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Pink linen shirt dress.

Sustainable living is a way of life that aims to minimize our negative impact on the environment while ensuring the well-being of current and future generations. It involves making conscious choices and adopting eco-friendly practices in various aspects of our daily routines, including our wardrobe. Below, we will be listing 10 easy to follow steps for you to have more sustainable wardrobe.

#10 Go beyond 30 wears test

The 30 Wears Challenge is all about wearing a piece of clothing at least 30 times. Next time you are shopping we encourage you, before you buy, to ask yourself: “Will I wear it for at least 30 times?” Think about quality, color bleeding, does it look like it’s going to hold shape, how does the fabric feel against skin, is it comfortable to wear, with what other items of clothing I can pair it with? If the answers are unsatisfactory, keep looking. By asking these questions beforehand you are helping the planet and saving yourself from disappointment.

#9 - Keep an eye on your washing cycles

Wash full loads. Reducing number of loads significantly saves water and energy, and therefore bills. Wear it more than once. Just because you have worn a piece of clothing doesn’t mean it’s dirty and needs washing. Avoid tumble dryer if possible. Clothes last longer when you line dry.

#8 – Know your materials

To paint a bigger picture, there are two categories of fabric - natural & synthetic. Natural fabrics are made from plants and animals, such as, silk, wool, linen, cotton. These fabrics are skin friendly, conduct heat well, they are soft and eco-friendly. When worn, and you will want to wear them repeatedly because of how good they feel, they make you feel cozy, relaxed and most importantly comfortable.

Synthetic fabrics are man-made through chemical synthesis, think rayon, polyester and nylon. While these fabrics have good elasticity and they don’t wrinkle as much, there are many disadvantages to it – they stick to the body (think warm summer days), they absorb very little moisture, and it can be bad for your skin.

While it’s challenging to avoid every fabric that’s bad for your skin and planet, sometimes choosing synthetics is our only option. So, what can we do about it? Try choosing natural fibers for your daily outings. Choose natural fibers in summer. And, before buying ask yourself, how many times I am planning to wear it?

#7 - Discuss & educate yourself on sustainable practices in fashion

It is highly likely that your friends and family have similar views about fast fashion and they are working towards building more sustainable wardrobe, they just have not mentioned it. We encourage you to bring the topic to the table, share your sustainable practices and you may get some tips in return you haven’t yet heard of.

#6 – Invest in trans-seasonal / occasional clothes

We encourage you to embrace buying only items that will work either throughout the year or for many occasions. For example, Anse dresses are great for meeting your girlfriends for brunch, for a day around town and they will come in extra handy during your next beach holiday.

#5 - Prioritise shopping your own closet

Before heading out on your next shopping spree, we encourage you to re-organize your closet. What will you gain? You might find something similar you already own and learn there is no need for a new purchase. You will re-organize your wardrobe. Yes pile, no pile, alterations pile, give away pile, so on and so forth. You will feel great! Re-organizing your wardrobe feels like shedding old skin. Out with the old, in with the new cool, sustainable wardrobe.

#4 – Cost per wear

When shopping, the price of the item alone doesn’t suggest whether it’s a good investment or not, you need to consider usability too. That is where CPW comes in. The simplest formula would be purchase price divided by the number of times the item is worn. If you wish to go further, you can add tailoring & dry-cleaning costs to the purchase price. We encourage you to calculate cost per wear for at least the first year: Here are few points to consider - is the quality of the item good enough to last at least a year, will I have plenty of opportunities to wear it and is it trend proof

#3 - Learn about fashion

Under fashion umbrella term many groups sit – real time, ultra fast, fast, sustainable, slow, circular, ethical, carbon neutral fashion and many more. Today we will only look at ultra-fast, fast and slow fashion to see how the two compares.

Fast and ultra-fast fashion produces low priced stylish clothing for mass market. Design, manufacturing, and quality of the garment focuses on moving quickly, shortening the production time sometimes to days to catch up with ever changing trends. Often, goods are produced in unsafe conditions and exploitation of garment workers is involved.

On the flip side, slow fashion produces clothing while considering all aspects of supply chain – workers, environment, and culture. It is distinguished by quality, is locally manufactured, produced on a smaller scale with slower production times and brands can prove their sustainability claims by providing certifications.

#2 - Ask "Who Made My Clothes?"

There is never a better time to form green and sustainable shopping habits. We encourage you to choose products that are made in countries with a good human rights record, favorable working conditions and established legislation for environment protection.

#1 - Decide What Sustainable and Ethical Issues Matter Most To You

A sustainable wardrobe should align with your style, lifestyle and values. But before you can wear your values, you need to decide on them. Make a list or a vision board about values you stand for, for example, supporting your local community or small businesses, animal rights, women owned businesses, charities, businesses who pay living wage, so on and so forth. By being clear what matters to you will help you create a wardrobe that you will love and wear proudly.

To help you get ahead, remember, each small action makes a difference!

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