Fashion never stops starting afresh. Each season, you want to give in to temptation again – for that little dress that’s bang on trend, or that umpteenth pair of shoes, whereas our wardrobes are literally full to bursting. How about coming to our senses a little? To help you along, here in a nutshell are 5 habits for dressing in environmentally-responsible clothes.
1 – Giving your wardrobe a detox
“I’ve got nothing to wear!” How often do we say those words? Whereas… Nothing could be further from the truth! So before you consider making another purchase, go through your wardrobe first and give it a good detox.
So what’s the idea? To take everything out, as advocated by tidying and personal development specialist Marie Kondo, and only put back the clothes that you’re really going to wear. Out with the too-small trousers that you keep for when you will have got your small waist back, or that worn-looking jacket that you keep “just in case”. What should you do with the clothes that you no longer want? Give them to a family member or friend, put them in a used clothing collection bin (called a Relais bin in France) or, when it comes to the nicest pieces, sell them. Once you’ve had this therapeutic clearout, you’re sure to (re)discover long-lost garments. Then you just need to complete your clothing inventory by acquiring what you’re (really) missing.
2 – Buying less, but better
To avoid making unwise purchases, put together a clothing inventory of basics that suits your lifestyle and figure. Bear in mind that your body can change over time. Hence the importance of having a suitable clothing inventory! Go for good-quality pieces, to avoid having to replace that little white T-shirt (again) in a few months’ time. Also, learn to read labels and give in to the “right” temptations. A shirt made in China sold at a knockdown price is socially and ecologically suspect. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries. Hence the importance of trying not to buy any old thing (because by doing that, you’re inadvertently condoning this system).
3 - Wearing second-hand clothes
If you want to take it further, you can buy clothes that meet certain environmental and social criteria thanks to recognised labels like GOTS, the EU Ecolabel, Fairtrade, etc. Today’s ethical fashion is nothing like that of yesteryear. There are heaps of ethical brands that are on trend, offering nicely-cut, well-designed clothes made from high-end fabrics.
4 – Wearing second-hand clothes
Jumble sales, specialist platforms (Vinted, Vestiaire Collectif…), vintage shops… A garment can live several lives. Sure, it takes a little longer to find “the” piece that you’ve been seeking for a while. But at the end of the day, so satisfying! You treat yourself while being kind to the planet and saving money! What’s not to like? A number of Instagram accounts that specialise in thrift-shop clothes (Odael_vintage, gigette-vintage, mafriperie-preloved) have recently appeared. So what’s their USP? The Instagrammers (fashion devotees through and through) put together really inspiring looks. Another option for special occasions: hiring a sensational statement dress (Une robe un soir, Les cachottières) without having to buy it, only to wear it only once.
5 - Encouraging upcycling
After recycling, upcycling! This green economy trend is about getting extra use out of (repurposing) used products. In terms of fashion, it translates into responsible capsule collections, made from fabric or leather offcuts for example. Nothing gets thrown away – it all gets turned into something else!
Similarly, if you follow the hashtags #upcycling or #upcyclingclothes on Instagram, you can get loads of ideas for giving your clothes a new lease of life if you’re handy with a sewing machine (turning a men’s shirt into a skirt, etc.).
You can also start upcycling like Marguerite ?