The way we live today makes it incredibly easy to purchase items in the blink of an eye or the click of a button. We can buy fast, have it delivered quickly, and never think about the mountains of stuff we are accumulating within a week or year. Fast fashion contributes to this problem, to waste, to climate change, and more.
In fact, we need less clothing right now than we ever have before. We can welcome the idea of a daily uniform easier than this time last year. We have more time to clean out our closets, resell items, and think through our purchases but it needs to become a practice a conscious effort on our part. How can you help? What can you do to reduce fashion waste and be more thoughtful when you shop? We have some thoughtful shopping tips just for you.
Rules to Follow
- Buy quality over quantity. My mother used to tell me this all the time. Both of my grandmothers did too. Turns out they were right. If you buy a quality coat, sweater, blouse, or pair of shoes or pants they will last you for years and even decades. I have a beautiful wool coat I bought in the late 90s that still looks brand new. I wear it each winter, receive compliments on it, and have only had to replace a button or two in all that time. The same goes for handbags and boots. I may not own more than two pairs of boots, but each pair has lasted me years due to quality construction and care.
- How often will you wear it? Every time you find an item of clothing you want to purchase, ask yourself how many times you will wear this piece. Is it over 30 times? f it is then it is a good purchase.Will that dress be a one-time wear for a special event? If the answer is yes, then can you resell it to someone else or donate it? Do not let it take up long-term space in your closet. For special occasion items consider renting, borrowing, or shopping your own closet for the look versus purchasing something new. Remember, it is quite alright to wear something to an event more than once. It is better for your wallet and planet Earth.
- How will you wear the item? What will you wear it with? If it is a crazy patterned pair of pants, an odd color shoe, or a funky bag you might not love or wear often, you should pass on the purchase EVEN if it’s at a great price. If the shirt or skirt has loads of possibilities and works well with the clothing, you already own and will wear on repeat then go ahead and buy it.
- Is the piece easy to care for? Sometimes the precious caring for of a particular piece of clothing deters me from buying or wearing it. Is it so delicate that it will be a one-time wear? Is the upkeep expensive and a turn off? You might want to pass on it.
- Less waste equals more space. More space in your closet and home, that is. Remember this rule for when you are looking at any new clothing purchase. Fast fashion contributes to millions of dollars of waste in silk, leather, cotton, and other materials each year. Much of that ends up in a landfill and sits for years. It contributes to child labor, unfair wages, water waste, and so much more. Help conserve the planet’s energy, reduce waste, and save space in your home by looking at where your next shirt comes from. Who makes that shirt, what are the practices of the company, and will the shirt work for you as well as last? It is a lot to think about at first but in the end, it helps serve everyone more.