5 Tips To Nail Sustainable Fashion Like A Pro
by Chiara Micallef
If you've clicked on this article, chances are that you'd like to become more sustainable when it comes to the way you consume fashion.
Maybe your interest is one that revolves around the environmental impact of fashion production – but to be super honest with you, we did not write this article to preach or to guilt-trip you.
Vivienne Westwood said 'Buy less, choose well, make it last' – this phrase conveys what this article is all about, so sit back, grab a cup of coffee and read on.
1. Change The Way You Shop
Are you someone who strives for a unique, distinctive and offbeat look? Yes? Good.
Next time you get the urge to shop, head down to a secondhand store and pick out a selection of previously owned pieces. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you will also be supporting independent local stores and charities. Need more convincing? You'll get to add a range of stunning pieces to your repertoire for the fraction of their original price.
If you'd rather get your hands on new pieces, you can opt for brands that are renowned to produce long-lasting, comfortable and high-quality clothing.
As a general rule of thumb choose clothes that feel nice to the touch and are made from natural fabrics. To make sure that a particular garment is made to last, turn it inside out and check its stitching and finishing – a clean enclosed seam that is pressed and sewn down without signs of fraying is a good indication of superior quality.
2. Get To Know Your Favourite Brands
Knowing where your clothes came from and what materials are mainly used to manufacture them, will help you make better and more informed decisions when shopping.
Most clothing brands (yes, even the commercial ones) provide this information on their website. If you are uncertain, you can look up a particular brand's sustainability policy to ensure that they are aligned with your personal values. A lot of popular brands nowadays hold sustainable lines made from organic or ethically-sourced materials.
3. Versatility Is Key
Living in Malta gives you a bit of an advantage when it comes to this, as most clothing pieces can be worn all-year-round. You can layer up in winter, and lose a few items in summer. You do not need to own seven different pairs of jeans to get a versatile wardrobe – get your hands on a select few timeless pieces such as classic jackets, cardigans, basic t-shirts and high-quality bags. You can check out this article on ten fashion essential pieces every woman should own.
4. Donate Any Unwanted Clothes
Donating your unwanted pieces – of course, those which are still wearable, clean and not torn or unusable – is a great way to promote sustainability. You will be able to give these pieces a new life with someone who will appreciate and love them as much as you used to. You can donate your clothes to a number of local charity shops and second-hand stores or even drop them off in one of the many collection points around Malta and Gozo. Next time you're clearing out your wardrobe, set a pile of unwanted goods aside to give away.
5. Give Your Clothes Some TLC
Jerseys, sweaters and cardigans are less likely to sag if they're adequately stored. It's also more unlikely for denim to fade if you wash it inside-out, and cashmere pieces will last much longer if they're hand-washed in cold water.
If you're unsure about a particular garment's care you can check its label, or do a quick search online for information on proper care.
Another great way to better care for your clothes is to learn how to repair them yourself, or else find a reputable tailor that can help you fix hems, buttons, rips and snags quickly.