It sounds quite interesting: having a sustainable wardrobe. But when will your wardrobe be sustainable and how will you get there? There are a few things that can make your wardrobe more sustainable from now on. I want to emphasize the fact that you do not have to throw everything out or make your life more expensive. Let me give you tips on making a sustainable wardrobe in a sustainable way.
A while ago, I wrote about our unsustainable society and how acting towards sustainability can go the wrong way. That is now what we are going for today. Let’s create a sustainable wardrobe together!
.A sustainable wardrobe has better materials.
There are a lot of ‘unsustainable’ materials in the fashion industry. And sometimes it is hard to know which ones are ‘bad’ and which ones are ‘good’. But the fact is: you already have some in your wardrobe. There are some materials that have less of an impact on the environment than others. Take for example organic materials, non-virgin materials and materials that can easily be grown, harvested, made into fabric and need less water (Hemp for example!).
A material that you can try to avoid (also when it is a recycled version of it) is Polyester. This material is not only harsh for the environment when it comes to production. It is made from fossil fuels for example. This material also releases micro plastics when being washed. For the items that you already own made from this material: there is a solution! There are special washing bags that make sure that the micro plastics stay in the bag and won’t get into the water.
.Think of what you buy.
I have already mentioned this slightly in other sustainability articles. But buying quality is really important if you want to have a more sustainable wardrobe. Those items might be a little bit more expensive, but they will usually last so much longer.
Next to that, ask yourself the question if you really need it. What do you already have in your wardrobe? Can you match it with things you already own? If the answers on those questions state that you do not ‘need’ it, you might reconsider the actual purchase. If you want a more sustainable wardrobe, you sometimes have to say ‘no’ to something you might really like.
.Wash little to not.
I hear you thinking: ‘Yikes!’ But washing your clothes is not always needed. You have to wash less because of two reasons: washing costs a lot of water and soap. Next to that, each time you wash a garment, the quality goes down. So if you want to do longer with the items and therefore create a sustainable wardrobe, wash them as least as possible.
There are a lot of different ways to take care of your clothes without washing them. I will sketch an example with how to take care of jeans. Also jeans do not like it to be washed in the washing machine. The material gets thinner, the color fades and the fit can be affected. You can better turn them inside out and hang them outside. Or when you take a bath or shower you can hang them in the bathroom for a good steam. Turning it inside out will prevent a shape change. And if you made them dirty and they really need a wash: as cold as possible, as short as possible and the lowest possible centrifugation rpm.
.Let’s get started!.
I hope that these few tips can already help you in creating a sustainable wardrobe in an easy way. For me personally it was the hardest to see that something I needed was made from a ‘bad’ material. Luckily there are so many stores that do offer alternatives! And maybe those pioneers can help inspiring bigger brands to do the same.
So, you do not have to throw out the things you already own. You already have those and therefore it is unsustainable if you throw them out. But make sure that the new things you add are well-considered. And if you do want to get rid of some items: use Vinted (e.g.) to sell them!
How sustainable is your wardrobe?