Upcycle your existing pieces
We all become bored by our wardrobe from time to time, but resist the impulsive urge to fix that feeling by hitting the shops. Instead, get those creative juices flowing to give your clothes a new lease of life.
Dye your clothes
Gone are the days of prodding clothes around with a stick in a bucket full of dye. Dylon pods can be used safely within the washing machine to quickly switch the colour of your clothes. It’s fun and simple to do, plus their dye is vegan and environmentally friendly.
Alter your clothes
Even if your not fully adept with a needle and thread, it’s very simple to swap old buttons for new ones on coats and cardigans. You can find a fabulous range of buttons on Etsy, or better still check out your local haberdashery shop.
For more extensive alterations to collars, necklines or the fit and length of clothing you might want to call on the services of your local seamstress or tailor.
Dig out your jewellery, belts and scarves and pair them with items of clothing you’ve never worn them with before. Even the simple addition of a brooch to the lapel of a blazer can instantly alter and elevate the entire look - giving the blazer a brand new feel.
Choose quality over quantity
Have you heard of the saying ‘buy better, buy less’? It’s an excellent motto to remember when clothes shopping.
Seek out well made, high quality items of clothing and always invest more in the items which you’ll wear the most. Not only will you look more ‘polished’ wearing those higher quality clothes, but turning your back on fast, throwaway fashion will actually save you money in the long run.
One way to check how well an item is made is to turn it inside out and inspect the stitching. If it’s frayed, loose or generally untidy it won’t take long for the item to begin to lose its shape and structure.
Explore pre-loved clothes in charity shops
There are many hidden gems within your local charity shop - many of which will be unworn clothing with their original tags on.
Knowing that you’ve grabbed yourself a bargain whilst supporting a charity is a wonderful feeling. In fact, it can become a bit addictive! When you find an item of clothing that suits your style.. in a colour you love.. and in your size it’s like hitting the sartorial jackpot!
Remember to keep your eyes peeled for those well made, high quality items I mentioned above, because they’ll be a fraction of their original price within the charity shops.
Hire an outfit
Before you buy a new outfit for a special occasion, consider renting one instead.
If you’re wondering what to wear for an upcoming date, wedding, christening or even holiday I urge you to check out Hirestreet. It’s an online clothing rental platform which offers access to a wide range of premium brands at affordable prices. Hirestreet also have a preloved sale section where customers can purchase clothes to keep, that are retiring from rentals.
Shop from brands with green values
Support those brands who are making a stand against fast fashion and paving new ways in the sustainable and ethical production of clothes.
Dress Code, an independent retailer based in Cambridge, is a fine example of such a brand. A range of their shirts, the Climate Code’s, are made from Tencel (a fabric formed from wood pulp), are printed digitally (a zero waste, low energy form of printing), and are specifically created to raise awareness of climate change and global warming. In fact, the striped print upon the shirts actually details the recorded temperature changes that have taken place in the Arctic over the past 800,000 years.
Dress Code also display their ‘sustainability and environmental pledge’ on their website. Not all clothing companies do this - if a brand you are considering purchasing from does not display theirs, consider the potential reasons why. For me, it’s a bit of a red flag.
Care for your clothes
Finally, take care of the clothes which you have invested in to enhance each item’s function, longevity and appearance,
Only wash your clothes when they need it.
I’m not suggesting we slacken on hygiene here, but we should stop and think before slinging items straight into the laundry basket on auto pilot. Obviously if an item of clothing smells, or is very dirty, it will need washing. But if it just has a small mark, spot clean that area with a damp sponge and hang it back inside your wardrobe.
Lower the temperature on your washing machine.
Most machines are set to 40 degrees, but try lowering it to 30 degrees. Nowadays most washing detergents (I highly recommend Smol which is eco-friendly) ensure that your clothes come out of the machine exceptionally clean, even when washed at lower temperatures.
Hang your clothes out to dry.
Albeit a weather dependent option, but hanging your clothes out on the washing line to dry is a far superior option than the tumble dryer. Not only is line drying the most environmentally friendly option, but you simply cannot beat the smell of fresh laundry that’s been dried outside.
Whilst we are on the subject of washing and drying - always follow an items care label!
I hope that you have found these tips useful and that they have given you food for thought on how you can adopt a greener approach to your wardrobe.
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