Over the past year, I have been working towards making my wardrobe more conscious, sustainable and environmentally friendly. It is definitely still a work in process but I spent £700 less on clothes last year compared to the year before by following these tips.
1. Evaluate your current wardrobe
Spend a weekend really going through every drawer, shoe rack, storage, or if you’re like I used to be, that over-flowing-wash-basket. Sort your clothes into various piles. Some suggestions are: what to sell (if a thriving Depop store is your thing), what to donate, what can be repaired, what you actually wear etc.
2. Discover what is lacking
The trick is to establish your unique wardrobe staples and what staples you lack. Wardrobe staples are going to look different to every individual. For instance, some of my wardrobe staples are leopard print, dresses, polo necks and long skirts. For others, it may be jeans, crop tops or polka dots. It’s all about the general items you enjoy wearing.
3. Shop secondhand
I highly recommend shopping secondhand if not for the environment (pls think of the environment) then for for your bank account. I think the opinion of thrifting has been the clothes will be dirty or unwearable where in fact, most of the clothes I buy from secondhand sellers are near perfect condition.
If you are someone who currently only wears something once, think how many others like you there are out there. Some places I recommend to shop secondhand are Depop, Vinted and eBay online. As well as in-person charity shops, vintage stores and car boot sales.
4. If you do buy first hand, adopt conscious shopping
I really limit what I buy from fast fashion stores these days but that doesn’t mean I don’t still buy the occasional thing. Switching to an environmentally friendly wardrobe, doesn’t happen overnight and if your wardrobe is teeming with fast fashion buys from over the years, it’s really costly to switch it all to eco-friendly substitutes, not to mention shopping secondhand can’t be hard to be size-inclusive.
Instead, I use what I call conscious shopping, which means I am more conscious of what I buy. I only buy things that are a) genuinely lacking from my wardrobe or b) I know I will get multiple uses out of. Try the 30 wears method, where simply, if you are going to buy an item and can not envision yourself wearing it 30 times then don’t buy it I do always try to search for secondhand alternatives first but things like shoes
It’s estimated that 40% of returned online orders go directly to landfills because it’s cheaper than re-selling them
5. Wear what you already have!
It is estimated that people don’t wear at least 50% of their current wardrobes. Being sustainable doesn’t necessarily mean spending hundreds of eco-friendly purchases, it can simply just be wearing what you already own. Use my hashtag #wearwhatyouownon to discover people wearing the wonderful garments in their wardrobe and share yours off too!