1. Know your wardrobe
Knowing what is in your wardrobe is probably the best way to reduce the amount of clothes that you buy and ensure that you make use of what you already have. Stylebook closet App is just one way to manage your wardrobe on your iphone or ipad. You can add photographs of all of the clothes that you own and then organise them by categorising them, planning future outfits and keeping track of what you have worn. There is even a calender and packing lists. You need never look in your wardrobe and announce “I have nothing to wear” again!
2.Charity shop from your armchair
Charity shopping is probably the best place for finding sustainable fashion. Not only are you making use of something that has already been made adn may otherwise end up in landfill but you are also helping a worthwhile cause. Whilst charity shopping is great fun and a great way to create your own individual look on a budget, it can be a little time consuming. The Oxfam Fashion website gives you the opportunity to quickly search a huge amount of charity shop stock, filtering by colour, style, size and brand. They even have a return policy incase your chosen item doesn’t fit/ suit. For upcycled fashion, you can also armchair shop at Fix Up, Look Sharp (for CLIC Sargent) and TRAIDremade.
3. Get the low down on brands quickly
If you have spotted a lovely dress whilst browsing online but aren’t sure about how sustainable it might, the Ethical Consumer guides are a great place to find out how your favourite fashion store rates for a variety of factors including environment, animals, people, politics and product sustainability. Looking for a brands sustainability or corporate responsibility statement on their website can also be confusing as they may be lacking in detail, generalised, full of jargon or just plain missing altogether. Ethical Consumer makes it easy and straight forward to decide which brands you do and do not want to buy from. You can customise the rating by deciding on how important each of these factors are to you and also compare the scores to other similar retailers.
3. Swap your clothes
Clothes swapping parties are great fun and easy to organise but if the thought of organising one is just too daunting or you just haven’t got around to it, why not ask friends to bring along an unwanted accessory to swap, next time you invite them to dinner. Not only will each guest go home with something to refresh their wardrobe but the stories behind the accessories will also be a great source of conversation over dinner. Websites like Girl Meets Dress and Wish Want Wear have a great selection of designer dresses for hire.
4. Stop buying magazines
Magazines are usually funded by advertising so it is not surprising that their pages are dedicated to telling you what ‘essential items’ or ‘must haves’ you can’t possibly do without for the season ahead and as if that isn’t enough, they usually feature more adverts than content. Blogs feature real people, are free to read, full of great information and don’t use paper and ink, making them a much more sustainable choice than magazines. Rather than encouraging you to keep buying clothes that you don’t really need, there are now many blogs giving inspiration on how to wear charity shop finds and create your own DIY style.
5.Collect sustainable style inspiration
Pinterest and Polyvore are just two platforms that you can use to collect ideas for sustainable style that you see whilst browsing the web. That way when you do need to buy something new, it won’t take you too long to find where you saw that amazing organic cotton dress or fair trade hand crafted accessory. There are also lots of great boards, pinner and Polyvore outfit makers to follow for sustainable style inspiration.
6. Update something old with an interesting accessory
Adding an interesting accessory like a vintage scarf or hand crafted piece of jewellery will add a new lease of life to a basic piece of clothing in your wardrobe which you may have got a little bored of.
7. Borrow something
If you need a one of piece of clothing for a special event but you probably won’t wear it again, cut down on cost, environmental impact and storage space by borrowing something. If you don’t have a friend that can lend you what you need, why not consider hiring? You can pick yourself out a beautiful designer dress that you won’t usually be able to afford.
8. Give your clothes a little TLC
Clothes that are loved and cared for will last longer. There are some really simple things that you can do to prolong the life of your clothes. Invest in good quality hangers to ensure that your clothes stay in shape, use cedar wood balls to keep moths well away from your knitwear, wash dark and colour clothes separately and always read the care labels on your clothes.
9. Shop online
Shopping online is quick, easy and will give you access to many more ethical and sustainable fashion brands than you could find on the high street. If you get to know which styles are likely work best for you, you can also ensure that you get a beautiful piece of clothing that you are likely to wear for many years to come.
10. Shop my store
Ok last but not least (and a completely shameless plug!), you could also check out my ethical fashion store which features a large selection of ethical and sustainable fashion including organic, upcycled, fair trade, vegan and vintage clothes. The search function allows you to quickly find an ethical alternative for whatever you are looking to buy or you can browse the ethical fashion brand directory to discover alternative places to shop.
Do have any extra ideas to add to the list? Please let me know in the comments below.