I'm sure we can all agree that what we wear on the outside can change how we feel on the inside, it is a given. Good clothes give us a bounce in our step; it boosts our confidence amongst many other things.
However, it appears that the fast fashion industry is taking over the apparel market. And this is having a significant impact on the environment. Did you know that one cotton t-shirt that costs about a fiver requires almost 2,700 litres of water to produce?
The fashion industry emits 10% of the global carbon emissions and produces 21 billion tons of waste each year. I know, frightening statistics. What's worse is a majority of the textile workers are incredibly underpaid and have to work in awful, cramped working conditions.
But here's the thing - you can do something about it. All you need to do is stop the way you shop, think before you buy, and most importantly, consider if you really need it.
Shop second hand
It is the best way to find sustainable fashion, but it doesn't mean you have to trek to your local thrift store. Sites like Depop, Thriftify and Siopaella are treasure troves for pre-loved items. Believe it or not, buying second-hand doesn't only give clothes a second lease of life, but it also saves you money in the process.
Never throw clothes away
Next time you decide to do a little clearout, don't dump your duds. Instead, donate them to your local charity shop. Or, check-in with your nearest refuge centre and see if they are in need. If both options fail, pop them up on a local freecycle group. Clothes sent to landfill will be sitting there for years to come. For example, polyester can take up to 200 years to decompose.
Quality over quantity
Naturally higher quality clothes will cost you more money to buy, but they will last you so much longer. Next time you need new denim jeans, don't run off to a fast fashion shop and buy the rail. Invest your hard-earned cash in a pair that will last you for years to come.
Be season smart
Next time you see a sale, don't stock up on cheap threads just because they are going for a euro or two. If you must buy reduced pieces, look for light dresses, timeless coats, and sustainable fashion tees that you can wear all year round.
Look after what you have
If you buy better quality clothing, you are more likely to treat them better, meaning they will last longer. Avoid using the dryer, look at the instructions on the label, wash jeans inside out, and alter any minor rips or tears. You can even give old pieces a new lease of life by adding new buttons or even an embroidered badge.
Organise your wardrobe
Celebrate the pieces you have bought by putting them out front. If your closet is a cluttered mess, you won't have the headspace to choose an outfit, making you more likely to go on a shopping splurge. Starting today, sort it all out and start styling pieces that you forgot you even bought because I can guarantee you there's plenty of brand new items still with tags.
Try to buy organic cotton
And finally, if you want to truly have a sustainable fashion wardrobe, try to avoid buying fabric that uses microplastic. These are the fabrics that pollute our ocean, and they are impossible to clean because they are basically tiny little particles. Next time you shop SUSTAINABLY, look for an organic or GOTS-certified cotton symbol.