If you've landed on this article, chances are you're thinking of how to become more sustainable with your fashion choices. Unfortunately, the internet is full of statistics and sometimes conflicting information about the fashion industry. It can seem almost impossible to become truly sustainable when it comes to filling your closet with clothes.
While you'll need to make some changes to shopping habits, it's not the uphill battle some people portray it as. We're sharing four of our top tips for embracing sustainable fashion. Spoiler alert: it's minimalism.
If you've ever taken a scroll through your Instagram feed, you've probably seen hundreds of photos of people who have closets that look more like studio apartments. You don't need a hundred pairs of heels or even the same jumper in every colour of the rainbow.
Capsule closets are becoming a growing trend amongst Millennials and Gen Z. They want to embrace sustainable fashion in a 'trendy' way. However, there are no hot and fast rules when it comes to capsule closets. There is no set number of items you can have or rules about when you can go shopping. You can make your capsule closet however you want it to be.
The purpose of a capsule closet is to fill it full of items that you're always reaching for. Every piece should be easy to mix and match with the rest of your wardrobe. It's all about choosing pieces that flattering your body and that you feel comfortable in. You might choose to have a set number of items or operate a "one in, one out" system. Some people choose to select a small closet in their home and use it as their 'capsule'.
You can think of a capsule closet as a way of streamlining your closet with clothes that will last a lifetime. If you're not sure where to start, it's a good idea to look at what you already have in your closet. Then, ask yourself how often you wear it and if you could give it a second life by re-selling or donating to charity.
A good number to start with is fifteen items or less – but the rules are what you make them.
Quality vs Quantity
At the heart of your new minimalistic approach to fashion should be 'quality vs quantity'. It's an age-old debate in the world of fashion. Do you invest your money into a few pieces, or do you diversify your closet with more garments? People tend to fall hard onto one side or the other.
A good way of thinking about it is whether you'd rather spend $50 on one jumper that will last ten years or $10 each on five jumpers that hardly last a season. It's easy to get caught up in the price tag on an item – but quality fashion doesn't always come with a crazy price tag.
It's all about learning what fabrics are worth their money and which ones will start to flake and rip within a few wears. We've all picked made an impulse purchase of a cheap jumper or dress that's broken within one or two wears. Inevitably, we end up feeling like we've put money down the drain.
Choosing quality garments doesn't just help the environment by cutting down waste; it's kinder to your bank balance. You can still enjoy all the latest trends and spoil yourself with a new dress, knowing that it will stay in your closet for years to come.
Part of minimalism is choosing quality garments, which means skipping over fast fashion and helping protect our ecosystem in the process. A win-win!
Wave Goodbye to Fast Fashion
It's time to turn your back on fast fashion.
Fast fashion is as much a psychological issue as an environmental one. It's fuelled by the idea that we need to have new things continuously. Gone are the days when designers released four collections a year. Popular high street brands release at least 20 a year.
Moving away from fast fashion is easier than you think. It's all about changing your mindset.
Fast fashion is trends that are here one minute and gone the next. Social media has a role to play in it. We're left thinking we need to have something just because an influencer or celebrity has been spotted wearing it.
If you want to make more sustainable fashion choices, then stop feeling like you have to follow every trend out there. You might buy a garment because it's considered to be on-trend and then never wear it. 20% of the clothing we buy is never worn – a direct result of fast fashion trends that change faster than a New York minute.
Instead of buying clothes that someone else says you should wear, step back and buy clothing that you want to buy. Figuring out your style and aesthetic will help you find clothes that work for you and that you'll wear for more than one season.
Looking Behind the Label
When you're shopping for sustainable clothing, you want to look beyond the price label. There's so much more to a garment than just how it looks. You want to go beyond the surface and think about the chemicals, dyes, and fabrics used to compose each piece.
It's not just the fabrics that are harming our planet, and it's their chemicals and dyes as well. Almost every material with its blend of chemicals and other components has pros and cons. There are hardly any entirely sustainable fabrics.
Shop around for sustainable and vegan materials like linen and cork. Don't overlook recycled fabrics as well. More brands are choosing to save and reuse waste fabrics and give them a second life. Using recycled cotton is always better than buying or producing new cotton. Polyester is another fabric that is becoming popular as a recycled material within the industry. When you're buying leather, look for vegetable tanned leather instead of chemically dyed leather.
Making the switch to sustainable fashion isn't as hard as you might think. It's all about making minor changes to your habits and changing your relationship to fashion trends. Shop for quality pieces that fit your style to build a capsule closet of clothes that are sustainable and will last you a lifetime.
Like we say, Think Sustainable.