dressing sustainably

The decision to strive for sustainable living often requires a lifestyle overhaul.

It’s difficult to know where to start, and there are a number of articles circling around with great advice and tips on how to reduce your impact on the world.

Despite the awareness of the more obvious forms of consumption, it seems that the fashion industry is often forgotten about or let off the hook.

If fast fashion continues the way it is, the fashion industry will be using 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.

So what does that mean for sustainable living?

How exactly does one dress sustainably?

For me, dressing sustainably begins with recognising each piece of clothing as something indespensable. Clothing is meant to add value to your life, not something to be bought cheap and thrown away.

The fashion industry created 92 million tonnes of landfill and burned garbage in a single year. Between the textile scraps and the clothing so cheap you can discard of it guilt-free, our need for convenience is taking a toll on the planet.

When the time comes to purchase something new remember: quality over quantity.

I’ve been cleaning out my wardrobe lately, and I’m ashamed to admit that I had 3 of the same shirt. Slight differences in the cut of each, and two with random holes, but each one a black and white stripe shirt. While I don’t remember the exact time I bought each one, I’ll hazard a guess that they were on sale at an already discounted store.

Is something really built to last if you can buy it for less than half the amount it would cost to make yourself?

Think about where your clothes will go when you no longer have use for them.

While a major element of dressing sustainably is not buying more than you need, there will often be a time where you no longer have a need for a piece of clothing.

So what do you do?

A personal tip of mine – look for local charities or people you may know that could use them. Op-shops are inundated with clothing donations and majority of them don’t make it to the stores. Many are shipped overseas, creating a whole new range of issues for the communities of these countries.

Take care of your clothes. They take care of you.

This last one may seem obvious, but often in the business of life it can get overlooked.

Running late? Throw it in the dryer. Tired? Throw it on the floor (or floordrobe as it may be). I’m bad for the last one. Really bad.

Number 4 in a way actually circles back to number 1 – your clothes should be indespensible. When you care if something lasts or not you don’t throw it on the floor for days to come, and you let it air out in the sun like we all know we should.

Stop using fabric softer and actually take the 30 seconds to measure your washing powder.

As I said, this one seems easy – but how often do we forget the simple things?

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