With thousands of tonnes of clothing sent to landfill each year, the world of fashion has a significant impact on the environment. Did you know that dying garments different colours (to match fashionable colours) is the second biggest polluter of water on a global scale? It dumps inks, bleaches, dyes and minute fibres into the water cycle, and this is awful for the environment. Furthermore, The World Wide Fund for Nature says that it takes up to 20,000 litres of water to produce just one T-shirt and a pair of pants.
Thankfully, there are many ways you can shake up your clothing habits and contribute to a better world without going on an extreme menswear diet. Here’s how you can embrace more sustainable fashion:
Tip #1: Check Your Wardrobe
Embracing more sustainable fashion can be a simple as thinking more carefully – and doing a wardrobe itinerary – before you purchase new garments. Look at the types of garments you already own, as well as the colours and fabrications. You might be surprised at how many clothes you already have, rediscover forgotten favourites and make better decisions next time you need clothes! Maybe you don’t really need that new shirt after all?
Tip #2: Repair Old Items
You know how the saying goes: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’! This is very true when it comes to menswear – don’t get rid of clothes if they’re still great quality. The saying ‘If it’s broke, fix it’ is equally true. Most of us don’t think about mending a pair of pants when we tear them – but it’s definitely better for the environment than purchasing a new pair! Why not acquaint yourself with your local tailor and dry cleaner – they will have the skills to make old or damaged clothes as good as new, and you’ll help the environment and your wallet!
Tip #3: Go for Timeless Pieces
When the new seasons and trends hit stores, it’s easy to get carried away with a careless approach to shopping. We’re not saying that you can’t buy must-have items every now and then – but make sure you have got a solid roster of trusty staple items that won’t go out of fashion. We recommend that you have a white and a light blue shirt, a navy and a grey sweatshirt, dark trousers, dark denim jeans, brown suede brogues or loafers, a sophisticated winter coat, a classy belt and three block-colour T-shirts in yoru favourite shades. These items will never lose their style!
Quality is also essential when it comes to curating a sustainable wardrobe that will last a long time and help to reduce waste. Do a stock-take of your wardrobe, identify which new items you need, and research the best available quality for your budget. If you do a little digging, you can find great sustainable pieces off of the high street. There are also great vintage stores and op shops that will offer wallet-friendly prices. More on this below!
Tip #4: Buy Second-Hand
The most sustainable items of clothing are those already in your wardrobe – but don’t forget they could also be in an op shop, waiting to be taken home again! Visit your local op shops, and browse second-hand clothing sites like Depop (great for sportswear and all things 90s), Grailed (cult brands and rare items) and Vestiare Collective (if ou want designer pieces) to shop without the guilt. If you want to make sure that your second-hand purchases will fit perfectly, measure the items that you currently wear, then compare them to the items for sale.
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