ECO TIPS: MAKE YOUR WARDROBE MORE ECO-SUSTAINABLE (AND EVEN MORE STYLISH!)
Thursday 04 June 2020
It’s time to think about taking a more sustainable approach towards our wardrobes. Here are five tips you can start following today to make a positive impact
With summer around the corner, maybe you are shifting your attention from cooking to sorting your wardrobe for warmer days. Think twice before you make any new purchases though! We buy 60 per cent more clothes today than we did ten years ago, and 85 per cent of our old clothes end up in rubbish dumps and landfills every year.
Having a sustainable wardrobe means buying planet-friendly and worker-friendly clothing. The first step is to understand which materials benefit the environment. On one end of the spectrum we have natural fibres, such as flax, silk, or wool, which originate from nature. At the other end we have synthetic fibres, such as polyester, which are man-made. As a rule of thumb, the closer you stick with natural components, the lesser the impact on our environment. The second step is understanding green manufacturing processes and worker’s safety standards. Fairtrade labels, for example, guarantee sustainable clothing production while ensuring minimum wage and equal rights. If you love a particular brand, do some homework to understand more about their sustainability choices and production methods.
We all have a “just in case” pile of clothes we keep in our closets. Now is the time to get it out and rediscover clothes you haven’t worn in years. Recreate styles and blend together vintage items with newer pieces.
If you do end up with a discarded pile of clothes you will never wear again, consider donating or recycling them before throwing them in the bin. Donating your clothes to local charities keeps clothes in circulation and reduces the chance of them ending up in landfills. Once in a dump, a polyester shirt can take anywhere between 20 to 200 years to fully decompose, all while releasing methane into the air. If you are donating or recycling, remember to wash the items thoroughly beforehand.
This is a great way to extend the life of your clothes and reduce textile waste. Old clothes can be refitted to your size or altered to create a fabulous new look. Specialty repairs can also be done to your worn-out leather shoes and bags. Don’t give up on them just yet!
If you can’t resist the urge to buy new clothes, try buying less impulsively. Avoid “trendy” clothing and instead invest in high quality, versatile pieces that you can wear throughout the year. Here’s a guide to the top eco-friendly clothing brands, as well as a list of best online sustainable stores for your summer shopping.