After talking to some friends about how they view sustainable fashion, I found out that a lot of them wanted to know what small steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprint. You can make some very small and easy changes in order to reduce the amount of waste we contribute when it comes to our clothing. I decided to narrow it down to 5 things but let me know if you’d like to see a few more tips and I’d be happy to share. I hope you guys find this post helpful.
1. Take care of your clothes
The simplest thing we can do is take care of the items we already have. Read labels and wash accordingly. If it says hand wash, just do it. You’ll be so happy with how many extra times you get to wear that item. You can find some great recipes to make your own laundry detergent here and here. Also, line dry whenever possible. If you can avoid dry cleaners, please do. It’s not good for the planet or your health. If you must, look for an eco-friendly “wet cleaner” who can do them same job without all of the harsh chemicals. Another great tip is to learn how to do basic sewing. Simple things like fixing a button or a zipper, repairing a rip, or fixing a hem can increase the lifetime of your garment.
Once you grow tired of an item (and it will inevitably happen) turn it into something else you can use. Check out ReFashionista when you get a chance. She’s a huge inspiration when it comes to turning older style clothing into fashion-forward street wear. It’s amazing what you can do with some imagination. You can also find tutorials on YouTube that can show you different projects that only involve a single piece of clothing.
This tip actually came to me from my friend, Ryan, who previously did a guest post on here about thrifting. For every item she buys at the thrift store, she brings one the next time to donate. This does two things: One, you participate in the thrifting life cycle and provide other people with a chance to take home that bizarrely printed kaftan that you had to have last summer. Two, you get a chance to get rid of items you know your no longer going to use. Another great idea is to hold a clothing swap party and have your friends bring over some well-maintained items that they no longer use. You can trade items you really like and the rest of it can be donated to your local thrift store. The last tip is to sell clothing that is in excellent condition, a sought after brand, currently on trend, or a staple item on websites like Ebay.
4. Talk to your local boutiques.
Boutique owners and buyers are great to talk to. Let them know your interested in sustainable fashion. If it’s already a boutique that sells sustainable fashion items than they might be able to give you information on other designers and labels you might like to try. If there is a certain designer or label that your interested in, let them know. They may be able to become a stockist. As a consumer we make our voices heard by buying the products we love.
5. Be conscious of new purchases.
When buying brand new item, try to buy items that are made of organic textiles or through sustainable manufacturing products. Some other things to think about are whether or not the item is made in the US as well. Buy items that will be staples in your regular wardrobe. Lastly, try to purchase from local stores so you can show your support for your local community.
All images courtesy of We Heart It.