With sustainable fashion being so important for our future having a wardrobe that works, that you actually wear, is a great advantage. Changing the way you shop will have a positive effect on our planet and your bank balance (you can thank me later).

Purchasing key items of clothing that will still look just as current five years from now as they do today, is a great place to start. Shopping this way will stop you purchasing items you aren’t going to wear and will eventually throw out – which has a devasting effect on our environment.
So the great thing about shopping intelligently is it puts style hand in hand with sustainable fashion. It will allow you to create an amazing wardrobe whilst still helping our planet, with minimum effort required. How amazing is that?

Fashion and style both have wonderful, inspiring qualities but are very different.
Fashion is something you see on the high street, in the pages of a magazine and walking down the runway at fashion week. If you google ‘what is fashion?’ you are met with a ton of results talking about trends and popular style. The dictionary actually translates the word fashion as ‘a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration or behaviour’. The word fashion appears to translate as something that isn’t going to have staying power. Fashion is something you buy as a trend even if you aren’t aware of it at the time. When you choose an item in store or online you are buying a piece of fashion.
Taking it home and putting an outfit together is creating style.

I recently became aware of how fast fashion is affecting our planet. I was extremely shocked that by purchasing a few items of clothing can cause a number of problems behind the scenes, that’s even before it has made it to the shop or warehouse. I learnt how clothing is made, the chemicals being used and what happens once we dispose of it deciding it isn’t for us any more. It was such an eye-­opener and made me feel very sad and a little ashamed.

We have all heard about recycling of our paper and plastic each week but there aren’t many of us, myself included that think about what happens to our clothes once we have that yearly clear out.

 

I recently watched a documentary showing the different downside to fast fashion and how it is harming our planet.
The first being the chemicals that are used. These don’t directly affect us because we can not see them, but the families living right next to the factories that are making our clothes and inhaling toxic chemicals on a daily basis are affected greatly.
The other side showed how our discarded clothing ends up on landfills and eventually finds its way into the ocean, which then obviously affects our sea life and wildlife. It isn’t just plastic that can harm our sea life, our unwanted clothing can have a devastating impact.
It is so important to reinforce your knowledge by understanding just how important timeless style is. Purchasing something that will still be relevant and ‘in style’ in years to come is super important. If we do this and only purchase items we actually wear this will stop our unwanted clothes ending up on landfills and in our oceans.

 

I am your typical shopaholic. I shop all the time. I can find any excuse to go shopping and purchase something for myself or gifts. There was so much in my wardrobe that I hadn’t worn in so long and a few items that I have never worn. I clear out my wardrobe about twice a year and either pass my clothes on to family members or to charity shops, but I have been known to throw some items straight in the bin. I used to probably be the perfect example of how you shouldn’t shop. Becoming a stylist completely changed the way I shop, I have become more aware of what the best styles, shapes and colours are for me and I have stopped buying items that I know I am not going to wear.

Items of fashion can be around for years to come and you can still wear them and look stylish years after you first bought them. Fashion is more than just what we wear, it is who we are, and who we are can actually make a difference to the fashion industry and the planet. So if you are clearing out your wardrobe don’t just throw your items in the bin. Take them to a charity shop, if you’re creative, rework them and give them a new lease of life, you could even host a clothes swapping party with your friends – an excuse to catch up and have fun whilst changing the world. It will leave you feeling like a true superhero.

An important tip for when you are out shopping is the fit. If it doesn’t fit well and you just know you aren’t going to get it tailored, do not buy it. You will thank me later for many reasons.

 

I’ve heard so many celebrities and people in the fashion industry saying the key to your outfit looking great is tailoring. I completely agree as the fit of an outfit can make or break it. Their advice is often to get your clothing tailored. My only issue with this is that it is not always feasible or practical for a lot of people to achieve this. You try on an outfit in a shop and fall completely in love with it, you want to wear it out next week but the sleeves are a little long. Answer me this, do you have the time, money and patience to locate a tailor, drive/walk/bus it to said tailor, try the outfit on to show them, then have to wait a number of days to receive the item back? This is nothing against tailors I think they are absolutely wonderful and incredible at what they do. To me, it just isn’t always an option.

I recently sold two beautiful skirts online as they had become to big for me. I had lost a lot of weight and my original plan was to get them both taken in as I loved them so much. However, they just ended up sitting in my wardrobe for a year as I honestly couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of the whole process.

So my advice to you if you know 100% that you will not be getting it tailored leave it in the shop. There is no point in purchasing a fabulous item that you love if you are never able to wear it. If you are in the fitting room and say the words ‘it would be perfect if it wasn’t for xyz’, do not buy it. Trust me you will thank me in the long run. Yes, you will go home and not be able to stop thinking about it and may even return to the shop to try it on again in the hope that it will have magically changed to fit you perfectly (yes I am speaking from experience), but trust me it will not and it will just end up gathering dust in your wardrobe, (again I am speaking from experience).

Changing the way we shop and how we look at fashion can have a great impact on your life as well as the lives of many others around you. Selecting key items that are timeless and building your own capsule wardrobe will make life great for yourself and the world around you.

By Nikki McFarlane.

Will you be implementing these tips? Have you got any other advice for tackling fast fashion? Do let us know.

Want more on eco-friendly fashion? Check this out:

Bold, brave, eco-friendly 

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