3 Tips on How to Create an Ethical Wardrobe

Corrine Willis

Posted on March 05 2020

3 Tips on How to Create an Ethical Wardrobe


As clothing become cheaper in quality, consumers lost the ability to repair their clothes. This results in us throwing away our ragged clothing, which in turn causes a negative environmental impact. In this post, I’ll explain why creating an ethical wardrobe is important, and provide three key tips on how to keep our clothing well-loved that anyone can start doing today.


What is an Ethical Wardrobe, and Why Does it Matter?


An ethical wardrobe is one which includes well-loved and cared for clothing items. We as consumers need to help reduce the resource impacts of clothing and fast fashion production. According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), in 2016 alone 300,000 tonnes of clothing was sent to landfill by the UK.


I stopped purchasing clothing for myself months ago. I realised the clothing I was buying needed throwing away often due to quick ware and tare. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation states that disposed clothing contributes to greenhouse gases due to them sitting in landfills. Therefore, I decided to make a change by using my skills as a seamstress to repair and take care of my clothing, instead of instantly deciding to throw them away due to ware and tare. We tend to think that as clothing becomes cheaper, they will lose their ability to be repaired. But this is just not true.


I’ve come up with three tips that we can all use to keep our clothing fresh and well-loved in our wardrobes. These will help to reduce the impact of clothing on the environment and in turn reduce waste.


3 tips on how to reduce your clothing’s impact


Tip 1. Take care of the clothes you have


I know you like to buy fresh clothing now and then, and who can resist an online sale? However, taking proper care of our clothing ensures that the clothes in our wardrobes stay looking their best and makes sure they last a long time. Fabrics, such as denim, cotton, wool, cashmere, silk etc, don’t have a one size fits all approach when it comes to cleaning. Therefore, to ensure your clothes are well maintained, it’s best to follow the care instructions found on washing labels.


When clothing is well worn, sometimes you’ll see fabric bobbles appear on your favourite sweater. Bobbling happens when the fibres on the surface of the clothing rubs together and causes friction. Fabrics such as cotton, wool, nylon and polyester tend to be affected by bobbling more, while fabrics such as silk and linen tend to avoid bobbling. De-pilling is a process which removes woollen bobbles and luckily it can be done at home by using a cashmere and wool comb and a disposable razor. Believe it or not, a pumice stone can also be used to remove fabric bobbles by gently brushing over the fabric with the pumice.


Tip 2. Buying second hand clothing


Buying second hand clothing instantly gives clothing a new life. I absolutely love the online platform called Depop, which has a wide range of second hand pre-loved clothing for sale. There’s something for everyone. Also, check out clothes swap events in your local area. These can be a great way to swap your jeans for a new style or item.



Tip 3. Slow fashion


I may be biased as a clothing designer myself, but honestly slow fashion is the way forward. Supporting your local seamstress by getting your clothing made and altered is a great way to reduce your clothing’s impact. This is called ‘slow fashion’ and supporting a well skilled seamstress or tailor ensures your clothes are higher quality and made to last. This is a great investment as longevity of our clothing is key, and also helps us to consume less.


I hope you’ll use some of these tips to turn your wardrobe into an ethical one. Buying second hand prevents waste from new clothing production and dressing ethically does not necessarily only involve items with the ethical stamp on it. Buying second hand clothes, attending local clothes swap events and taking good care of the clothes we already have can do just as good, if not better.


And remember, the most ethical piece of clothing is the one that already exists. Let me know if you will try these tips or if you already implement them in your life. Also, if you’re in need of an alterations service, contact us here

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