woman in green dress starting eco friendly wardrobe

Green And Glamorous: The Beginner’s Guide To An Eco-Friendly Wardrobe

6 mins

Being sustainably stylish is good for the planet but it can be tricky knowing where to start – here are seven tips to get your eco-friendly wardrobe started

If you’ve never been a particularly eco-friendly fashionista – hey, we’re not judging! – you probably have no idea where to start, especially if your closet is bursting with clothes you’ve barely worn since buying them or wish you’d never bought in the first place.

Believe it or not, you’re only a few tips, seven to be exact, away from making a difference and creating your ultimate eco-friendly wardrobe. Forget your your shopping history (even it has been a bit fast!) – all that matters is that you’re here now. 

A shocking 85 per cent of textile waste ends up in landfill meaning that the fashion industry drastically contributes to climate change

It’s important to switch to a sustainable style – but not just to look green and glamorous. A shocking 85 per cent of textile waste ends up in landfill meaning that the fashion industry drastically contributes to climate change.

By eschewing fast fashion and choosing eco-friendly brands, buying vintage, or even grabbing some free designer outfits at a clothes swap party, you’re doing good while looking your sustainably stylish best. So here’s how to get started: 

Shop Your Closet 

The best way to have an eco-friendly wardrobe is to shop at home. Open your wardrobe and pull everything out. Everything. And take a good look at what you already have. You might rediscover some old gems or pieces with their tags on that never made it out. This way you won’t waste your hard-earned cash on re-buying similar clothes you forgot you owned. Anything you won’t wear again, donate, swap or sell it.

Digitalise Your Outfits

photograph all of your outfits so you know exactly which clothes are in your eco-friendly wardrobe

Now you know what you’ve got to work with, grab your phone and snap a bunch of mirror selfies in your outfits. Organise them into folders on your camera roll, such as ‘Casual’, ‘Evening wear’, ‘Work’, etc., so the next time you think you have nothing to wear and need to buy new clothes, you’ve got evidence that you do. Plus, it makes getting ready that much easier as you already know what looks good together and what doesn’t. 

Host A Swap Party

host a clothes swap party to get an eco-friendly wardrobe

Looking for a way to be greener and get the girls together? Host a swap party. Get your besties to bring 5-10 pieces – clothing, accessories, and shoes – that they’d be happy to exchange. You could make it a forever thing or make things more fun and continue to swap every few months. We all have that one outfit of our BFF’s we’ve been dying to borrow since we laid eyes on it…

Fix It First 

Rather than throwing things away for a little wear and tear, try fixing them first. You’d be surprised how a few stitches to a T-shirt with a split seam or a new lining to your old coat can give them a brand new lease on life. But don’t try this at home (unless you’re a seamstress) as you want your repairs to last and not look like a botched DIY job. Take them to a professional – it’s much cheaper than having to replace them.

Rent A Dress

rent a dress as part of creating an eco-friendly wardrobe

You know those special occasions that call for a new outfit that you’ll probably never wear again? Try renting one from rental platforms like Best Kept Shared and Endless. If you’re a social butterfly who lives and breathes parties, go for one with a subscription that lets you rent multiple outfits a month for less, such as RNTD

‘Shopping under pressure just before an event means you’re more likely to buy something because you need to rather than because you love it. Last minute purchases often end up in the back of our wardrobe never to be seen again’  

All the outfits have to pass certain criteria to be able to be rented and dry cleaned after every use, so no one will ever know you didn’t splash out. Speaking of which, as renting is so much cheaper than buying, especially designer pieces, you can afford to wear clothes you might not have otherwise.

Quality Over Quantity

When shopping new, invest in high-quality pieces that are designed to live longer. While this might seem expensive, it’s saving you money (and the planet) in the long run. Let’s say you buy a cheap dress, it’ll usually start showing signs of wear within a few months, and before you know it you’re spending money on another dress to replace it. A designer piece is an investment – as long as you make sure it’s a modern classic– that you’ll be able to wear for years to come and pass on to your fashionista children.  

No Panic Buying 

Shopping under pressure right before an event will make you more likely to buy something just because you desperately need to rather than because you love it. Last-minute purchases often end up in the back of our wardrobe never to be seen again as we never really wanted them in the first place. 

Eco-Friendly Wardrobe Quiz

Before you buy new clothes you should always take the time to ask yourself how many times you’ll be able to wear them – a minimum of 30 times is a good place to start. 

‘Ask yourself: Does it work with clothes I already have? Can I buy it from a more sustainable brand or even second hand? If you have time whip out your digital eco-friendly wardrobe to see what it could go with’

A couple of other questions to ask before committing: Does it work with clothes you already have, or are you going to have to buy more? Can you buy it from a more sustainable brand or even second hand? If you have time on your side you can whip out your digital wardrobe to see what it could go with (you always want to avoid buying entirely new outfits) or shop around for eco-friendly options.

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