How to build a Sustainable & Ethical Wardrobe
In a world dominated by fast fashion, how can we as consumers become more conscious without having to spend a fortune and throwing out our entire wardrobe?
In this four part blog series we will look at how we can start to become more conscious and making better decisions about how and where we shop! Its a question I get asked so often, How do I build a sustainable & ethical wardrobe? How do I shop sustainably and become a conscious and ethical consumer?
Start With What You Have
Moving towards sustainable fashion doesn’t call for a whole new wardrobe, start with what you already have. Look at what you have in terms of fit, condition, cut, ease of care etc, but don’t worry about where it came from. The environmental and social costs of producing the fast fashion pieces you already own have been paid. The best way to reduce the overall environmental toll of those items is to extend their lifespan.
In Ireland we have the great company called The Zip Yard, Ive taken so many of my old clothes here and they have expertly given them a whole new lease of life. Alternatively, if you know a good tailor make an appointment to see them and bring your old clothing items, you would be very surprised with what ideas they will come up with, or you yourself are handy with a sewing machine, why not do it yourself. Even if you do not own a sewing machine, you can start with small projects, with just a scissors and creativity you can start your own journey of fashion design. Here is a good example of a starting project.
I have favorite pieces in my wardrobe leftover from the days when I didn’t question where my clothes came from. Investment pieces I used to call them, I take good care them, wash them with care, store them well and thankfully they are still in good shape after over ten years. I think it’s more sustainable to continue to wear them rather than simply replace them with a different brand.
Remember, sustainable fashion seeks to reduce the environmental impact, but every sustainable item still has an environmental cost. We can’t simply buy our way into a sustainable world.
Making due with what we already own and saying no to unnecessary purchases is a huge step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. When items wear out and need replacing, source a more responsible brand. Until then, wear what you already have.