5 simple steps to being more sustainable
The idea of creating a sustainable or ethical wardrobe from scratch is, without doubt, a daunting one. Not being able to wear the brands you are used to, limiting your choices in terms of trends, having to spend a little more than you would normally?
All of these concerns are of course valid, but it isn't as hard as you might think to get started on a sustainable wardrobe – and it's definitively worth it in the long run.
Here, we have rounded up 10 tips from the experts on how to have a more sustainable wardrobe, without very much effort at all.
1. The 30 wears test
Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age (a company which certifies brands for their sustainability) began the #30Wears campaign to encourage us to only buy an item if we really know that we'll wear it.
She told us: "The biggest message is every time you buy something, always think, 'Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?' If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you'd be surprised how many times you say no."
Try to veer away from buying that statement piece you know you are only going to wear for one occasion, and instead invest in something with more longevity that you can wear again and again. Pick more versatile pieces that can be styled in different ways, rather than that one item you know is going to fall out of fashion in no time.
2. Be more informed
One of the most difficult things about trying to be more sustainable is knowing where to start – and more importantly, where to shop. In this day and age, however, it is much easier than it once was as there are so many brands that are run with a sustainable focus in mind.
Tome, Reformation, Aitch Aitch, Amur, Article22, Zady, Kitx, Veja, Bottletop and Lemlem are all recommended and certified by Eco Age (more of their clients this way). Here, we have rounded up a list of eco warrior Emma Watson's recommended sustainable brands – and don't forget to keep an eye out for sustainable ranges in some of the high street's biggest shops, like H&M's Conscious Collection.
Do a little investigative work, find a handful of brands you love and start from there. After a while, your portfolio of knowledge will have grown – and you'll have a whole host of brands to choose from.
3. Shop vintage
"Every new item of clothing made has a substantial carbon footprint attached to its manufacturing; but the amount of new energy needed to produce vintage clothing is zero," Emma Watson said on her Press Tour account.
"Vintage clothing has a huge role to play in making fashion more sustainable and reducing a global footprint that includes the 132m metric tons of coal used yearly through the production of new fibres, dyeing and bleaching of garments and the 6-9 trillion litres of water used by the industry."
William Vintage, Vestiaire Collective and Edit Second Hand are all great options. More best designer resale sites below.
4. Invest in trans-seasonal clothes
Only buy items that you know are going to work for you all-year-round. Don't shell out on an entire summer wardrobe each year when you live in cold and rainy London – you won't pass the 30 wears test. Instead, spend the bulk of your money on pieces that will see you through more than one season. Jeans, T-shirts, classic dresses, timeless coats and jackets will make for a much more sustainable wardrobe.
5. Donate your unwanted clothes
Donating your unwanted clothes to a good cause, rather than leaving them hanging in your wardrobe will help others to be more sustainable, who will invest in your old pieces, rather than buying something new. A great way to do this is to have a one-in, one-out policy – live by the mantra that every time you buy something, you'll donate something else in your wardrobe.