So, you’re on board with ethical style? Awesome! Now you’ve made that decision, it can be oh so tempting to want to go into your wardrobe and throw out every fast fashion piece you find. But, stop. Slow down. Did you know that an estimated $240M worth of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK alone? And, because a lot of our fast fashion clothes are made from synthetic fibres, these can take decades to break down in landfill.
There’s a quote by Vivienne Westwood that I adore, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.”
But before you start buying well, have a look at your current wardrobe.
Go through every garment in your wardrobe and decide if you love it or not. If you love it, if it fits you well, if it is flattering, if it is in good condition and you’ll get at least thirty wears out of it – it stays. Fast fashion piece or not, if you know you’re going to wear a garment at least 30 times it definitely has a place in your wardrobe.
What to do with the clothes that don’t make the cut? For me, some ended up as cleaning rags, and some I now wear as pyjamas. The rest ended up at a Biggest Morning Tea event that I organised with a close friend of mine. I sold all of my unwanted clothes to the gorgeous ladies who attended our event for $10 a piece and donated all the proceeds to the Cancer Council. You can also donate your high quality unwanted garments to other charities like Dressed for Success.
Work out where the gaps are in your wardrobe. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out this link to MY SERVICES page. Know your style and don’t buy into trends, unless you’ve fallen head over heels and know you’ll get your #30wears. Trends generally tend to create waste through this sense of garments being ‘last season’ or out of date.
Resist the urge to buy impulsively – that’s where mistakes happen with size, style, colour and ethics. I research all the brands I work with and buy from through their websites and ask lots of questions – you can too.
But, if you’re time poor I have the answer in the form of an app – GOOD ON YOU. You can search for particular brands or particular types of clothing and this app will give you ratings on labour, environment and animals to help you make an ethical choice. You can also have a look at the Fashion Transparency Index and the Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide.
Take care of your clothes – wash them correctly and store them well. Get handy with a needle and thread and sew that button back on. Make friends with your local dress maker and get your clothes altered if it means you’ll get more wear out of them.