour sorting through your wardrobe to see what clothes you already have, and what clothes can be used again with some mending or alterations. Perhaps you need to change the buttons on an old blazer to bring it a new lease on life, or even mend those few stitches in your favourite summer dress that have come undone over the months of wear.
Keep the clothes you love wearing, and donate those which you no longer wear. For those clothes beyond wear, these can be down-cycled to create cleaning rags, materials for children’s art projects, or even pet bedding. There are many online resources available that can show you how to down-cycle your unwanted clothing to help keep them out of landfill and our oceans for longer.
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