It’s Earth Day which is a great day to think about how you can make your style choices more sustainable. It doesn’t have to be about denying yourself of anything beautiful or non-organic and only wearing hessian sackcloth. But instead, it’s just making some more considered choices about your choices.
How to Build a More Sustainable Style
Become the Expert on your best colours, your figure flattery guidelines, your personality and its impact on your style choices
Acquiring knowledge about style and colours and what works for you is something we weren’t taught at school, and most of us have had to learn by hit and miss (and a lot of time spent reading blog posts here at Inside Out Style).
- This is the biggest factor in becoming more sustainable.
- The more you know, the better your choices will be.
- The better your choices are the less impact you will have on the earth.
The more knowledge you have on what works for you physically, what you really love and brings you joy and what fits with your lifestyle and personality as far as the colours and styles of clothes goes, the better your choices will be. This is why I developed my 7 Steps to Style program as it gives you all the information you need to start making better decisions as well as gives you the confidence and knowledge you need to improve and claim your own style.
When you make great choices, your impact on the planet is smaller. You’re not returning items that don’t work (and sometimes these can’t be resold and are then turned into waste) and you’re not filling your own space with garments that don’t work and become clutter for your emotional health as well as your physical space.
Find out something about the source of your clothing. It’s not necessarily all bad that clothes are made overseas (maybe the fabric was also made in the same place so it has essentially not travelled as far), there are also large economies that rely on manufacturing and the people on these jobs to sustain their lives too.
Buying local is great when you can, but that is not always possible.
This is one of the most critical aspects of sustainability as far as wear goes! So often it’s ignored for information about the source of the garment. If you purchase clothing made from highly blended fibres, they just won’t wear well and will end up as waste much sooner.
Finding garments and accessories made from materials that will last longer means that they are more sustainable and will be in your wardrobe and worn more. I talk about good fabric choices in this episode of my Inside Out Style podcast.
With shoes, think about the material they are made from. Once they are scuffed can that be fixed or will it mark them forever? If they can’t be “improved” are they really a sustainable choice? Either you won’t wear them for fear of marking them, or you’ll wear and throw out more quickly.
Organise Your Wardrobe
If you can’t see it, you won’t wear it!
Actually knowing what you have in your wardrobe, being able to lay your hands on it when you need to and then wearing all your clothes (not just a small percentage of them) will make your wardrobe a more sustainable place!
Spend some time getting your wardrobe in order – in a way that works for you. I’ve got some recommendations, but you need to figure out what works for you and your lifestyle as well as your space.
Get rid of what doesn’t work – it’s more sustainable to send your mistakes to the thrift store for resale than it is to keep them in your wardrobe – as then someone else has a chance of getting good wear out of them! If they still in fashion they will have a much longer life than if you’ve kept them for years thinking … maybe one day…
What if it’s not good enough to be worn anymore by anyone? Well, why not find a recycling program – like Upparel is doing here in Australia that takes even your unwearables!
Alter Your Clothes to Fit
So often clothes are left languishing because they don’t fit quite right. I am often told by women that they don’t want to spend money on an alteration as they feel that it’s wasteful, yet they end up with clothes they are not wearing because of this.
Answer me this?
Is it more wasteful to spend the extra money on the clothes to make them fit you and then they get worn or to not spend any money getting an alteration and then never wearing the clothes that sit in your wardrobe?
Yes, you know it, even if you don’t want to admit it. It’s much more sustainable and less wasteful to get alterations! So if there is anything in your wardrobe that needs fixing in some way or other – get it out and just do it!
Revamp and Upcycle
Don’t love it how it is anymore? Can it be revamped or upcycled in some way that means it will have another life?
Shop Your Wardrobe
Rather than always going out and buying new when you’re feeling a bit bored or down, instead try shopping your own wardrobe. Challenge yourself to create a new outfit each day from what you already own. Do a style challenge such as Evolve Your Style which will help you get out of your style rut and has been described as life-changing (in a good way).