Being fashion sustainable is not just about shopping secondhand or vintage, swapping and renting, it also requires a change in mindset in the way you shop for your wardrobe. Think through some of the points below before clicking the buy button.
Match with at least 50% of your wardrobe
Before buying, ask yourself if the piece will match with at least 50% of your wardrobe. Having pieces that can be mixed and matched will save you time when it comes to putting together outfits to wear. If the piece does not match well with the rest of your wardrobe, you will end up wearing it less or not at all.
Invest in trans-seasonal clothes
Go for designs that can be worn all year round, or at least see you through more than one season, and will thus make for a much more sustainable wardrobe. For example, a chic long shirt dress that you can layer over a bikini in summer or style with a long coat and boots in cold weather.
Create a capsule wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe is a sustainable approach to fashion consumerism. Invest in a small selection of essential pieces that’s well-made, interchangeable and versatile, and that you can wear for many occasions, many times and for many years, and will not go out of fashion. Buy less, wear more.
Ask yourself if you will wear the piece at least 20 times
Before buying, ask yourself if you will wear the piece often or at least 20 times. Avoid buying a trendy or statement piece that you know you can only wear a few times. Pick simple pieces that can be styled in multiple ways, rather than a piece that you know will go out of trend in no time.
Quality over quantity
Change your mindset, even though buying well-made, quality pieces will cost more, it will last longer and you will buy less in the long run. Signs of well-made garments include good quality zippers, well-stitched seams and thicker material. Buy less, buy better.
Use a simple Cost Per Wear formula
Cost Per Wear (CPW) = Cost of item / Total wears
(Cost of the item will include not just the purchase price but also cost for altering or dry-cleaning. Total number of wears will mean the number of times you will wear the item over the number of years you will own the item.) For example, a fast fashion prairie dress costs $50 and you alter the length for $12, you only wear it twice before the style goes out of fashion. Although the upfront cost is low, the CPW is high at $31. In contrast, a classic, well-made shirt dress costs $270 but you wear it at least once in every 2 months for 5 years, the CPW is $9. Doing the math will help you to decide if a trendy fast fashion or a classic high street piece is worth the purchase and can also curb impulse buying.
Make the effort to be more informed
Check out the brand’s About Us page before clicking the buy button to know more about their sustainable practices, and prioritise brands which make efforts to be environmentally and ethically conscious.