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10 Easy Ways You Can Make Your Wardrobe A Little More Sustainable

It's a lot easier than it may seem, promise.

Whether it's deciding to spend a bit more on pieces we know will last years and years or buying based on the ethics of brands, we're all considering our fashion choices a lot more these days, and that's not a bad thing. But there is, of course, a lot more that we could be doing to help fight against climate change. Below, we've rounded up just ten simple steps you can take to make your wardrobe an ethical one. 

The topic of sustainable fashion seems to be at the top of minds in today's pop culture.

We’re living more consciously than ever before, adopting a more eco-friendly attitude towards our beauty routines, shopping habits and day-to-day lives. From learning how to recycle beauty products to opting for eco-conscious footwear and the rise of sustainable influencers, we're collectively making an effort to switch to more sustainable practices. 

Although swapping disposable cotton pads for reusable bamboo pads and drinking only from a paper or metal straw are all great efforts, there is, of course, a lot more that could be doing. We all need to be more conscious of what we are buying, however, it can be confusing to know where to begin to make our wardrobes more sustainable because there are a lot of complexities. 

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The problem is that fast fashion has become such a huge part of our everyday lives that, for anybody who is yet to start making steps and begin their sustainable fashion journey, it can be quite an overwhelming thing. But if you want to start taking steps to make your wardrobe more considered, what are the fashion equivalents of buying a reusable bottle and using metal straws instead of plastic ones?

From the fabrics to look out for on clothing labels to how you should actually be washing your clothes, we've rounded up ten easy ways you can make your wardrobe a little more sustainable. 

1. think before you buy

Popularised by Livia Firth of The True Cost, the 30 Wears Campaign challenges you to ask one question before making a new purchase: “Will I wear this 30 times?”. The challenge is a great way to ease into the world of sustainable fashion. You don’t need to give up buying clothes or spend your days researching how ethical a company is, all you have to do is answer honestly to one simple question.

2. Be More Informed

One of the most difficult things about trying to be more sustainable is knowing where to start – and more importantly, where to shop. Thankfully, nowadays it is much easier than it once was as there are so many brands that operate with a sustainable focus in mind. Do some research on a brand or product before purchasing. Don't be afraid to ask questions, social media is such an easy way to speak quickly and directly to brands. When making such a special purchase, you want to make sure you are buying from a brand that aligns with your values.


If we were to extend the average life of clothes by three months per item, our carbon, water and waste footprints would reduce by 5-10 per cent. Extend that life span to nine months and those figures increase to 20-30 per cent.

4. delete your shopping apps

Shopping apps are a magnet for idle thumbs, just willing to buy clothes you don’t need and further enabling fast fashion. If you must, replace them with alternatives like Depop, ASOS Marketplace or Oxfam Online. You can still get your scrolling fix but without the overwhelming climate guilt.

5. invest in a guppyfriend wash bag

Microfibres are blighting our rivers and oceans. When we wash synthetic garments, these tiny plastic fibres are released into your washing machine which then find their way into the world’s oceans and rivers. Made from 100 per cent polyamide, the Guppyfriend wash bag acts as a filter that stops even the tiniest of microfibres from escaping. Clothes washed within a Guppyfriend undergo less mechanical stress which significantly increases the lifetime of your garments. 


6. follow sustainable influencers

Whether their following be mega or micro, sustainable influencers are the new gen of bloggers you should be paying attention to. Using their platforms to promote ethical fashion brands, spread eco-conscious messages and encourage users to create a positive impact on the planet, here are just a few of the influencers you need to follow: @cameronrussell; @trashisfortossers; @letstalkslow and @waterthruskin


What do Tiffany Haddish, Cate Blanchett and Kate Middleton all have in common? They’ve all been re-wearing outfits on the red carpet. Follow in their footsteps and be an outfit repeater. Stop saving clothes ‘for special occasions’ and enjoy your wardrobe. 

8. TRY TO ALWAYS BUY Organic Cotton

Cotton farming, in general, requires massive inputs of water and pesticides and in conventional cotton farming, the environmental impact is staggering.  It takes between 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton. That is the equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. Cotton is also an extremely volatile plant, which means that farmers often use fertilisers and pesticides to ensure their crop grows successfully. When not managed properly, these chemicals leach into the soil and local water systems. However, it does have one redeeming quality: organic cotton.

9. adjust how you spend your money

Change what you splurge on. Instead of spending your savings on a dress for a friend's wedding or a pair of shoes that you'll only wear for special occasions, spend your 'investment' cash on the things you wear every day. Stop thinking, 'I would never spend that much on a pair of jeans,' consider that you are only going to buy one pair of jeans this year, or one item this month – and make it that. After a few seasons, you will have a high-quality, sustainable wardrobe to be proud of.


Vivienne Westwood said it best: 'Buy less, choose well, make it last'. Choose pieces that you absolutely love and ones you know you'll keep forever. It's also important to think, 'repair before you replace.' Small rips, holes and missing buttons can easily be fixed. Make friends with your cobbler. Quality shoes can be worn for many seasons with a small investment in maintenance. Also, never throw clothing away. Clothing that is placed in regular garbage is either incinerated or ends up in a landfill. If you don't wear something anymore, donate it to your local charity shop - it can always make somebody else happy. If it can't be worn anymore, it can be recycled.

Main image by @letstalkslow on Instagram

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