From A to Ethical, A Series: Post 3
It’s not only brands who use a circular fashion system to have a smaller impact on the planet. You can very easily use the concept in your own closet.
After all, the only way circular fashion works is for consumers to be onboard.
If you have no idea what circular fashion is, here is a definition from the circular fashion site itself:
‘Circular fashion’ can be defined as clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.Dr. Anna Brismar, 2017, circularfashion.com
In the definition it’s clear that both brands and consumers are needed to make circular fashion happen.
What this system does is prevent clothes from going to landfill, taking up valuable land space and using up more precious resources to make clothes.
It’s one more good thing you can do to reduce your own impact on the planet.
Here are my tips on how you can your own circular fashion system
Make sure you can make a couple of unique outfits with each garment you own
The first step in a circular fashion system is making sure you can use what you own to its fullest potential. Everybody knows what it feels like to have nothing to wear.
It’s not really about not having clothes, it’s more about not being able to make outfits with them.
So to make sure that doesn’t happen, you should go through your closet and see how many outfits you can make with the clothes you have.
You can even create a lookbook for yourself and keep it on your phone. Ready my post on why you should create your own personal lookbook to find out all the ways it can help you.
Only buy clothes that will definitely fit in with the rest of your closet
Once you have all your outfits put together you might notice a few gaps to fill. Take note of all the shortcomings in your closet and keep them in mind when you shop.
When you want to buy a garment, see how it will fit with the rest of your clothes. Do you need to buy something else to create an outfit or does it complete an outfit already in your closet?
Once you answer that question you’ll know if you should buy it or not.
Shop to replace the clothes you can’t wear anymore
That way when you throw something out because you can’t use it anymore, you can replace it with a new one.
Doing this ensures you can still wear everything you used to wear with that garment instead of sitting with gaps in your closet.
Because when you have gaps you start to feel like you have nothing to wear. And that’s when the excessive shopping spiral happens.
Trends always get thrown out with the end of the season, making it a wasteful buy. But having good basics in your closet will give you a great base for creating outfits that you can wear for years to come.
Try to buy 100% natural
Another thing about circular fashion is that once a garment has reached the end of its lifecycle, it can “return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.“
If that garment contains plastic then it’s going to take another lifetime before it can biodegrade.
So buying clothes that are made from natural fabrics will ensure that it biodegrades quickly and doesn’t leak toxins into the earth.
The other end of the circular fashion system is bringing used clothing into your closet. Making sure nothing goes to waste and giving it the second life it deserves.
Thrifting is quite the art form, but it’s really fun to do once in a while.
If there’s a thrift market on go there for fun, bring your friends. You never know what you might find. The best finds are the ones that are unplanned.
The 30 wears rule
If you buy something make sure you wear it 30 times before throwing it out. If you can’t then make sure you give it to someone who will wear it that much.
This makes sure a garment has an adequate life cycle and you get all its use out of it. After your 30 wears it may leave your closet.
Which brings me to my next point:
Don’t throw your clothes in the trash
This is where the circular fashion concept really comes into play. What happens with your clothes after you’re done with them. There is always something someone else can do with your old clothes.
You can give them to charities, a friend who can still wear them, sell/give them to thrift stores or even give them to textile recycling companies.
Upcycle your clothes
Another thing you can do instead of throwing out your clothes is upcycling them. If you have a garment that is starting to get boring or just isn’t functional anymore, change it into something else.
Turn your jeans into shorts, make that long t-shirt a crop top, find some inspiration on Pinterest. If something is too big, find a way to make it smaller. You can easily turn anything into something different.
Even if you can’t use it as clothing anymore you can use it for something like a hair towel or cleaning cloth. Get creative, the sky is the limit.
Join the Fashion Revolution
Following the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 which killed over a thousand people working in fast fashion garment factories, the Fashion Revolution was born.
It’s a platform to pressure brands into making real change in how they operate, giving their workers better wages to improve their lifestyle and providing better and safer working conditions.
Signing the manifesto on the Fashion Revolution’s website will make you part of the movement and your vote will help put pressure on big brands like HM, who played a big part in the Rana Plaza collapse.
They also give more tips on their website on how you can take action to join the revolution and make even more of a difference.
These are all my tips for having a circular fashion system in your own closet. I really hope you found them helpful and that you can start implementing them with confidence.
In my next post, I’ll share some tips with you on how to buy clothes that you’ll actually wear.
Let me know in the comments if you have any more tips.
Cheers for now,
Pin for later:
- How to shop ethically on a student budget
- How to drastically reduce your carbon footprint
- 9 Tips for buying clothes you’ll actually wear