Buy Less, Wear More: Your Guide on Dressing Sustainably?

Going green has become a trend lately, with positive fashion being a hot topic for London Fashion Week 2020. London organisers are trying to promote good practices – including a “switch to blue” campaign to bring the fashion industry together “to lead in ambitious environmental action”, as well as a collaboration with designer Richard Malone for a reusable canvas bag.

But it’s down to every single individual to make a positive impact.  Educating yourself about new sustainable solutions is key to dressing sustainably.  Further, read the small eco-friendly actions that will help you improve your daily dressing habits.

“Below, I have listed 5 easy steps to help you build and maintain a sustainable wardrobe. Making a positive impact and helping my clients to make informed decisions about building a sustainable wardrobe to last them a lifetime has always been my main goal as a stylist.”

1. Have a Capsule Wardrobe

Having a capsule wardrobe is a fantastic option to move towards more sustainable dressing! In essence, a capsule is a concept of dressing with a minimum amount of items which you can mix & match to achieve multiple looks. A good capsule comprised of 15-20 items with which you can create multiple outfits to cover any scenario – from work, weekends to a night out. The core items of your capsule should be carefully curated – choose trans-seasonal fabrics such as light cotton, satin or silk that will cover all seasons. A small number of items should be seasonal top-ups – such as winter jumpers or summer strap dresses.

Having a capsule wardrobe does not necessarily mean less outfit choice. On the contrary, it means having curated outfit choices and wearing 100% of your wardrobe. Knowing the benefits, every other one of my clients chooses to have a capsule wardrobe which means they end up buying fewer clothes but wearing more of what they have. Find out how to create your own capsule wardrobe step by step here.

“Trying to dress sustainably is surprisingly not as difficult as people think it is. A small capsule wardrobe can provide you 10 times more options to wear over a huge wardrobe.”

2. How To Dress Sustainably: Smart Shopping

Smart shopping means only buying clothes you truly love and need. Something I always do with my clients during personal shopping is to come up with three different ways to style each garment I pick. I encourage my clients to have that rule when they shop without me too.

Before buying a new clothing piece, ask yourself  ‘How can I style this item in three different ways with the clothes I own at home?’ Ideally, think of three different scenarios – work, weekends and evenings out. Most of your clothes should be able to fit in all these categories. If you can’t think of three different ways to wear the piece, don’t buy it. If you keep that simple shopping rule you will end up buying fewer clothes.

3. Choose Slow Fashion Over Fast Fashion

Choosing slow fashion over fast fashion will save you time and money in the long term and be more sustainable. Smart shopping means knowing the right essentials to invest in, that will last you for years to come. For example, a well-tailored coat, pair of smart jeans, comfortable boots and a smart top are among the key essentials worth-investing in. Opt for brands that use high-quality tailoring and sustainable fabrics. Choosing local brands will reduce shipping costs. There are plenty of upcoming British labels who offer sustainable clothing such as Skiim London,  People Tree & Sollisti .

Another way to dress sustainably is to choose smart designs that help you avoid waste. As part of our ongoing initiatives for sustainability and to reduce plastic in the environment, the Bottle Bag has a refilling bottle to encourage wearers to avoid using plastic bottles. The bag has been designed with a front pocket from veg-tanned leather. Get in touch with me to find out more about where to shop for sustainable clothes.

Smart designs such as the Bottle Bag encourage you to avoid plastic bottles. Available at The Shop At Bluebird #ODPBottleBagChallenge

4. Avoid Online Over-Shopping

For the keen online shoppers, this might sound like a hard step but think how the delivery & packaging costs affect the environment. As a stylist, I see that 80% of the online orders end up being returned or kept unwanted because the return period was missed. I often find unworn garments with labels still attached in my client’s wardrobes during Home Wardrobe Cleanse Visits.

5. Reuse, Recycle, Restyle Clothes

Make sure you maximise your wardrobe  – reuse, recycle, restyle your clothes. Tailor some of your old items to give them a new lease of life or join a Swap & Style Event to sell your old items and buy some pre-loved clothes. Vintage shops are a great place to update your wardrobe with unique pre-loved pieces.  Brands such as MyWardrobe HQ offer rental garments which are fantastic options when dressing for a special occasion.

Maintain your clothes in the right way. Store them correctly and treat them with love, that way they’ll last longer. There are sustainable washing products such as Tangent Garment Care which will elongate the lifespan of your garments. Use a steamer over an iron – it’s much more forgiving to the fabrics. This denim wash cleanses your garments without eating into the cotton fibres – it does not contain any corrosive alkalis. A great washing result for low temperatures helps you maintain the original cut. Blanc

If you need further support about moving towards more sustainable dressing, book a free consultation with me. I can create an impactful capsule wardrobe that will simplify your everyday dressing, whether with Personal Styling Session or a Wardrobe Cleanse Home Visit.

Sustainable Styling is all about making you feel great, look great and do good through conscious fashion choices.  Join our next masterclass Make the Most From Your Wardrobe: Style & Swap. If you are passionate about sustainable fashion and have ideas dressing sustainable, please on email me at .

Photos: @byfinchely

During styling session at The Shop At Bluebird



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