HOW TO | Dress Sustainably
With thousands of tonnes of clothing sent to landfill each year, the world of fashion has a significant impact on the environment. Dying garments to the season’s trending shade is the second biggest polluter of water globally, dumping dyes, inks, bleaches and minute fibres into the water cycle. And, according to The World Wide Fund for Nature, it can take up to a staggering 20,000 litres of water to produce just one T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Sobering stuff for next time you casually add to basket.Thankfully, there are ways to remap your sartorial habits without going on an extreme menswear diet. Here’s how to (figuratively) turn your wardrobe green. Dress responsibly, but stylishly.
Take Stock of Your Wardrobe:
Like carrying a reusable shopping bag or refusing a plastic straw, creating a (figuratively) greener wardrobe is a simple but powerful act in the fight against climate change. And it can be a simple as doing a quick wardrobe itinerary before hitting ‘add to basket’.Look at the types of garments you already own, as well as colours and fabrications. You might realise how much you have, remember and revive forgotten favourites, and make better decisions when buying something new.
Repair Your Old Clothes:
The saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ holds real water in menswear. But so too should ‘If it’s broke, fix it.’ Most of us don’t think about mending a pair of jeans that have ripped at the crotch, or a jacket sleeve that’s been nibbled at by moths, but it is worth it. Make acquaintance with your local seamstress or dry cleaner, who will make your damaged clothes as good as new.
Buy Timeless Pieces:
When the new season stock hits stores, it’s easy to get carried away with a scattergun approach to shopping. And while it’s fine to top up your wardrobe with a few must-have pieces, it’s worth ensuring you’ve got a solid roster of trusty staples that won’t date in place first. The key pieces a man should have are a white and light blue shirt, a navy and grey sweatshirt, dark trousers, dark denim jeans, brown suede brogues or loafers, a smart winter coat, a smart belt and three block-colour T-shirts.
Quality is another key factor in building a wardrobe that’ll go the distance and put an end to any wasteful ways. Carry out a stock-take of your wardrobe, and for any menswear heroes that are missing, research the best available quality for your budget. Because such pieces are outside of the hype-cycle, it’s possible to find them all on the high street.
Buy Second-Hand Online:
It’s often said that the most sustainable clothing is already in your wardrobe, but sometimes it’s hanging up in somebody else’s, waiting to be re-sold. Use second-hand and re-sale sites such as Depop (great for sportswear and all things nineties), Grailed (full of cult brands and rare finds) and Vestiare Collective (for authentic high-end designer pieces) to shop without guilt. Keep a flexible tape measure to hand at home to size up garments you already own, so that you can compare them to items for sale.
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