6 steps to sustainable style

Having an awesome wardrobe doesn’t require having lots of money to spend.

The ever-growing sustainable fashion movement doesn’t have to be hard to achieve, you just need to be mindful of your consumption of clothes.

To make sure you’re starting off on the right foot, follow these six simple steps:

1.Don’t buy anything

Instead of buying new, hit up your wardrobe and have a look at all your clothes.

Divide your clothes into three sections: what works well and you’re happy with, what you feel needs work (see steps 2 & 3) and what doesn’t work at all (step 4).

2. Make do and mend.

Originally a scheme to encourage rationing during the Second World War, extending the life of clothes and other goods is set to be a major trend in the new decade.

This step doesn’t have to be as dull as sewing up holes in old socks – take a leaf from Japanese-inspired boro mending and create your own unique pieces.

What’s more, if an item doesn’t quite fit, consider changing it up as you will be far more likely to wear it.

3. Decide what’s missing.

Once you have done your wardrobe review, you will have a more solid idea of pieces you may be lacking – such a belt to pull whole outfits together or a top to go with that skirt you love but never wear because it just doesn’t go with anything.

This is also a good time to identify which items you tend to repeat buy.

4. Responsibly remove what doesn’t work.

You are by no means obliged to hang on to anything that no longer serves you as there are a number of safe options available to help avoid sending clothing to landfill. These include:

5. Research brands and plan your shop.

At some point you will need to go shopping, but rather than dashing straight to the store, consider whether you actually need to buy what you’re seeking. If it’s for a special occasion, can it be rented instead? Maybe borrow something from a friend?

If not, jump online and research brands. Find out if they are practising genuine corporate social responsibility by learning what efforts are being made to reduce their footprint. If you can’t find any information, consider the lack of transparency a warning.

Tip: to make things easier, Good On You has done the legwork and created an app with a rated ethical brand directory.

Finally, if you’re hit with an urge to splurge, consider buying second hand from thrift shops, aforementioned second hand markets or online vintage┬ástores.

6. Care for your clothes.

Quite simply, clothes last longer if you follow washing instructions, use mild detergent and store them correctly. Consider airing out items rather than washing them after every wear – particularly denim, which can last for years with proper care.

As you can see, from every way you look at it, an added dose of mindfulness toward how you treat your clothes goes a long way in saving both your wallet and the planet.