Styles come and go, and so do the trendy pieces that circulate in and out of the stores. And the mass production of trendy, short-lived clothing has a massive impact on the environment.
According to Business Insider, “Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources and pollutes rivers and streams.” It’s not a good look for the fashion industry.
But there are ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable and keep the earth healthy and strong.
1. Create A Capsule Wardrobe
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great place to start on your sustainable fashion journey.
First, start with a closet clean-out and donate any clothes you don’t wear and don’t plan on wearing. Try to avoid throwing these articles of clothing in the trash.
Then, customize your closet to begin forming your capsule wardrobe. Make sure to include about 25-50 staple pieces. These pieces should include outerwear, clothing, accessories and shoes. You want to make sure these clothing pieces are timeless, quality-made and items you love to wear.
You likely see that you already have a capsule wardrobe; you just need to weed through everything else to find it.
Also, not every piece you own has to be super high-quality. Basic pieces from Old Navy and Gap that you already own are great for capsule wardrobes and last several years. (I would know!)
2. Repair And Upgrade Your Clothes
Take a cue from granny and learn how to mend your clothes.
Instead of tossing a pair of ripped jeans in the trash, patch them up with the cutest material. Or breathe new life into good-to-wear pieces by altering and even dying the fabric. This will lengthen the life span of your clothing and keep you coming back for more.
And while patching, sewing a button, fixing a strap or darning a sock may seem daunting, with a little patience and practice, (and a Youtube video or two) you’ll be enhancing your clothes like a pro.
3. Shop At Thrift Stores
Instead of heading to the mall to go shopping, check out your local thrift store, or an online thrift store like thredUP, instead.
This way, you’ll recycle clothing while reducing pollution and waste. This is especially important when the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes per year.
So choose preloved items, reduce your carbon footprint and keep an eye out for fashion gems.
4. Buy From Sustainable Companies
If thrifting isn’t for you, or you have your eye on a specific style, intentionally purchase from companies that utilize sustainable practices.
Companies like Happy Earth Apparel, Known Supply, Girlfriend Collective and Kotn are leaders in the sustainable realm and offer great affordable prices.