While I love to shop and talk about new clothes, I've come to understand the importance of reducing our consumption and making better-informed decisions. Fashion is an industry that is extremely detrimental to the planet and I want to improve the way I shop and consume fashion. Obviously, changes like that take time, so I am bound to making mistakes but I want to learn more in order to become better.
I remember being aged 15 and wanting to get the cheapest clothes I could get in order to have as many clothes as humanly possible. I thought overflowing wardrobes were the coolest thing. Then in recent years, I've become more familiar with the concept of a 'capsule wardrobe'. It’s all about finding pieces that will last a long time; they are exactly what you need and they fit you perfectly. I think there are simple ways to incorporate sustainable fashion in your everyday life like and that's what I wanted to discuss today.
Part 1 - Shop sustainably
There are different ways to do this. The first one I would recommend is to buy from independent designers who produce collections in small quantities. (if you're in Montreal keep an eye out for Noemiah and Josiane Perron, they are incredibly talented creators), or from brands that have sustainable values. For example, the Swedish label Filippa K uses mostly recycled materials and produces clothes in an ethical way. I'm a big fan of their t-shirts and sweaters. Investing in luxury pieces is also a key tip I would recommend as people tend to be more careful with their designer clothes so they can keep them forever.
The other avenue I would recommend is to shop through secondhand stores. It could be your local thrift shop or an online shop selling secondhand goods. In these photos, I'm wearing 100% secondhand clothes and accessories from online consignment stores Own the Couture and Love that Bag.
Part 2 - Take care of your clothes
With good quality come great responsibilities in the care department. Always read the instruction label before washing, and if you can, prioritise using cold water and hanging your clothes to dry. It's also important to store every item properly and keeping your storage space clean to avoid damaging your clothes or having moths. For example, always fold knits instead of hanging them and stuff your bags with paper to make sure they keep their shape. Taking care of your wardrobe means you'll elongate the life of your favourite items.
Part 3 - Assess your needs & get rid of some clothes
And now parting with your clothes... if you're not using them or they don't fit you, there is no need to keep them. Sell them online (on Depop, Instagram, Own the Couture, Vestiaire Collective, the Real Real, etc) or give them away to friends or charity so they can have a new life. If your clothes are damaged, see if they can be repaired or up-cycled so they don't go to trash.
Another point I haven't really touched on is the frequency of acquiring new items or just buying too many pieces and I guess it's something I still have to reflect on. I love shopping, it's fun and I'm sure it activates some parts of the brain that make you happy. However, I know there is a balance and a way to consume more ethically.
Via Own the Couture: Blazer: Vince / Shorts: Sandro / Blouse: Marni / Mules: Rag & Bone / Bag: Dolce & Gabbana via LOVEthatBAG.
Photos by Stecie April