I have been dreaming of well organized and sustainable wardrobe for a while now. Everything started when I watched documentaries like The True Cost and Minimalism, which I recommend for everyone to watch. The True Cost had a huge impact on me as I had never really thought about fast fashion and cheap labor. Now when I think of the fashion industry it just feels really crazy and wrong.
After I came back to Finland from my exchange in Hong Kong, I started to think about changing my wardrobe. I had been in Hong Kong for four months with only one suitcase and for a week in Japan with only a few pieces of clothing. I felt anxious about owning too much stuff, especially clothes. So I finally started going through my closet, saving the pieces I really liked and donating away the rest. This kind of change takes a lot of time so here I will explain to you how I’m going to move forward with creating a stylish and sustainable wardrobe.
Take good care of your old clothes
If you want to have a sustainable wardrobe the most important thing is to take good care of your clothes. It’s always better to use the clothes you already have rather than throwing them away and buying new ones, even if they are sustainably made. It’s easier to appreciate your old clothes when they are taken care of and you won’t get the urge to buy new clothes all the time.
Donate unused clothes to someone near you
If you have some clothes that you don’t want to use, it’s better to give them to someone else. Ask your friends and family if they need a new dress or cute shoes. If your friends and family aren’t that interested I recommend using different Facebook Groups for donating, as then you can find some person that actually needs the clothes and give them away personally. This way your old clothes won’t have a negative impact on the economy of developing countries.
Don’t buy fast fashion
I used to buy tons of cute clothes from fast fashion chains, used them for few times and then got bored and bought new ones. Was it worth it? I had lots of clothes that I didn’t really like and even though they were pretty cheap, I used a lot of money buying them. Now I would rather use my money for one piece that costs more but is also better quality and sustainably produced.
Be skeptical and watch out for green washing. For example, H&M would need 12 years to recycle the amount of clothing it creates in 48 hours. Still, customers feel like they are making an impact by donating their used clothes back to H&M stores. Doesn’t feel quite right. But luckily there are amazing eco brands that are open about their manufacturing process and labor conditions!
Buy second hand and support local brands
I’m trying to slow down my shopping habits, but when I really need something I’m planning to buy it either second hand or from an eco label. Second-hand shops are really great because clothes get recycled and it’s a lot cheaper than buying new clothes. Especially as a student Eco brands are a bit expensive, so it’s good to have a cheaper alternative. I’m still going to support some Finnish Eco brands when I want to buy something more special. I will post about my favorite shops later on!
This dress is by a Finnish slow fashion brand With Love Sanna Hopiavuori
If you would like to have some more information about this subject I recommend Fashion Revolution -website. Fashion Revolution is a movement for changing the fashion industry so that our clothes are made in a safe, clean and fair way. They have great information on their website that you should check out! You can also find Fashion Revolution all around the web with hashtag #whomademyclothes.