5 Easy Steps To Becoming A Responsible Fashionista
Posted on 11 March 2017
Want to be a more sustainable fashion consumer and dress 'responsibly'? We've outlined 5 simple steps you can take to make your wardrobe more sustainable.
How do I improve my consumption habits? When can I start considering myself a responsible fashionista? I am not a bad person and want to make sure that I am dressing ‘right’. What should I do to make sure the way I dress doesn’t affect others negatively?
These are some examples of the types of questions I’ve been getting the last few months. I decided to respond to them with 5 simple steps anyone could follow to become a responsible fashionista. Please keep in mind that you can (but don’t have to) change overnight. As you keep these 5 steps in mind, you will gradually start integrating them into your daily habits.
My advice: write the 5 steps on a piece of paper and place them somewhere where they will always catch your eye (in your wallet, closet, mirror…). Changing will be easier than you think ;-)
1. OPTIMIZE YOUR WARDROBE
Truly loving only a few pieces of clothing while not using 80% of your wardrobe makes absolutely no sense, occupies valuable square footage (especially if you live in big cities), rumples clothes, and wastes time (I am pretty sure that you try on a million different combinations before finally deciding to wear “the usual”).
The feeling of dissatisfaction despite a world of choices that exists in our closets creates anxiety, and motivates irrational (and often unnecessary) shopping trips.
Transform your wardrobe by putting it in order and reducing the amount of clothes you own (do it smartly in order to end up with interchangeable pieces that match with one another). Make sure you love all of your clothes, but when that feeling goes away, find the right place for each piece by reselling, donating, or recycling it.
Check out Marie Kondo best seller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” for a step-by-step guide to putting your closet in order.
2. BUY BETTER
As mentioned by Natalie Grillon from Project JUST in this interview:
- Buy vintage. By doing this, you are reusing rather than using new resources.
- Buy quality. High-quality pieces might have a higher price tag, but it will save you money and time in the long run as it will last longer. Avoid fast fashion if you can.
- Buy consciously. Know your brand and where your clothes come from. Buying from shops or platforms that sell sustainable fashion will also help you become a more conscious shopper.
3. ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Stop and reflect before buying a new piece of clothing, don’t make impulse purchases. Ask yourself:
Will I use it at least 30 times? Is it timeless? How durable is the piece? What about its versatility? Will I get tired of its color or print? Was it made sustainably? By whom? Does it help me convey who I truly am?
4. WASH SMART
Up to two-thirds of clothes’ carbon footprint is generated after you purchase an item. Therefore, we cannot only blame the fashion industry when complaining about its negative impacts, it is up to us to take good care of our clothes:
- Only wash as needed: make your clothes last longer, save water and detergent
- Avoid using the dryer: save energy and avoid lots of greenhouse gas emissions
- Set your washer to “cold”: save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, and again, make your clothes last longer, as heat breaks down the fabric
- Denim: not a myth, you can put your pants in a bag and place them in the freezer for 1-2 days. This will kill the bacteria and your denim will be ready to go!
5. DONATE, RECYCLE, RE-SELL
Do not throw away clothes that you don’t feel like wearing anymore. Instead, do your best to donate, recycle or re-sell them.
Donate: there are many organizations that collect clothes for donation, look for one in your city. Alternatively, you can always donate your clothes to family, friends, friends of friends and so on.
Recycle: even old underwear can be recycled and made into new items. You can also be creative and upcycle your own clothes: an old shirt can become a nice skirt (see how)!
Re-sell: another great option in case your clothes are in good condition. Sell your second hand pieces in thrift shops or marketplaces for used apparel such as Enjoei in Brazil and Tradesy in the U.S.