With an increased awareness and sense of emergency being held towards the state of our planet a lot of people are reconsidering the effect their own lifestyle and carbon footprint are creating. While a majority of this change is reliant on big brands and governments, we’re still seeing a huge movement towards smaller consumers and businesses. More people are investing in reusable objects, cutting down on single use products and rethinking their wardrobes, opting for vintage shorts and clothes.
Today we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can start building your own sustainable wardrobe.
What is a Sustainable Wardrobe?
Much to everyone's belief building a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t mean having three complete outfits, or a closet filled with slow fashion pieces. While these pieces are genuinely more expensive because you’re paying a living wage for the workers, they can become something that’s harder for everyone to follow through with and solely purchase. A sustainable wardrobe is one that’s made by responsible and knowledgeable choices that are appropriate to your economic lifestyle.
How Can I Afford a Sustainable Closet?
The great thing about building a sustainable closet is that there isn’t one way to do it. Sustainability is different for everyone and can be put into effect in your life at different levels that suit your lifestyle. Meaning there are many ways for you to start building this momentum up. You don’t have to start from scratch or donate all your clothes and start again. Sustainable wardrobes are all about conscious shopping.
Set Up a Budget
Fast fashion runs through impulse buying and strategic wording. So, the first step is to budget your spending. Whether that’s by limiting yourself to a few pieces a month, or a solid financial figure.
By sitting down and adding up all your clothing purchases you can decide whether you’ve been going overboard and need to limit your spending, or not. This can be a great way to look at your spending on a larger scale and take a closer look towards the money you could have saved or put to better use.
Make a List
Making a list of the clothes you need vs want is another great method to put to the test if you're truly trying to reach a sustainable wardrobe and lifestyle.
By making a list of clothing you need to replace, fix, and donate or sell, it’ll mean fewer tempting opportunities when you go to the shops or scroll through Facebook. Pieces of clothing that you need could be socks because yours have holes in them, or it could be a new jacket that can be worn in many situations. By continuously reviewing your closet and deciding what can be fixed and what needs to be replaced, you can start to understand the fundamental difference between the ‘need’ and ‘want’ you have for different things while shopping.
Think About Your Purchases
If by some chance you find yourself out shopping with a pile of sale items under your arms, questioning your potential purchase could save your wallet and new mindset from crashing.
Asking simple questions like “will I wear this often enough to be worth the environmental offset?” (or other questions similar to the flowchart below) can help your mind to justify whether you really need it or if it's just an impulse buy. You should also have a look at the sustainability and ethical methods that the brand abides by. It's usually found that the cheaper the clothing the more likely its been made in unethical conditions.
Questioning and doing a google search is a simple strategy that can reduce the effectiveness impulse buying can have on you. And can become a great starting point in your journey to shopping more consciously.
Considerations To Relying On Slow Fashion
If you opt to buy only slow fashion pieces, but in the same volume as you would fast fashion you could find yourself falling backyards and not really improving your carbon footprint. While these environmentally and ethically paid pieces are creating less carbon offset than other brands it’s still contributing to global emissions. This is why vintage and second-hand shopping has become so popular. By opting to buy second hand the life expectancy of clothing is being extended over and over again. With over 85% of produced clothes going to landfill a year vintage and second-hand shopping is actively working at keeping these clothes in our wardrobes and shelves to be worn and repaired, not in the dump contributing to carbon pollution.
Sustainable shopping isn't just about buying slow fashion. It’s about shopping less, repairing your clothes as often as you can and really looking after the things you buy. If you buy fast fashion only when you urgently need to replace something, and continually fix clothes and extend their life then you’re truly creating a sustainable wardrobe. To start shopping more consciously and build your sustainable wardrobe visit Official Vintage’s store today to find a range of vintage and pre-loved clothes.