How to Dress for the Environment: 8 Sustainable Styling Tips

Perhaps you’ve lowered your carbon footprint by increasing energy efficiency, but what should you do next? Creating a sustainable and eco-friendly wardrobe might seem like a daunting task. You might fear you’ll need to explore clothes or brands that you're not used to. You also might think this means that you will have to dig deeper into your pockets.

If you're wondering how to dress sustainably, you'll be glad to know that it isn't as hard or expensive as you might think. Here, we'll provide you with sustainable styling tips that'll prove worthwhile in the long run.

Dress for the Environment

1. Purchase From Brands That Promote Sustainability

If you want to dress for the environment, then you must purchase your clothes from an apparel brand that promotes sustainability. Why is this important? Well, the average lifespan for clothes in developed countries is about three years. However, you could increase this lifespan by making better purchase decisions from proven brands.

But, keep in mind that the durability of your garments isn't the only thing that matters. You want to buy from a brand whose production methods are focused on eco-friendliness. Alternatively, you can get your clothes from a company that guarantees its items. Look for a brand that doesn't include toxic chemicals in its production methods and add their clothes to your wardrobe.

Brands That Promote Sustainability

2. Rent for Special Occasions

Sometimes, you attend one-time events or those that happen once a year in your office. Luckily, you don't have to shell out big bucks for a dress or suit that you’ll wear once. Instead, you can rent formal wear to attend the event. The only time you may need to invest in formal wear is if you regularly attend formal events.

But did you know that renting is no longer restricted to formal wear? Today, you can access plenty of apps and websites that let you rent out casual wear, including t-shirts, jeans, and stylish jackets. You might consider trying them out.

3. Repair Your Old Clothes

Do you have some ripped clothes in your wardrobe that you no longer wear? Textiles make up almost 8% percent of what ends up in a landfill. Mending your clothes is a proven way to dress sustainably. Instead of heading out to the store to get new clothes, you should repair the old ones.

If you don't have any tailoring skills, you could simply consult a seamstress near you or a dry cleaner to get the job done. You can also find online services that do the same. The repairs done on your old clothes can leave them looking as good as when you bought them.

4. Take Stock of Your Closet

If you want to dress for the environment, you could begin by taking stock of your clothes. Before shopping, determine if you already have any eco-friendly t-shirts or garments. From here, you can decide on the clothes that you need to add. Checking your wardrobe before heading to the store guides you towards wiser purchase decisions.

5. Get Informed

One of the toughest decisions you have to make when you want to dress sustainably is deciding where to begin. Fortunately, you’ll find several brands that are actively working to reduce their environmental impact.

To find these brands, you’ll need to do a little research. Luckily, you’ll find organizations that compile lists of sustainable brands. When you're well informed, you can rest easy knowing that you’re purchasing from a brand that matches your values.

6. Purchase Timeless Pieces

Another effective tip on how to dress sustainably is through buying timeless pieces. Usually, this is one of the hardest decisions for most people because they want to remain trendy. If you want to dress for the environment, however, you might have to hold back on the trends.

Even if you have to make new purchases, try to get sustainable clothes – those that last. Buy clothes that will last for years instead of those that wear out fast. An effective way to accomplish this is by always buying quality clothes from proven brands.

7. Never Wear Plastic… Unless It’s Recycled

synthetic fiber

Plastic-based synthetic fiber is non-biodegradable. That means that it's harmful to the environment, and if you're looking to preserve it, then you should never wear this type of fabric. The best way to identify such clothes is by checking the label. Fabric containing nylon or acrylic is not biodegradable. Instead of buying synthetic fiber, try to get men's t-shirts that feature natural fibers like wool, hemp, linen, and cotton.

There is one exception to this rule. A number of forward-thinking companies are using recycled plastic to manufacture clothing. This not only reduces the need to manufacture synthetic fibers but also diverts plastics away from the landfill.

8. Purchase Second-Hand Clothes

We've already mentioned that you can repair your old clothes instead of buying new ones. But you could also live greener by buying second-hand clothes. This is not only good for the environment but also for your pocketbook.

While you’re at it, think carefully about what you’re doing with clothes you no longer want. If they’re still in good condition, consider donating them or selling them at a consignment shop. You can get either a tax write-off or money in your pocket.

Look Fresh Sustainably

With the adverse effects of climate change, the fashion world is now more focused on sustainability than ever before. You might think that deciding to wear more eco-friendly clothes is a hard and expensive task, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you’re well on your way to a more sustainable lifestyle.


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