How to Start Creating a Sustainable Wardrobe
The impact of the clothing industry on the environment has worsened in the past 15 years. During this time, clothing production doubled, while the time consumers wear clothes before discarding them fell by 40%—largely because fast fashion and cheap clothing prices have motivated people to buy more clothes. These factors contribute to textile waste that pollutes the environment. All this information from The Conversation’s article on the road to sustainable wardrobes emphasizes how individuals must take action because the fashion industry’s efforts—like switching to more sustainable fabrics—aren’t enough to solve the waste problem. If individuals work alongside the industry by creating sustainable wardrobes, this will reduce textile waste and overconsumption of clothing. To find out how you can do so, keep reading below. Recycle and upcycle old clothes
Practicing sustainable fashion isn’t limited to buying secondhand clothes or buying from sustainable brands. In fact, you can start creating a sustainable wardrobe using what you already have. Recycling in fashion can come in the form of breaking down your clothes and turning them into a new product. Meanwhile, you can upcycle clothes by using a current garment for a different purpose. For instance, you can recycle worn-out clothes by cutting them into patches and sewing them back together to create a rug. Meanwhile, you can upcycle a tight skirt into a blouse by simply adding some straps. To help with your recycling/upcycling journey, think of things you currently need or want as you raid your closet for old clothes. For example, if you need a new tote bag, try looking for an old denim skirt that can be sewn shut and adorned with straps. Go for sustainably-made garments
There are unavoidable instances where you can’t help but buy new clothing—such as for work or attending a formal event. In cases where recycling or upcycling isn’t an option, go for sustainably-made garments instead. This guarantees that even when they deteriorate, they won’t harm the environment as much as harmful textiles. Our article discussing sustainable fashion of the future of the future mentioned some sustainable materials to look for in clothes, including recycled nylon and even recycled plastic bottles. Some accessories today are also made with bamboo, pineapple peel, and cactus. By researching brands that use sustainable materials in their clothing items, you'll better know what and where to shop. Invest in high-quality clothing
When you do need to buy new clothes, it's best to choose high-quality garments. You might be tempted to purchase from fast fashion brands because they offer cheap and trendy items. However, since these clothes are mass-produced, they’re made haphazardly. They will break more easily and cause you to buy more often. One way to know if you’re buying quality clothes is to check if the hems and seams are thoroughly sewn down. Loose hems can easily be snagged by a finger or toe, causing them to unravel and potentially become unwearable. Another way to discern quality is by assessing the fabric. Pull the fabric between your thumbs and see if it stretches and returns to its original form. You can also gently rub the material to test if it pills. If it loses shape and pills quickly, don’t buy it. Chances are that it will only last a couple of wears before breaking.
Take proper care of your clothes
Whether your clothes are recycled, upcycled, secondhand, or high-quality, they need proper care to last longer. Being careless damages your clothes, making them unwearable and leading you to buy new ones. Before washing your clothes, check their tags for care instructions. Some fabrics, like wool, have specific care instructions. Wool is often hand-washed or machine-washed using the wool setting, and using unsuitable techniques to clean it will affect its quality. Additionally, try to use natural rather than chemical detergents: the latter is usually made of harsher ingredients that can ruin clothing. Building a sustainable wardrobe is one way to avoid frequently buying clothes and reduce textile waste. Follow our tips above to create your wardrobe today!