Written by Toluwa
Image by @jourdandunn
In 2020, I was short on wardrobe space and frustrated with the amount of clothes I was buying and not wearing. Once I started to learn more about fast fashion, I realised I had been sucked into a pattern of buying things I didn’t need and decided it was time to make a change. I absolutely love fashion – I can be quite introverted so I love to let my clothes speak for me. I was determined to find a way to have a more sustainable wardrobe without compromising my personal brand.
You may be thinking, ‘what is sustainable fashion?’ Essentially, it is fashion made with the environment and the people who make it in mind. I think that it’s important to not let my desire to keep up with the latest trends contribute to the mistreatment of the people who design and create my clothes or the destruction of the only planet I can call home – but this is hard! So here are some tips on how to enjoy fashion in a more sustainable way…
1) Rewear your wardrobe
The most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own. Long gone are the days where it was normal to wear an outfit once for social media before hiding it away in the back of our wardrobes. Our clothes should be a reflection of our personal style and our wardrobes should be full of clothes we love and want to wear time and time again. Doing exactly that is the best way to stay true to yourself and your style in the most sustainable way.
2) Borrow from friends
I have no sisters so I have no experience of stealing from my sister’s wardrobe, but my favourite thing about living with my bestie at university was our communal wardrobe. Our different styles meant that we would often buy clothes the other wouldn’t. Living together gave us the access and opportunity to experiment with each other’s wardrobe and create new outfits without the need to buy something new.
Renting is my latest obsession, if you have ever bought a dress for a wedding, graduation or birthday only to never wear it again then renting might be for you. It’s an amazing way to find one of a kind items that you may love but only see yourself wearing once. It’s also introduced me to a whole host of designers that aren’t readily available online and on the high street. My personal favourite rental platform is By Rotation, it’s a peer-to-peer platform which allows you to rent directly from stylish babes all over the country as well as brands that partner with the app.
4) Buy pre-loved
Buying second-hand is a brilliant way to add to your wardrobe and prevent the creation of more waste. The ‘wear once, get rid’ culture that exists means that many clothes are being sold secondhand whilst still available in stores. I always make a point of checking resale platforms before buying anything new. Also, nothing beats the buzz of hunting something down and finally finding it preloved and at a discount!
5) Take your time and do your research
Sometimes we will need to buy new, and there’s nothing wrong with that! The best way to make sure that your purchase isn’t a spontaneous waste of money is to take your time. Ignore the emails that tell you ‘You need this now! Buy now!! Get this before it’s too late!!!’. Make a wish list, refer to it when you’re shopping and look at all the options available. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than finding an independent or sustainable brand that creates quality clothing I can keep for years.
Dressing sustainably doesn’t mean you have to wear baggy beige linen, all the outfits you can see me in are available to rent. Finding a new way to enjoy fashion has been so exciting for me, I hope you get to feel that too!