The fashion industry needs to improve its approach to sustainability. Unfortunately, it is going to be a long and painful process to transform a sector that encourages fast production, frequent shopping trips, and throw-away habits. Ultimately, most of us keep track of seasonal trends. The cute little dress you bought last summer may not work anymore in the future, because the shape, the color, or the material isn’t popular anymore.
Oh well, nevermind, you think to yourself. I could just buy a new dress anyway!
Unfortunately, if we want to make fashion more sustainable, we need to get to the bottom of the problem. And that means we have to correct the way we think about fashion.
Curb out your shopping habits
Do you own garments you don’t wear?
Most people do. Whether it’s the expensive prom suit you bought for your graduation party a few years ago or the tailored suit you wore at your lost job interview, we all have clothes that hang unused in the wardrobe. You kept your prom suit in good faith, thinking you could wear it again next time you’re invited to a fancy cocktail party or a wedding. But you have bought something else instead. To end the vicious cycle of excessive fashion consumption, it’s time to clear out your wardrobe. Put everything you don’t wear or want away. This will make the clothes you like work harder for you. You can use secured storage solutions if you’re not sure what to do with unwanted clothes. Items that are still in good condition can be sold or donated, for instance.
Make your favorite clothes last longer
We are made to believe that fast fashion is not made to last. It isn’t always the case, though. You can focus on buying fabrics that are not likely to get damaged after the first wash. Typically, cotton, jersey, cord, and denim are safe bets for long-term fashion. Additionally, following the care instruction for your clothes can go a long way. Failing to wash items at the right temperature will cause irreversible damages, for instance.
You can fix tears and breaks
Should you replace all items as soon as you spot a small tear? Of course not! If the tear or the rip is easy to repair, you can keep your favorite items for longer. Fixing a loose thread, for example, is a simple trick that can prolong the life of things such as pillowcases or split pants. Socks are the most commonly thrown away fashion item because of holes. However, learning to repair holes at the heels or the toes – also called darning a sock – could help reduce fashion costs.
Look after yourself, too
Another common reason to buy new items of clothing is that the old ones don’t fit anymore. Fast fashion encourages unhealthy lifestyles, as items are not made to last beyond a few seasons. However, maintaining a healthy diet and controlling your weight can change your approach to fashion shopping. You can invest in durable and high-quality items – read without all the cheap stretch.
The fashion industry is driving environmental wastes. But if we want to protect the planet and our budgets, we can’t ask fashion companies to change their ways. The change needs to come for all of us. We need to develop a sustainable approach to caring for and choosing our clothes.