The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions.
The clothing decisions we make in our everyday lives have a major impact on the planet.
There are loads of easy switches you can make that are eco-friendly, manageable and highly impactful.
Our team has noted down their best tips and tricks to reduce clothing waste, to make things easier for you.
Here is what they found helpful:
- I entirely avoid fast fashion brands that we know of. That means abiding by the ‘buy once, buy good’ principle – get only quality clothes even at a premium.
- I try to use small manufacturers for certain clothing items (beanies, scarves, gloves etc). In some cases we even – directly or indirectly – know the people who make them.
- When buying more ‘everyday’ items, I try to go for those with credible sustainability certifications: bluesign, GOTS / BCI etc
- Finally, I personally wear all my clothes to the ground. If they ain’t got no (big) holes – they’re good as gold 🙂
- I’m a staunch believer in second-hand shopping. You get high-quality clothes at a lower price that is also less damaging to the environment. What’s not to love. My favourite sites include Ebay and Vinted.
- I believe in mending clothes instead of buying new. But having them done by a tailor can quickly add up too, so I adjust, mend and improve my clothes using my own sewing machine at home. The basic stuff is simple to do – a reliable but inexpensive one will do for most occasions!
- Consider repurposing worn-out clothes. I use mine for dusting and as a cleaning cloth.
- I try to teach my kids the value of donating/selling their clothes and with that money buying clothes other people don’t need or want anymore. It has gotten to the point that whenever they want something “new” they ask me “Can I borrow your phone to see if I can find it on Vinted” :). Teach them young!
- Since my daughter was born, I have been happy to accept clothes donated by friends and family. When the clothes are no longer fit my daughter, I pass them on to my little cousin. As there is then no little girl left behind, she in turn gives them to the charity shop run by my aunt in Viseu. That way, other families can benefit from them.
- I try to buy garments that can be paired with many items in the wardrobe. That way, you avoid feeling like you have mismatched items and that you have ‘nothing to wear’.
- I’m careful with looking at the composition label; brand names are not synonymous with quality, and can use just as much synthetic fabric as your typical ‘fast fashion’ brands.
- We buy new pieces made by local artisans (slow fashion), particularly the ones using recycled materials (upcycling). We also look for local initiatives in this domain, which in our city (Coimbra, Portugal) include a monthly clothes exchange market, where each person can bring up to 10 pieces and exchange them for 10 others (no money involved).
- I usually try to buy as few clothes as possible but it’s been a bit more challenging entering month 7 of pregnancy and trying to find things I own that still fit! I’ve had to buy a few new things but have been buying pre-loved from Depop where possible, or trying to get clothes that I’ll also be able to wear post-baby to give them some longevity. Baby fashion has also been on my mind and I’ve been really grateful for donations of secondhand clothes from Stella on the LLR team, and one of my partner’s friends – helping to cut down on waste.