Everyone loves treating themselves to new items, and having new clothes can feel refreshing and boost your confidence. Unfortunately, consumerism comes with its downsides – largely due to its environmental damage. Finding a balance between feeling good about yourself and having fun, yet not being destructive is often difficult. Here are a few tips that will ensure your buying habits do not cost the Earth – literally.
Buying Second Hand
One way to reduce the negative effects of your consumer habits on the planet is to buy things second hand. This way, you are not directly contributing to large, mass-producing corporations and can rest easy in the knowledge that you are being sustainable.
Between charity shops, Depop, eBay and thrift stores, there is an endless choice of clothing, and this way your items are guaranteed to be unique. With charity shops in particular, you can also see this as doing a good deed. While you are updating your wardrobe with cool pieces, you are simultaneously making a charitable donation.
Investing in High Quality Items
Everyone has heard the phrase ‘buy cheap, buy twice’, and it is often very true. Generally, if you opt for a knock-off version of an item, it is cheaper for a reason – with this reason usually being that it is made using far cheaper materials and is therefore not of the same quality. It is not possible for everyone to buy expensive items, but investing in a sturdy piece can save you from having to re-purchase the same item later down the line, since it is probably more durable. High quality Swiss watches by Rolex are a great example of an accessory which will remain intact for life. They also make an amazing gift, so the investment is definitely worth the price tag.
Reworking or Swapping Old Clothes
Altering or swapping your old items is a great way to update your wardrobe sustainably, without having to buy new fast-fashion items. If you have a pair of old jeans with frayed bottoms and a rip in the knee, why not chop off the bottoms and create more holes, to achieve a chic, distressed denim look? If you are bored of an old t-shirt, why not decorate it with an iron-on patch, which you can buy for less than £1 and you effectively will have a brand-new item of clothing? Alternatively, if you have simply grown bored of your old clothes, suggest having a ‘clothes swap’ with your friends. It is likely that what you deem as being ‘last season’, they see as exciting and new, and potentially they can give you some of their old clothes in return.
Protecting the environment and having a great wardrobe can go hand in hand, you just need to be careful about where you are buying from and how often you are doing so. Eco-friendly does not mean you are obliged to stop consuming for good – it just means you have to be thoughtful.