Doing Your Bit for Sustainability - A Girl's Guide
In 2019 we’re all trying to be more ethical and sustainable. It’s hard to be completely guilt free from every choice we make in life, especially when it comes to fashion. However, it is extremely important that we all try - even if it means making small adjustments to how we buy, what we do with our clothes and how we look after them. This guide is filled with lots of helpful tips and wardrobe hacks you can use to do your bit for fashion - and it’s way easier than we thought!
At ISAW, we know what it’s like - you’ve got a night out on Saturday and even though you know your wardrobe is filled with completely suitable options, you still feel it’s absolutely essential to go online and look for a new party dress or a new crop top. It’s hard to resist temptation because we think we need to wear something no one’s seen before and how could you resist the free next day delivery option?! But, contrary to this mindset, you DO look good in the clothes you already have, so use them!
This weekly ritual is impulsive and you end up with so many clothes you wore once and never touched again. Take an afternoon to go through your wardrobe and thoroughly sort it out. Separate everything into the following piles: items you wear regularly, items you wear once or twice a month and clothes you forgot you had. With the items you wear regularly, organise and put back into your wardrobe. With the items you wear once or twice a month, really question them. When was the last time you wore it? How did you feel in it? Could you live without this item realistically? Decide which ones you really couldn’t live without and put back in your wardrobe. With the items you forgot existed - leave out your wardrobe. Now you’re left with all the clothes you haven’t put back. So what can you do with them?
Donating to a local charity shop is the perfect start, every charity shop always welcomes new clothes - and you can be guaranteed they’ll be going to someone who needs them more than you clearly do! We’ve teamed up with ReGAIN, a downloadable app that exchanges your unwanted clothes for a free next day delivery coupon! Find out more about this amazing app here. Use Depop to sell your branded items, keeping the prices low depending on the condition and make sure you promote your account on other socials to get the word out. Depop is such a simple way of selling clothes quick and easy, plus you’d be making a bit of money too! We’ve written a blog on Depop Hacks which you can find here.
Winter and Summer Wardrobes
If you feel your wardrobe is bursting with clothes you think you definitely need, a simple solution would be to separate your wardrobes to be more seasonally appropriate. It’s getting colder and darker as we get into the autumn/winter months, so it’s time to take out some things you definitely won’t be wearing now. Shorts, bikinis, summer dresses, sandals, vests and anything summer/holiday related can all be put into storage until it’s time again. Even if it means putting everything in a cardboard box in the garage, do it! After this, your wardrobe will be filled with serious options for everything you’ll need this time of year. Winter coats, knitwear, jeans, boots, all your cosies to wrap up warm in. It’ll be a lot easier to find an outfit for everything, knowing every piece could be an option. It also means when warmer months start creeping round again, you can take out your summer pieces that you (probably) forgot about and it’s basically like going through a whole new wardrobe again!
Refresh Your Wardrobe
Another option could be to have a complete refresh of your wardrobe by buying all new things - don’t let this scare you! Capsule wardrobes are a thing and when done right, can be cost effective and an absolute life saver. Start by recognising what the weather is like currently, what you think you’ll need every day and think of some essentials you know you need - all in your individual style of course.
Here’s an example: right now you’ll definitely need a few winter coats long and short length, some knitwear like turtle necks and oversized jumpers, a couple pairs of jeans in different styles, t-shirts that are short and long sleeve, any work clothes like blazers and trousers, boots, some night out tops and dresses and then any accessories. This seems a lot, but buying things that you can also mix and match means you’ve got clothes you’ll get 100% wear out of for lots of occasions. Pick some of your fave colours and some basic colours in each and you’ve got a whole thing going on! If you are starting fresh, make sure to use the options in point 1 for getting rid of your clothes in the best way.
The 30 Wears Challenge was created by Livia Firth, the Co-founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age (a consultancy company specialising in enabling businesses to achieve growth and add value through sustainability) as well as founder of the Green Carpet Challenge. She brought up the question “Will I wear this a minimum of 30 times?” whenever she was buying an item of clothing. Try this for yourself and you’ll be surprised with just how many things you’ll say no to. This requires a lot of self control but ultimately will lead to less of a cluttered wardrobe, more value for money on your clothes and adapting a sustainable outlook on your shopping habits.
Sometimes it’s all about changing your mindset. If you change the way you think about buying clothes, it can make a huge difference to your bank and your wardrobe. When buying something as a one-off, a lot of people tend to be in the mindset that because it is a one-off, they can spend more money on it than they usually would. If you think about it, how silly is that?! I’m going to wear this once so let me spend way more money on it?? Your money should be spent on investment pieces that you’ll get 100% wear out of. Making these slight adjustments when shopping are hugely beneficial - your wardrobe will be filled with clothes you know you’ll wear and it’ll be so much easier picking your outfits every day.
If you have unwanted clothes that have absolutely nothing wrong with them, fear not. Another way to get rid of them could simply be just to share them with your friends! Take a pic and stick it in your group chat, see if any of your pals can give it a better home. You’d feel so much better doing that than just throwing it away.
If you have a rip in your clothes, your first instinct is to chuck it. But some rips can easily be fixed and repaired brand new again! Watch some YouTube videos on simple sewing techniques and get your stitch on!
Clothes you’re getting bored of, try and think of ways you can upcycle them if you don’t want to get rid of them yet. You can do this by adding a personal touch, using some different material, changing the style and so much more! If you get good at it, even consider starting your own little business and selling things to your friends and family! It could be a whole new skill you didn’t even know you had.
Take some of these tips for yourself and see how much you make a difference by making some little changes to your shopping habits. Looking amazing and being sustainable? We’re 100% here for it.