Sustainably Fashionable: A beginner’s guide to Sustainable Fashion

For years, I believed that to stay fashionable, I needed new clothes and shoes, and accessories that match them. Why? To be on ‘trend’. Not only me, I know for a fact that a lot of people around me and you have the same belief. We love shopping, some more obsessively than others. I was one of them too.

Until recently, I started feeling guilty about my fashion habits when I was introduced to the term ‘sustainable fashion’. I learned about the footprints that the clothes that I choose to wear impact, mostly negatively, to the environment.

So to put an end to all the guilt-tripping, five months ago, I began my journey to be sustainable when it comes to fashion. Here are some ways that I adopted to be sustainable, yet fashionable:

Deep dive into the wardrobe:

The clothes that you already have inside your wardrobe are the most sustainable ones. So, instead of buying new clothes, we need to use them to their full extent. Explore ways how you can style them in different ways. Analyze which items you will wear and which items you will end up not wearing in the future.

If there are clothes that you probably will never wear and you believe they will be sitting in one corner of your wardrobe, you can always donate your clothes to someone who will actually make use of it.

Rent more:

When it comes to special occasions, we tend to spend more on the items of clothing that we probably will not wear more than two or three times. So, why spend a ton of money on something you will just keep on your shelf most of the time? What we can do instead is rent clothes. There are various places that let you rent clothes for special occasions – be it a wedding, prom, party, any occasion.

Repair your clothes:

I had this bad habit of discarding my clothes once they got torn. But, we can always repair it and wear them again. So, I started learning hand-sewing from YouTube tutorials. It’s a different story that I turned out to be bad on it. Now, I take my damaged clothes to my nearest tailor to fix it. So, you can also learn to sew. If not, fix them by taking them to a tailor.

Thrift and swap:

Wearing pre-loved clothes is an option from which you can add new pieces of clothing in your wardrobe. We can thrift second-hand clothes from various outlets and internet storefronts. Next, we can also swap the clothes that we won’t wear anymore with others. You can swap clothes within your friend circle, or you can take part in exchange events where you can swap clothes with strangers.

Ask yourself if you need it:

No matter how much we repress our desire to buy clothes, we will always get tempted when we see a great piece. But, asking yourself whether or not you will be wearing the item more than 30 times will help you determine your own need for that specific item. If, and only if,  you are sure that you will be wearing the item more than 30 times, you can buy it.

Shop from local brands:

Now, if you are in dire need of a specific clothing item and you cannot seem to find it in thrift shops, you can buy from local brands. Buying locally will ensure that the local economy is being supported and local people are gaining jobs from these brands. On top of that, local products are often more sustainable than products from bigger brands.

Quality over quantity:

While buying any items of clothing, we always have to look for quality. Now, it is obvious that high-quality products are more expensive than its cheaper substitute. But, these high-quality products will always last longer. So, in the long run, investing in qualitative items turn out to be cheaper and sustainable than investing smaller amounts on many items.

Adopting these simple ways will help you begin your journey towards a sustainable wardrobe. Now, what more you can do is educate your friends and family about this. The more, the merrier. Because we can only reduce our footprints, one person at a time.

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