Globally, we buy roughly 80 billion pieces of new clothing every year. This is 400% more than we did just twenty years ago! Unsurprisingly the more we buy, the more we throw away.
Recently, clothing has become an increasingly large contributor to landfill waste. Estimates suggest the UK alone discards over one million tonnes of clothing every year.
In order to truly fight fast fashion, we must challenge the idea that clothing is ‘disposable’. Fast fashion wants to support an industry that values quantity over quality, and this is simply not sustainable. Here are some tips to embrace the slow fashion movement and make your clothing last longer!
1. Buy Less, Choose Well
The first simple step in making your clothes last is to choose each purchase wisely. While low price tags are attractive, poorly made clothing won’t last a lifetime. When you buy something, make sure you are buying quality. Is the hem even? Are the seams properly finished? Durable buttons and zips? Taking the time to look at these details will help you choose new pieces that you can wear for years to come.
2. Mend Where You Can
Clothes may start to show signs of wear and tear but that doesn’t mean they are ready to be tossed away! Try your hand at sewing a few holes, replacing that missing button or adding a cool patch to your favourite ripped jeans. Blemishes and defects show that your clothes have been worn and loved, ultimately adding character to your favourite pieces!
3. Wash Less, and Wash Properly!
First things first. Sort your laundry!!! Separate your dark colours from your light colours so that your whites stay looking fresh. If you have delicates wash these separately by hand, or alternatively pop them inside a mesh bag or pillowcase to keep them protected while inside the washing machine. Last but not least, only wash when you really need to! Most of us wash after every use, but usually our clothes can go several wears before they need a clean.
4. Air Dry
It might take a few extra minutes to hang up your clothes but it is definitely worth it! Drying your clothes in a machine adds unnecessary stress and damage to your wardrobe, not to mention the risk of shrinkage! Your clothes will last longer and your energy bill will thank you if you opt for air drying. Light colours can bask is the sun, but keep your darks in the shade to prevent colour fading.
5. Store With Care
Treat your clothes with respect. Fold them or hang them up once washed so they are always fresh and ready to wear. Fabrics love to be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. You can also try placing pouches of dried lavender in your drawers to naturally prevent moth damage and keep your clothes smelling lovely!
6. Keep It Tidy
A clean and tidy closet lets you see your entire wardrobe. When closets are messy, it is easy to neglect those pieces shoved at the back and instead wear the same few things over and over again. A tidy closet allows you to better rotate your outfits for even wear, and prevents you from mistakenly buying something you already have!