Did you know that each year circa 10.5 million tonnes of clothes ends up in US landfills? Buying cheap clothing and wearing it a couple of times before throwing it away has become somewhat of a common thing- but it’s costing us much more than we realize. Not only that this wasteful process ends up hurting our budget in the end (those pennies add up fast, peeps), but it is also hurting our planet. Fast fashion companies one of the biggest polluters out there, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problematic policies of the fashion industry. But what if I told you that there is a budget-friendly way to go green and get into sustainable fashion?
Mending your own clothes and buying second hand are the best ways to build an eco-friendly, sustainable wardrobe. The best part about green fashion? You can look stylish, authentic, and modern without spending much money- and feeling guilty about your contribution to pollution. Here are our top tips on building your own sustainable wardrobe on a budget (and looking like a million bucks to boot!):
Shop Your Closet
Environmental and minimalist lifestyle activists like to say that the most sustainable garments are those you already own. And that’s one hundred percent true! Many of us have so much clothing that some of the pieces haven’t been worn for years. Before you go on a shopping spree, check to see if any of the items you own could be back in style or get more wear before being donated to the Goodwill or listed for sale on your VarageSale profile.
Mend Your Faves
If you mend a pair of well-loved jeans instead of tossing them out and replacing them with new ones, you will save 1,800 gallons of water that’s needed to produce a pair just like them. The same goes for any other garment that you’ve been lovingly wearing to a point it got damaged- with a little effort, it can be made anew. To boot, these days visible mending is becoming a fashion statement, with people using sashiko stitching, boro mending, and similar decorative ways of giving their clothes a new life and ensuring years of wear through mending.
Buy Used Clothes
Instead of buying $1 t-shirt that will disintegrate after two washes, why not use your hard-earned bucks to shop sustainably and smart? Whether it’s by scouring thrifting stores or getting good deals on second-hand clothes through VarageSale, buying pre-owned clothes can save you a ton of money, get you unique and vintage items that will be the envy of your friends, and downsize your wardrobe’s carbon footprint- what’s not to like?
Reimagine and Upcycle
Found a shirt with a perfect print but it’s 5 sizes bigger than you need it to be? No problem! Some basic sewing skills and a couple of YouTube videos later, and you’ll learn how to upcycle it into a cute summer dress. Got a lot of your kids old T-Shirts that they’ve grown out of? Make a T-shirt quilt! Your woolen sweater shrunk in the washing machine? Make a pair of slippers, a jacket for your pooch or a pillow case. And don’t worry if you’re not sewing savvy- a bit of Pinterest inspiration and you’ll find no-sew ways to give new use to your old clothes in no time.