There’s so much talk around encouraging sustainability in fashion, but what exactly does a sustainable wardrobe look like? We know that this can be a daunting task, especially when there are no clearly cut out guidelines for building a conscious closet as sustainability can often mean more than just one – it could mean employing fair trade practices, it could mean using organic materials, it could mean upcycling fabrics, it could mean reviving or keeping the traditional crafts alive. Sustainability could mean all of the above and even more. The good news is, the good old rules of reduce, reuse and recycle still apply and to clear out the rest of the confusion, we’ve put down some pointers that will sort you out when it comes to styling yourself sustainably. Scroll down to find what they are…
Opt for natural materials
Read and educate yourself about materials that take longer to decompose or leave a remarkable carbon footprint while getting produced. Steer clear of synthetic fibres such as nylon, polyester and such except when they’re recycled or upcycled to create your clothing. Instead reach out for natural fibres such as cotton, linen and hemp among others that are organically produced – these are good for your skin and the planet.
Look for local labels
Locally produced labels that participate in fair trade, that value craftsmanship and support local artisans along with keeping the local crafts alive are your best bet. Because sustainability in fashion is not just about its ecological impact but also its social implications and so it’s very important to be aware of who made your clothes and how were they made. Any item that was produced in a sweatshop is a no no.
Evaluate the repeat value
Remember that a sustainable closet is all about quality over quantity. Before making a purchase, give that piece a 30 wears test, as Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age would recommend. This only means that invest in a piece only if you think you’ll get at least 30 wears out of it, if not more. Also manage your money accordingly – instead of spend your shopping budget on 10 fast fashion pieces, invest in a quality and ethically crafted piece. This way you’ll shop less and shop right.
Create a capsule collection
Let us tell you that you don’t need new clothes to create new outfits. This means that if you invest in a few key pieces that work across all seasons, can be styled in a million different ways together and separately and are not dictated by trends, you’ll have yourself a healthy and sustainable closet and save yourself a lot of time in the mornings as a bonus. Pieces like a crisp white shirt, a well tailored blazer, a pair of black and khaki trousers etc will always remain classics. But of course this will heavily depend on
what your personal style is.
Repair and mend
Learn to take good care of your clothing and learn to fix it on your own, don’t just discard pieces with one tear or rip. Keep a sewing kit handy wherever you go. If this isn’t a feasible option for you then find a tailor who can help you out. Make sure you’re storing and cleaning your clothing the right way. For instance, always wash your denims inside out or disinfect your woolen clothing from time to time to avoid it from getting infested by moths or mildew. This way you’ll get the most out of each piece and you’ll have to find replacements less often.
Discard the right way
Sustainability doesn’t just stop at what you add to your closet but also what you delete and how. Many of you might be spring cleaning at the moment, especially due to the lockdown and it’s convenient to just discard your throw-away items through trash. But avoid going that route as everything you trash ends up in landfills or oceans, ultimately harming the environment. Instead sort your pieces out into boxes that can be donated and the ones that can be sent to recycling – donate the clothes that are in perfectly good condition but you don’t need them anymore and recycle the clothes that are torn or tattered and unfit for wear.