When working with our clients on organizing their closets, we seek to educate them on fashion sustainability. The majority of people only use about 20% of the clothes in their closets. It’s not just about having organized closets, but about making informed decisions about fashion choices and their affect on the environment. Whether they have young children, or are in a later season of downsizing, we encourage clients to avoid the perils of fast fashion. Here are 10 tips to make sustainable fashion your own fashion statement:
- Build a wardrobe that fits you and your life! Some would argue that sustainable fashion is a myth. However, it really can make a difference if we all follow guidelines to build a wardrobe that we love and wear.
- Seasonal clothing swaps are a great way to routinely go through your clothes! Whether or not you actually swap out clothes, take time to declutter clothes before the start of every season.
- For those with children, we recommend having a fashion show every season. This can be a really fun time, and it’s always such a good thing to check-in with clothing inventory and teach your child to donate!
- Know what items you have. If you do not know what’s in the closet, create an inventory for easy reference. Knowing what you have will keep you from buying something you don’t need. Kids really don’t need as many clothes as some may think and having less clothes will make closets easier to maintain.
- After you make an inventory list, make another list of items you need. You may need items to complete outfits, staples like white/black t-shirts that need to be replaced (they might be worn out or stained), or maybe it is finally time to replace a favorite pair of jeans. This inventory list will be a lot more fast paced with kids as their growth spurts differ.
- Invest in a good tailor for alterations and repairs, and a good cobbler for repairs to shoes and handbags. Commit to driving there and dropping the items off. If it’s not worth the cost of an alteration or repair, let the item go.
- Find a friend, neighbor, or fellow school family who welcomes hand-me-downs. This is especially good to do with kids’ clothes. It is such an excellent way of practicing sustainable fashion as kids go through clothes very quickly!
- Instead of buying the latest fashion trend, practice purposeful and conscious shopping by not shopping trends, but shopping your style. Don’t purchase an item if there is any doubt in your mind – regardless of how “on sale” it is. Ask yourself: “Do I love it? Do I feel good wearing it?” – and really think about the answer before you buy.
- Commit to returning items that do not fit or work for you. Establishing a launch pad and dedicating a space to returns is very helpful with this. You will better remember to take make returns if you can seem them as you leave your home.
- When you no longer like or wear an item in your wardrobe, let it go to someone who will use it. Here is a great list for donation centers and consignment stores in Richmond and another list for those in Charlottesville. Once you have your items selected to donate, you will want to donate them quickly – trust us on this! The more you delay, the more these items tend to stick around and somehow fail to reach their intended destination.
Fashion sustainability helps the environment and saves money. Don’t get caught in adding to the perils of fast fashion! Be a more conscious and prepared shopper by following these guidelines. We would love to see photos and hear about how you are making sustainable fashion your fashion statement in our Abundance Declutter Facebook Group!