Summer is the best. There’s the long wine laden evenings, picnics in the park, and carefree adventures with friends you’ll never forget. Your tan gets darker by the day and if you’re anything like me, your hair remains permanently salty from the waves and lack of care to wash anywhere but the ocean.
All this in mind, there’s only one thing that truly excites me about summer - the fashion.
With new seasons come new wardrobe requirements. Out with the boots and in with the flip-flops! Make this summer’s wardrobe a head turner.
Embrace the seasonal change in an environmentally friendly way while having a ton of fun doing so.
Here are some of my personal tips on how to ‘green’ your wardrobe this summer.
Let’s face it, you looked pretty awesome last summer. There’s no point reinventing the wheel so using what you already have in your closet is the best thing you can do to ‘green’ your wardrobe. As a lover of fashion myself, I know new things are exciting and getting bored of your wardrobe is something I totally get.
To combat this, I’ve come up with a life hack to reinvigorate your love for the things you already own. At the end of every summer, store your summer clothes somewhere safe and out of the way. That way you avoid sifting through redundant clothes all winter, and when summer pops it’s head around the corner again, you’ve now remembered how great your summer pieces are!
Reusing other people’s clothes by shopping at second-hand stores is another fun way to mix up your wardrobe sustainably. More than 15 million tons of textile waste is produced each year in the United States alone. Twenty years ago, it was 7.5 million, meaning textile waste has doubled in a short period of time. Shopping at second-hand stores diverts garments being sent to landfill to become part of the statistic. You know what Macklemore says, “one man’s trash, that’s another man’s come up,” and he’s absolutely right. Second-hand shops offer clothes that look brand new or one-of-a-kind and allow you to save your money to use instead on experiences and adventures.
You may not be a crafter or ambitious seamstress, but repurposing your clothes is easier than it sounds. Revamping your summer wardrobe involves being brave and adventurous. Cut your old jeans into shorts, hand sew strips of lace around sleeves or pockets to add detailing, swap your plain buttons out for feature buttons, or turn your long dress into a jumpsuit. You’ll be amazed at how little it takes to make something you loathed into something you can’t live without. If you need a little inspiration, check out the amazing “loved clothes last” fanzine from Fashion Revolution.
What’s a best friend for if you can’t swap clothes? Finding ‘new’ clothes in your bestie’s ‘no’ pile is the cheapest and most fun way to update your summer wardrobe. Make a day of it! Bring over all your unwanted or ‘maybe’ pieces, chuck on some music, prepare snacks, and spend time with your wardrobes to see how they can work together. The benefits of throwing a crazy wardrobe party with your friend don’t stop there… you can always pinch that dress back next summer if you fall in love with it again!
Once you’ve reused, revamped, and swapped your summer wardrobe, you may come up with things you need but don’t have.
Buying new clothes is not a crime. Voting with your pocket to support brands with fair business practices and strong environmental standards is one of the best things you can do to encourage the ethical fashion industry.
Seek out brands who are transparent in their business ethics, have organic and fair-trade certifications, or align with values that are important to you such as vegan, cruelty-free, or artisan made. Try your best to invest in garments that are evergreen, like a dress which can be worn with a long sleeve top underneath it in winter, or shoes that will still be gorgeous paired with a set of stockings. When you’re making your purchases, think: will I wear this 30+ times? Setting out to get the maximum use from a garment means you’ll care for it properly, avoid sending it to landfill, and lower your cost per wear.
‘Greening’ your wardrobe this summer shouldn’t be a chore, it should be fun! Remember to love what you already have, revamp your clothes, swap with mates, and purchase ethically for those summer must-haves. Your sustainable summer looks will turn heads while the planet thanks you for doing your part.