How to create a sustainable wardrobe

Creating a sustainable wardrobe can be a bit of a daunting task. If you’re used to wearing designer brands, and not really thinking about what you’re buying, this could be quite a challenging thing to do! However, it is worth it.

Why do I need to have a sustainable wardrobe?

Sustainable fashion has become increasingly popular. Environmental concerns with the fashion industry are persuading people to create sustainable wardrobes. Statistics show that 8.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas comes from the fashion industry, and by 2030, there is expected to be 148 million tonnes of fashion waste.

The smallest change you make could help the environment! Here are some steps on how to create a sustainable wardrobe.

Step one: Have a wardrobe clear-out

Wardrobes often have clothes from years ago that don’t fit anymore, or clothes that will never be worn again! A great idea is to have a wardrobe clear-out.

The best way to do this is to have two piles labelled ‘keep’ and ‘donate’. When you’re sorting through your clothes, you need to ask yourself the question, ‘’will I really wear this?’’ If you have to hesitate and think of a situation that you might wear it once, it isn’t worth keeping.

Donating your clothes could change someone’s life. Your old t-shirt might not mean much to you, but it could become someone’s favourite item of clothing!

Around 336,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing gets thrown away every year, so make sure to find somewhere to donate your clothing. You can donate your clothes to charity shops, clothing banks or recycle centres.

Step two: Work with what you’ve got

You may have a variety of clothing that you don’t want to give up, but it’s damaged. To have a sustainable wardrobe, it is key to fix your existing clothing rather than buying new options and wasting material.

If you want to try new styles, create new clothing with what you have! This might sound complicated, but you could easily make a casual summer dress out of an old t-shirt.

Step three: Change your attitude to shopping

Creating a sustainable wardrobe is not a quick process. Each small change you make over time will be contributing.

It is vital to change your attitude to shopping. By deciding to shop less, fix and donate your clothes, you are creating a permanent attitude change that can stick with you long term to help maintain a sustainable wardrobe.

Reusable vintage clothing in a pile.

Step four: Vintage

Vintage clothing is becoming increasingly popular. From collectables to rare clothing, the vintage world gives you the option to have something unique in your wardrobe.

The best part about shopping vintage is that it’s eco-friendly! Buying re-usable clothing from vintage stores means you’re getting a better quality and unique product, for a lower price.

There are plenty of vintage places to shop, including Blue Rinse, Depop and Etsy.

Step five: Make some rules

To make sure this is a permanent attitude change, make yourself some rules for shopping.

If you like shopping often, try to cut down on this, maybe even a shopping ban, or if you cannot shake this need to shop – shop vintage!

Another rule would be to set a budget. If you set a budget, you can try to find cheaper options which will lead you to browse used clothes. Not only does this give you a sustainable wardrobe, but it will save you a lot of money.

Finally, make sure when you’re shopping to ask yourself, ‘’do I really need this?’’ If there is hesitation, put it back. You will be able to find yourself a great alternative in your wardrobe already.

Published by

Lucy Ravenhall

Lucy is a long-standing editor of the Forge Recycling blog and loves writing about her environmental passions.