Long time, no see! I didn’t post for an entire week on my blog. For some, this might not seem like a lot but I like to post twice a week otherwise I start to feel twitchy. I was super busy trying to fit things in before moving back to uni yesterday, but I’m back. We are currently midway into UK Sustainable Fashion Week. It runs from the 11th to the 18th of September 2021, so for today’s post, I am sharing how to have a sustainable wardrobe. Enjoy ♡

What is sustainable clothing?

Sustainable clothes are ones that have been made with practices that are environmental.

Second-hand

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know just how much I rave about second-hand shopping! I just think it is the most genius idea. It’s more sustainable and it’s cheap – what’s there not to like?

There are lots of ways of getting second-hand clothes. I have an eBook coming soon on second-hand clothing tips – look out for it!

Online

If you are worried about browsing through clothes in charity shops, you can look online. There are countless websites and apps that you can buy second-hand clothing from. Some are more expensive than others which is why I like to stick to my favourites.

  • Re-Fashion – Varies
  • Thrift+ – There’s a high street & designer section so it completely varies!
  • Vinted – Cheap
  • Depop – Cheap
  • Facebook marketplace – Not sure
  • Oxfam – Varies
  • Vestiaire Collective – Expensive
  • HEWI (Hardly Ever Worn It) – Expensive
  • Loopster – Varies
  • Beyond Retro – Varies, but on the expensive side for second-hand clothing
  • Build A Bundle (this is a website for 2nd hand kids clothes! 0-16 years) – Cheap

In-store

I don’t really know any in-store second-hand shops apart from charity shops. But, there are so many charity shops that I’m sure there will be one near you! If you have lots of charity shops near you, as I do at home, you will definitely find a favourite – price, style etc.

Categorize your clothes

I can’t not organise things, and one of my favourite ways is in rainbow order. Last year in lockdown, I had a massive sort out of my wardrobe. It was already divided into 3 sections which already makes it a bit easier to locate clothes.

Section 1 – Winter

Section 2 – Summer

Section 3 – Sentimental

I know that some people like to declutter their clothes, but that isn’t what this post is about.

Within these sections, the winter and summer clothes are in rainbow order to make it easier to locate items. The sentimental clothes are just random because I’m not exactly going to wear them again! They consist of my primary school summer dress, Brownie, Rainbow or Guides uniform & my prom dress.

Once you have organised your clothes, it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but you actually remember what you own! You won’t end up buying another blue jumper when you have one already.

Don’t throw out clothes

I will never understand people who throw out clothes. This should be the process that happens before you throw out clothes:

  1. Use it
  2. If you no longer like it, sell on an app like Vinted or give it to a friend → could do a fun clothes swap
  3. If you can’t do that, donate to a charity shop (as long as there are no stains etc. Otherwise it will go straight to landfill)
  4. Mend it when it breaks
  5. Mend it until it can’t be mended any longer
  6. Upcycle into something else e.g. cotton bags, cloths
  7. If it is made from cotton, you can compost it
  8. If it isn’t and you are unable to make anything from it, then you could throw it away

R Reflections app

Recently I was one of the speakers at an environmental summit that Humans For Earth organised. One of the other speakers was Rebecca from R Reflections. R Reflections is an app that allows you to virtually try on clothes. This reduces the number of clothes that are bought and sent back if they don’t fit (they are often thrown away then), as well as carbon dioxide emissions.

How does it work?

  1. You take a photo of either your face or body
  2. Fit your body or face inside the frame
  3. Adjust the sliders to show how your body looks
  4. Upload photos of clothes you want to try on (must have a transparent background)
  5. Or, search for clothes on the app e.g. top, dress.

I think it is such a brilliant idea and will definitely revolutionise the fashion industry!

Where you can find R Reflections:

Website

Appstore

Instagram

Educate yourself

If you still don’t understand the issue with fast fashion, it is really important to educate yourself. There are a number of different ways to do this.

Shop at sustainable clothing shops

The first and most important step is to RESEARCH. Greenwashing occurs so much at the moment, so make sure you go onto their website and have a read of their sustainable practices, or go to Good On You (they rate how sustainable and ethical a shop is).

Personally, I haven’t bought many clothes from sustainable clothing shops because they are out of my budget. The reason they are so expensive is that they last for a long time. The cheaper the material, the less time it will last for. Fast fashion, quite literally, is what it says on the tin. Their objective is for clothes to last little time so that the consumer will buy more clothes and keep up with the trends.

There are so many amazing sustainable clothing shops out there and I wish I could buy from all of them. I’m sure you can relate, which is why you should have a browse through the following and put them on your Christmas list.

Examples:

  • Lucy and Yak – I have their lilac fleece on my Christmas list! They have amazing things, I would also love their black shorter dungaree style dress
  • Onesta – Their clothes are quite expensive but they look so comfy 😍
  • Thought – Also expensive but the clothes are so beautiful!
  • Rapanui – I love this shop and I’m definitely going to order something from there soon. I think that they are a pretty good price for sustainable clothing
  • Rokit – Not too expensive for sustainable clothes
  • Nobody’s Child – A lot of the clothes are currently on sale and they are a really good price, their normal price isn’t too bad either

Related post: Eco-friendly kids clothing range review by Terri from The Strawberry Fountain

Look after your clothes better

I’m not saying that you should get your clothes dry cleaned or anything like that! Just don’t throw them out or buy new clothes as soon as they begin to fade or break.

  • Fix them once they start to break – If you can’t sew, you can pay someone to do it for not too much money or maybe a family member will do it
  • Don’t wash them after every single use – Socks and pants are obviously different, but you don’t need to wash your clothes after every use. Save water and energy and wash them when you have worn them for a while, they start to smell or you spill something!
  • Wash at a lower temperature (30 degrees) – So this doesn’t entirely relate to looking after your clothes, but I couldn’t not mention it! Last year when I had to pay for each wash, it was so much cheaper and quicker to wash the clothes at 30 degrees. We all want to save on our bills, so wash your clothes at a colder temperature.

I hope this blog post has made you more aware of how to have a sustainable wardrobe!

Best wishes, Cx

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52 Comments

  1. Some of my clothes I’ve had for decades because anything I buy I intend to use for a long time

  2. I’m well aware that my wardrobe is not sustainable enough- and I need to do something to change that! I used to buy a lot from charity shops but started ordering online more during lockdown- which I realise is very unsustainable… I’m going to start going back to charity shops soon x

    1. Glad to hear! x

  3. My wardrobe is currently half and half when it comes to sustainability. The older I’ve gotten the more serious I’ve gotten about picking quality over fast fashion pieces. I actually didn’t realise there were so many online options when it comes to second hand / charity shopping. I’ve heard of the usuals, but there was a lot on your list which was new to me. Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s super useful.

    Claire.X
    http://www.clairemac.co.uk

    1. I’m glad my post has helped 🙂 x

  4. Fast fashion is very damaging. Great things to draw attention to!

  5. Mind Beauty Simplicity says:

    I love this concept of a more sustainable wardrobe. Although I love to declutter, I don’t like things going to waste. Buying second hand gives life to forgotten pieces.

    1. So true, thank you B x

  6. When I get bored of some of my clothes I exchange them with some of my friends. I usually buy clothes that I really like and when they need fixing I have found a great one who does it in really low cost. Also most of my clothes I wash them in 30. Just going through your post made me realize that I have a sustainable wardrobe 🙂

    1. Oh yay! That’s so good to hear 🙂 x

  7. I have got my winter clothing in the back of my drawers right now and my summer things in the front, but I always rotate so I do not have to dig around when the time for a sweater rolls around.

    The Reflections app sounds amazing! I love that it is a digital way to try clothing on so you do not unnecessarily buy pieces that do not look good on you.

    Finally, I love shopping second hand, either in shop or online. I find beautiful pieces I connect with and feel good about buying.
    Thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts, as well as some amazing sustainable brands. 🙂

    1. I feel you! Thank you 🙂

  8. Fantastic post Caroline! I’m so happy to see some of the ideas you had – I never knew there were second hand shops online! I haven’t bought any new clothes in 5 months now and I don’t plan to for the foreseeable future. I even want to try not buying anything new over Christmas as I already have clothes I can wear and in the new year I want to try a capsule wardrobe of the 333 wardrobe! I love that you’re so passionate about sustainability 🙂

    1. Thank you! x

  9. These are great tips. I feel like so many people don’t know how to mend clothes. Its a skill that is likely to be lost unless they teach more things like that in schools.

  10. This is a great post! I’ve found some new websites to use now, I like to shop second hand and I sell my clothes thag I no longer wear! X

    1. Thank you 🙂 x

  11. I’ve started donating loads of clothes to cancer research depots and things instead of throwing them away. It’s only a 15 minute drive for me to drop them off, so I might as well!

    1. Aw, that’s great x

  12. This is fantastic and so helpful, thanks Caroline! I’m definitely going to try out R Reflections and I’ve bookmarked some of your recommended pre-loved clothing sources. Storing clothes as a rainbow is a lovely idea, too! Kate x

    1. Great, thank you Kate! x

  13. These are all really great ideas! I have been washing my clothes in cold water for years as I know it has been so much better for the environment and my hot water bill! I have also tried to be quality vs quantity and this has been working well for me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. So true 🙂 x

  14. Charity says:

    I need to work on getting a more sustainable wardrobe for sure. Thanks for sharing these tips and tricks

    1. Thank you for reading x

  15. Good luck with your uni and it’s good to refashion and save money. Great tips!

    Fransic – https://www.querianson.com

  16. I saw a really alarming news story about fast fashion today and it’s solidified in me a desire to make sure I build a sustainable wardrobe (which I am well on my way to doing). I tend to wear clothes for a very long time (until they are covered in holes and can’t be worn — then I turn them into household rags for cleaning, etc). Thank you for all this info as I learned a lot!

    1. The facts are always so alarming! Thank you Molly x

  17. Great post! I really do need to break up with fast fashion. I’m having so many struggles lately as I’m breastfeeding and it’s so hard to find clothes that fit me and I can feed in!

    Corinne x

    1. That must make it extra hard :/ x

  18. Excellent post, Caroline! I admit I do love fast fashion but it’s all I can afford right now and I only buy what I need! I hate the huge hauls that people do. Thanks for this informative post x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. I totally feel you, but if you have time a charity shop can be so much fun 🙂 x

  19. This blog has been saved as I need this… Been looking for things like this. Its really helpful tips.

  20. One day, I would really do a deep cleaning of my wardrobe. I don’t have so much clothes but it’s nice to have like categories or my clothes as you said. Thanks or all your tips! Appreciate it.

    https://www.lifebeginsattwenty.com/

    1. Sure, thank you

  21. Love this! I love shopping in charity shops on the weekend, you can often find some great pieces in there – and for a good price too! I’d love to shop at shops that focus on sustainability, although like you they’re a little out of my price range – I might check out a couple of the cheaper ones you mentioned though! Thanks for sharing x

  22. Love this post! I love thrift shopping because a) I never know what I’ll find and b) the prices (for the most part) are amazing. Likewise, when I fall out of love with garments or they don’t fit, I give them to my local thrift store that supports local charities and the community. As a seamstress/sewist, fast fashion is absolutely terrible for the planet and for the people who make them for pennies and while it’s impossible to not buy thrifting or buying on online does help decrease carbon footprint.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Loren | plaidandsugar.com

    1. Thank you, definitely true x

  23. That’s so cool you got to speak at an environmental summit! I love all the suggestions you give here. I haven’t shopped for new clothes in months and really trying to be more mindful when thinking about buying clothes.

    1. Thank you! x

  24. I’m the type of person who likes to wear clothes that I have bought for a very long time. I’ve never been to a charity shop before and as I read this post, I found one in my area. Hope to visit it soon 🙂 Thanks for this post, Caroline x

    1. Aw great – I hope you find some gems! x

  25. I split my clothes out into seasons, especially when it comes to the colder months! I have lots of clothes for layers which is fab

  26. This post was so so helpful and really love what Good on you platform does! It’s such a great tool to check out companies, because as you said greenwashing is so popular! I really love Rapanui and will check some of their items out when I need to get something. Luckily my wardrobe is pretty much the same since I moved here except for some pieces and also because I find very hard letting go of them for sentimental reasons x

    1. I feel you x

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