How To Save The Planet With Your Wardrobe

The world has become a scary place. Yes, I know that's a very profound thought for a Tuesday afternoon, but it's absolutely true and more and more of us are slowly coming to the realisation of this fact. The environment is in a terribly dire situation and it's high time we do something about it that doesn't just mean using paper straws and putting banana skins into the food recycling bin. 

It's a fact that we can actually make a step towards saving our planet with the power of our fashion. According to the University of Queensland (do I Harvard reference?), we now globally consume about 80 billion new pieces of clothing each year - 400% more than we were consuming just a decade ago. It's astounding how much this "fast-fashion" behaviour is killing our planet, yet we turn a blind eye to it in the name of being on-trend.

I've never actually been one to buy the latest clothes from high street retailers - mainly because I don't have the money (#studentlife) - but also my inner conscience has held me back as I genuinely think a part of me has never seen the need. As someone who wants to work in the fashion industry and to whom style is incredible important, I'm somewhat of a paradox in this sense - I don't care for having the latest pieces, but now, considering what we know about the poor state of our environment, I know that this has all been for a reason.

In this post I want to share my tips for staying environmentally friendly with your fashion choices - I'm sure you've probably heard them all before as it really isn't rocket science, but I hope this will inspire you to think about the planet before placing another ASOS order.

1. Style pieces differently

If you're bored of certain items, refrain from throwing them away out of pure despair. It's brilliant what some creative styling can do and how making little changes can transform the way an outfit looks! If you're not keen on a shift / A line dress, use a belt to cinch in the waist and give it a new silhouette. Tuck a mini dress into trousers or a skirt to turn it into a top, or pair a knitted cardigan with a mini dress and biker boots to turn an otherwise frumpy cardigan into something a little more edgy. I would recommend scouring Pinterest for some interesting ideas and inspiration.
For example, I was going to throw this mini dress away, but I decided to use unique accessories and clothes to style it differently and I now love these new outfits!


2. Raid your grandmother's/mother's wardrobe

If you're lucky enough to have grandparents or parents that kept some clothes from their younger days, it may actually be some sort of a gold mine for you. Fortunately, a lot of my family's clothes have been conserved (thanks to my grandmother being a fashionista herself), and I have been able to pinch some of the items I absolutely love and that are stylish - as they say, history repeats itself and fashion is no exception. Trends are transient but they do come back around, so what your folks were wearing is probably back in style right now! Plus, it's very fun to watch the surprised faces of your friends when you tell them your outfit used to belong to your grandmother 40 years ago!
Check out these trousers my grandma used to wear:

Styled differently ... 


3. Upcycle old pieces


There's nothing a little rhinestone here and there can't fix. Literally. If you want to give your clothes a new lease of life, you can take it into your own hands to give them a little bedazzlement and they'll look as good as new. Even the slightest enhancement can make all the difference, or you can do a full 180 and transform your garment into something totally different. This video gives a pretty marvellous demonstration of how to upcycle old clothes! There's no need to go and purchase new items when you can create something new from your existing things!

4. Buy clothes from sustainable brands


Supporting environmentally friendly businesses that are dedicated to sustainability is a fantastic way to help the planet. Every little helps and you could make a big difference if you shop at places that care for the environment. Even high street stores such as H&M sell eco-friendly collections made from materials that are recycled and not harmful to the planet.


5. NEVER throw clothes away

If you find yourself throwing clothes away when you clear your wardrobe, it's very much time to stop doing so and to find another way to rid your wardrobe of unwanted items. Reselling them or donating them to charity shops or even younger family members is a fantastic way of giving your clothes a new life and chance, rather than turning them into landfill waste. What you don't like may be another person's treasure, so do try and give your clothes another home. Apps such as Depop or even eBay are a brilliant way to sell your clothes in an efficient, easy way, plus you get a little pocket money!

6. Get creative!

When it comes to creativity, the sky is the absolute limit. You can always turn your old, unwanted clothes into something else if you just use a little imagination. All it normally takes is a little sewing skill and some inspiration to transform clothes into something brand new! For example, you could use the material from old shirts or dresses to make into little stuffed toys for children, decorative table napkins to spruce up your dinner parties or even turn the fabric into knitting yarn! Where there's a will there's a way, so brush up on your textiles skills and give it a go!


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