I don’t need to tell you that the planet is in danger, everyone knows that. But what you might not know is how fashion impacts this. The fashion industry produces nearly 20% of the world’s waste water and around 10% of global carbon emissions. It takes 20,000 litres of water to make just one T-shirt and one pair of jeans. Most of us drink 2 litres of water a day (this may vary for those weirdos who hate the taste of water), which means it would take over 1000 days to drink the amount of water used to make your “jeans and a nice top combo”. How many pairs of jeans have you got? How many people buy new tops every month? You see the problem. But don’t stress huns, you can make your wardrobe more sustainable without looking like you got dressed in the dark.
Accept that wearing the same outfit once is stupid.
Soz, but it is. It’s wasteful, it’s expensive, and it’s bad for the planet because all the water, labour and material is just for 6 hours and an Instagram photo. Unless it’s your wedding dress or you literally soil yourself, stop buying things and only wearing them once. You can customise them, style them differently, layer them with alternative accessories… turn them into a cushion if you like. If you absolutely cannot stop buying clothes for one night, make sure you sell them on afterwards rather than just chucking them out.
Buy more expensive things (that you love)
You wouldn’t spend ages saving for a Gucci bag and then wear it only once, would you? Now I’m not saying this is Prada or Nada honey, but rather than buying 12 low-quality items that you kind of like, it’s way more sustainable to buy one more-expensive thing that you love and want to wear forever. Generally speaking, the more something costs the better quality it is, which means it’ll need replacing less often. But because I’m a broke gal (and I’m sure some of you are too), this isn’t always possible. Which leads me onto point 3…
Shout out to my Depop queens, this one’s for you. As well as eBay and Depop, charity shops are a great way to get nice clothes for a fraction of the price. If you turn your nose up, you’re really mugging yourself off because the right charity shops have all kinds of treasures. Where do you think the fabulously wealthy get rid of their last season clothes? Obv I’m not suggesting you buy your finest lingerie from Banardos, but you can get some lovely clothes without breaking the bank. Carboot sales are also a good place to pick up designer brands/expensive bags and accessories for cheap.
Borrow your friend’s clothes
There’s no need for you and every one of your friends to each own a pair of knee high patent boots. Unless you’re Little Mix, you won’t go out wearing the same thing anyway, so see what you can borrow. Loaning clothes from siblings is also a good way to go (my sister has a secondhand Gucci bag I’ve got my eye on). If you’re into vintage clothes, see what your mum/aunty/dad/uncle/much older boyfriend is hoarding in their wardrobe. I recently acquired three 90s Reebok jumpers that formerly belonged to my dad, that my mum was trying to give to charity! A wavey garms dream come true.
Easy ways to make your current wardrobe work harder include turning jeans into shorts; cutting the back straps off a strappy top and turning it into a halter; removing a top’s sleeves; or tucking a dress into a skirt and wearing it as a top. You don’t need to own a sewing machine, most customisation can be done with a needle and thread. Get creative! The below leopard jumpsuit (secondhand) originally had sleeves, but it was too hot to wear to a festival so I unpicked the sleeves to make it more wearable and unique.
Stop throwing clothes in the bin!
One woman’s trash is another hun’s treasure, so bag your clothes up and take them to a chazza shop. There’s really no excuse to bin them unless they’re so worn out that they’re unwearable. When you bin them, they end up in landfill. And endless piles of landfill garbage infested with rats and seagulls isn’t very Chanel, is it?