What are the five best ways to help you create and maintain a sustainable wardrobe? Check our these helpful tips that will allow you to build an eco-friendly wardrobe and pro-long the life of each item of clothing.
May 27, 2021
Creating a sustainable wardrobe doesn't just entail buying from sustainable brands or at thrift stores. There are many other way to build a more eco-friendly closet, increase the lifespan of each item of clothing, and reduce textile waste. Here are some simple tips to help you create and maintain a more sustainable wardrobe.
Skip laundry day
Cleaning a small load of laundry in your washing machine might not seem like a big deal, but in reality, each load has a profound impact on both our clothes and the environment. The more we wash our clothes, the shorter their lifespan, which often results in them ending up in landfill after a very short life. While a quick freshen up might seem pretty harmless, it can in fact cause fibre erosion, change fabric structure and cause fading.
Like most people, you might use a washing machine to do your laundry. But were you aware of the amount of heat and chemicals used to wash one load? Most machines require high levels of energy and produce harmful wastewater which contaminates our waterways with detergents and softeners. These dangerous chemicals might not have a direct impact on our wardrobe; they do however pose a serious threat to wildlife and our ecosystems. So before you put on your next load of laundry, why not double check your clothes and ask yourself if they really need to be washed. It will not only increase their lifespan, it will also help you on your way to creating a more sustainable lifestyle and protect the world around us.
Air dry your clothes
We all love freshly dried clothes, especially if they are straight from the tumble dryer. However this can have a negative effect on our environment. Air drying is a excellent, eco-friendly alternative and uses no energy at all, whereas a dryer usually needs 4 kWh of energy for one load which produces around 1.8 kg of CO2.
Cutting out the use of your dryer after every wash is a great way to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Air drying as much as you possibly can allows you to reduce your carbon emissions and have a positive impact on our environment. Hanging your freshly washed clothes outdoors on a washing line can also ensure they last that little bit longer. Similarly to washing machine usage, tumble drying your clothes on a regular basis can damage the fibres and shorten their lifespan. Air drying can allow you to keep your favourite clothes for longer and help maintain a sustainable wardrobe.
Research fabrics before you buy
When buying that cute new top or that much needed new pair of jeans, why not take a closer look at the fabric the garment is made up of. Understanding the materials in our clothes is a really important way to help determine how long they will last and where they will eventually end up once they reach the end of their life.
Fabrics like polyester, viscose, nylon and acrylic can have a negative impact on the planet as they do not biodegrade. When these materials are not disposed of safely they can release harmful chemicals that can damage the environment.
Whereas cotton, wool and wood-based fibres like modal and Tencel are natural fabrics that break down and decompose safely over time and have very little impact on the earth. Invest in biodegradable and organic fabrics when possible. By consciously deciding what to buy based on the material, you can slowly build a sustainable closet you love.
Practice being a conscious consumer
We are all guilty of a little impulse buying every now and then when it comes to clothes. But if we try to make more mindful decisions moving forward we might not be so inclined to donate or throw away our clothes as often. Try to be aware of what you're buying and shop with purpose or intent. Ask yourself, Do I really need this item? Do I feel this item is good quality and will it have a long lifespan?
By asking and answering these questions, you can better understand the investment you're making and allow yourself to consider the environmental impact your purchase will have long term. If we believe that each item we buy will bring us joy then we can ensure that we will buy a little less. This will lead you to owning a more thoughtful, sustainable wardrobe full of items you need.
Be a little more minimalist
One of the best ways to build and maintain a more sustainable wardrobe is by buying less clothes. Adopting a minimalist attitude to how we shop can help us reduce the amount of garments we own, limit unnecessary purchases, and the amount of waste we send to landfill. Both minimalism and sustainability go hand in hand when it comes to creating a wardrobe that is more environmentally conscious. Rather than purchasing several low-quality items, prioritise buying one good quality item that will last a long time. Always choose quality items over quantity.
Owning less clothes allows you to free up space in your home and lets you get the most out of garments you have invested in. Being a more intentional consumer and only buying what you need will have a positive impact on the environment and free your home of unwanted clutter.