Clean Up Your Wardrobe Like A Pro
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Clean Up Your Wardrobe Like A Pro

How to have a greener wardrobe

Ask the charismatic Samata Pattinson, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress, why we need to think about what we wear and her response is emphatic: ‘Because the world is on fire and we need to put it out, by reducing our carbon footprint.’ Here she shows us how to rethink our wardrobes, one step at a time, says Lisa Grainger.

Consider what sustainability means to you


Hackney jumpsuit by P.i.C Style

Sustainability is multi-faceted, and you can’t do it all. Some people think recycling is better than upcycling, others say clothing produced locally results in less carbon than organic, imported items. Do your research and stick to it, whether that’s buying only vegan leathers, or vintage, or plant-dyed organic fabrics.

Try: Clothes from P.i.C Style, Study 34 and Beaumont Organic.

Start to think in a different way

We are all overbuying clothes: last year, about 7.4 million pieces of clothing were purchased for festivals, and £2.7 billion was spent on summer outfits – most of which were worn just once. Everyone needs to ask why they’re buying something; it’s possibly the most important question of all. If everyone going to a wedding next year wore a thrifted outfit, over 700 million kg of CO2 emissions could be saved. That’s a lot.

For inspiration, read: Eco Fashion by Sass Brown (£29.99) and Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas (£9.99)

Don’t buy stuff that harms the planet – and you

Polyester is made from petroleum and in a landfill it will take 1,000 years to disintegrate. Some dyes are not only carcinogenic but also linked to infertility. And some pesticides don’t just kill insects but also cause the emission of GHG nitrous oxide. So it’s vital you look at the label. An Oeko-Tex or a GOTS certification is a good start.

Try: Clothing from Thread Tales, People Tree, Mara Hoffman, Thought and Komodo.

Don’t think you can just dump your old kit on charity shops

clothes - Unsplash

Every year, mountains of unwanted clothing arrive in Africa and end up as landfill. If you buy something, know where it’s ending up: your waste is your responsibility.

Try: eBay, clothes swaps, reselling apps like Depop. Or give to local people in need, through Re-Fashion, Smart Works and Dress For Success.

Make your clothing last

Check the quality of each item you buy and ask if the company will mend it in future. Patagonia will, as will Nudie Jeans and Levi’s.

Try: Patching, customising, re-hemming and adding new buttons. When jeans are destroyed, turn them into shorts, and repurpose old T-shirts into cloths and dusters.


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