A simple guide to a more sustainable wardrobe

18 September 2022

Years ago, when people said the word 'sustainable', I instantly thought 'expensive'. This used to put me off. I would much rather spend £5.99 on a t-shirt in H&M than £90 on the same thing from Whistles. 

But there is so much more to being sustainable than feeling like you should be buying expensive clothes that are going to last longer. 
I'm no expert, however, living in the world we do now trying to make small changes in your life to be more sustainable has never been more important. I thought I'd gather a few easy ways to start making adjustments if you haven't already, how to have more of a balance in your shopping habits and maybe give you that nudge to have that big clear out you've been avoiding for a while. 

  • Having a browse around the charity shops

I never thought I'd say that a huge part of my wardrobe is bought from charity shops and the things I wore most over the Summer sometimes cost me £2.00. With me volunteering at St.Elizabeth hospice a couple of times a week, it does mean I get to see all of the clothes as I process donations or hunt around the shop before it opens which is great but I try to visit as many as I can in any town I'm in as you never know what you might find. I think that's the most exciting part of it. If you find something amazing, it feels like a piece of buried treasure that costs a fraction of the price it once was on the high street. One of the downfalls is that it can be very hit and miss; there can be periods of time where I will find nothing I like and vice versa. But even owning a couple of items helps the planet but visibly donating to charity goes a long way too and is so appreciated. 

This also goes for vintage or retro markets, equally providing the same excitement if you're anything like me.

  • Have regular clear outs and sell or give to charity
Sometimes my wardrobe gets a bit too full as it bursts out of the doors and to me, having that many clothes if I don't wear everything in there, is way too excessive. It is then time to pull everything out and when I say everything, I mean everything and go through each item. There are many ways you can sort through your clothes but I like to ask myself a few things:

     If I saw this in a shop would I buy it again? 

    How many times have I worn this?
    Does it still spark the same joy as when I bought it?

And being ruthless is key, I should probably take my own advice on that one as I am definitely the person to keep things if they have sentimental value, which is okay to a certain extent obviously. 

Not only does this clear your wardrobe, but the cliche 'tidy house, tidy mind' is definitely true. Especially as we are coming into a new season, one for new beginnings and goals, it's the perfect time for a clear out to help your mind.

  • Shop in your wardrobe
Once you've cleared out your wardrobe, you may have discovered some items you forgot you had which creates the perfect time to experiment and in the simplest of terms, have your own fashion show. I occasionally spend some time scrolling on my favourite fashion accounts on Instagram for inspiration to see if I can recreate the outfits with items that I already have. By going through, making outfits with things you've never worn before and getting wear out of those means that you might not have to go out and buy something new. 

  • Buy on Vinted
Forget Depop (sorry Depop), the second hand app on the rise is Vinted and chances are, you've probably heard of it but if you haven't, it's a bit like Ebay albeit a lot easier and there is no bidding involved. If you're looking for a specific item, Vinted can be guaranteed to have it for a lot less than it was originally. The shot of serotonin finding an item you love, in your size and for a much lower price can give you is unmatched. And you're helping someone else out too by buying their clothes, it's a win win. 

With that being said, you can also sell on there too! 

  • Invest in staple pieces and find that BALANCE

Being completely sustainable is hard but it's about creating a healthy balance that's more important. I definitely don't own or buy sustainable clothes all the time and it's okay to still buy fast fashion from time to time. However, if I do, I'm currently learning to buy pieces that are more timeless and will last a long time, not things I will fall out of love with if the trend has passed. There are some things that I will buy from shops I know I can rely on for some items in my wardrobe, like jeans, coats, jumpers etc, 'the staples'. 

Bethan xx

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