Do you ever feel you have to choose between a sustainable wardrobe and stylish pieces you can’t help but love?
While it's always tempting to indulge in the latest fast fashion trends. In fact, I encourage you to have fun with your wardrobe for a self-love boost that hugs you. But the reality is that cutting down on our wardrobe waste can be one of the most impactful ways to make a positive difference in our environment. In 2019, there were 7.2 million tonnes of waste produced from textiles and leather products, according to Statistics Canada.
What if I told you that you don't have to sacrifice one for the other?
There are simple ways to instill everyday sustainable practices to love our wardrobe, and look effortlessly stylish without the burdening contribution to global waste, tremendous expenditure of natural resources, and poisoning our air with pollutants from textile production.
With these 5 easy tips, you can create sustainable wardrobes of self-loving pieces that will last year after year. Read on to learn how you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to ethical fashion:
1) Opt for fabrics that are kind to ourselves and the environment.
This means choosing natural fibers like cotton, hemp, bamboo, or linen over synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon and using detergents and cleaners that aren’t harsh on the environment.
Natural fibres require fewer chemical pesticides or fertilizers in their production process, resulting in a much lower environmental impact than synthetic fabrics. Not only are these fabrics non-toxic and gentle on our skin, but they are also more breathable thanks to their organic composition.
Robyn loves the luxurious feel of silk against her skin - incredibly soft, timeless, and elegant. Find pre-loved timeless silk pieces here.
2) Properly launder your clothing items according to label instructions.
It’s good practice to learn and pay attention to the “care label” of your clothes. Ensuring you use the proper settings for washing and drying specific fabric type correctly makes your clothes last longer and saves you tears when your favourite merino sweater shrinks to a kid’s size.
Avoid using heavily scented laundry detergents or fabric softeners, as these can contain potentially harmful chemicals that can end up being washed down the drain and into our water supply. Look for natural alternatives such as zero-waste detergents or wool dryer balls that aren’t hard on the environment and can still pack serious cleaning power.
For stain removal, try swapping out chemical bleach for an oxygen-based bleach like hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate, both powerful yet gentler alternatives that won’t harm delicate fabrics.
Additionally, look into biodegradable pre-treatment. If you ever spilled your beet and walnut salad on your gold silk shirt, I swear by The Soap Works Biodegradable Stain Remover Laundry Bar. A cost-effective magic bar that lasts me forever, even when I drop food on my shirt with every meal.
4) Give new life to old clothes by upcycling them.
Even if something doesn't fit properly or is looking a little worse for wear, it doesn't have to end up in a landfill. Upcycling is an easy way to give your clothes a second chance. Get creative and transform old pieces into facial pads, scrunchies, CUTE baby clothes or dog sweaters.
If getting THAT creative isn’t your thing, check out Eco Pretty’s ingenious upcycled baby clothes that give you the best kind of baby fever.5) Shop pre-loved items
Shopping second-hand is one of the most eco-friendly ways to update your wardrobe. Not only will it save you money, but every pre-loved item helps divert waste from landfills and puts fewer resources into producing new clothes.
The best part? You are bound to find that one-of-a-kind, timeless piece to be sustainably chic and stylish. Don’t believe me? Check out Le Prix for awesome pre-loved & new clothing, shoes, and accessories from around the world.
Making your wardrobe more sustainable doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. With these five tips, you can enjoy fashion guilt-free while being good to the environment.
Statistics Canada (2020). Waste from Textiles and Leather Products. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2019001/article/00004-eng.htm