One of the key ways to have a less impactful wardrobe is to wear your clothes for as long as possible. For that reason, whenever you need new basics (white/black T-shirts, jeans, neutral trousers, white button-downs or whatever is a basic building block for your wardrobe), you should invest in high quality and durable pieces. The longer you wear something, the more sustainable it is.
Look for fabrics such as certified organic cotton and try purchasing from smaller brands next time you need a new T-shirt.
Same goes for beauty and skincare. Look for certified organic ingredients and brands that make their products with these good sustainable ingredients. Plant Mother’s retinol and vitamin c are good examples of 100% organic vegan serums. Also, be well informed on product packaging and manufacturing process. If purchasing retinol or any retinoid, make sure you look for sustainable products packaged in recyclable or reusable boxes.
These are more ethical and environmentally friendly. Moreover, organic and sustainable skincare, often called “clean” skincare, is better for your health. This skincare will not cause hormonal imbalances or any type of skin purge. Therefore, think twice next time you look for a new serum – niacinamide with retinol or any other popular face cream.
Additionally, choosing something that can be mixed and matched with other items in your wardrobe is also a win! Think about the colors, silhouettes and fabrics that you already have, and try to buy items that go with them – this way you can create multiple outfits without purchasing a lot of different clothes.
Let me know what items are staples in your wardrobe and how you usually source them.
You cannot donate anything you no longer need to charity. If something is not fit for you to wear, it isn’t fit for someone else either. Charity stores often receive stained, torn, or unsuitable textiles that cannot be sold or given away. In some cases, they are even forced to spend money sorting and disposing of this material. An estimated 25% goes directly to landfill.
Although second-hand has risen in popularity during the last few years, according to Dr. Andrew Brooks (author of Clothing Poverty), the demand is still low in comparison with the supply. Only a small proportion is sold in charity shops, while the rest is exported to countries in the Global South. According to the author, roughly 10-30% of donations end up being sold over the counter in the UK, US and Canada. What isn’t bought in shops is sold to textile merchants, who sort, grade, and export the surplus garments.