Building a sustainable and ethical wardrobe doesn't mean you have to shop exclusively from ethical brands and completely replace your existing wardrobe with ethical alternatives.
It is simply about reducing your personal fashion consumption.
There are many ways in which you are able to easily and affordably "ethic-ify" your closet, and thus reduce your contribution to the negative impact that fast fashion has on our planet and it's inhabitants.
Buy consciously - Australia is the second most wasteful society with 650 kgs of waste per person sent to landfill each year. We can help reduce that by buying only what we need. Buy less and buy better quality, ensuring that every garment you purchase lasts through many seasons.
This may sound daunting to some of you but sewing on a button or repairing a seam is quick and easy. There is always 'Youtube' for tutorials if you get stuck. For the more creative and ambitious, have a look at 'visible mending'. The simple task of repairing clothing turned into a beautiful art form.
BORROW OR SWOP
This way of changing our wardrobes is becoming more and more acceptable and mainstream as our awareness increases. It is fun and social and connects us with our fellow humans.
Revamp a garment you are tired of or up-cycle something from the thrift shop that has great potential but isn't 'quite right'. A few buttons, a strip of elastic, a shorter hem, shorter sleeves, a bit of fabric from another item of clothing, a narrower silhouette...........the options are endless. It is fun, creative and you will have a unique garment to add to your wardrobe.
BUY SECOND HAND
Going to a thrift store is like a treasure hunt, it is so satisfying to find an amazing garment to add to your clothing collection amongst the rails of mixed styles, brands and shapes. Easy on your wallet and with no guilt attached to buying garments you don't even need, but you love anyway.
CARE FOR YOUR CLOTHES
Wash carefully and help your clothes to last. Wash on the cool / cold setting, use gentle natural detergents, avoid using the tumble dryer if you can, only wash clothing when necessary, and dry them in the fresh air and sunshine whenever possible.
With a little bit of care, our clothes can look good for much longer.
It may take time to get used to these new habits after years of having a 'fast fashion' mindset, Be gentle with yourself and know that with each small action you take, you are making a difference.