Something we’re passionate about at Clearbox is sustainability, which is mirrored in the work we do with our great clients.
This year, we’ve helped launch Amazon’s super-cool fleet of electric vehicles around the UK, brought ToU, a university aimed at creating the next generation of sustainable business leaders, to life and worked with natural skincare brand Jackson Reece. We’re always keen to support campaigns that help create a more sustainable world.
Sustainable fashion is something that Nuala on our team is particularly passionate about and as the year draws to a close, she reflects on how her own shopping habits have changed and provides some tips on how you can keep your wardrobe tip top while also being kinder to the planet.
With increasing pressure on all of us to protect the planet’s scarce natural resources, there is never a better time to form green and sustainable shopping habits. We are aware of the campaigns and the plead for humans to think about our use of plastic, meat consumption and shopping habits.
Transitioning to a chilly bottle, remembering a bag for life and learning some new veggie recipes weren’t so difficult; the challenge is facing the reality of fast fashion, scrolling past the latest trends and becoming more of a sustainable shopper.
I was aware that dresses costing less than £10 were too good to be true and the quality of a cheap pair of pyjamas wouldn’t last a week but it wasn’t until I discovered Stacy Dooley’s Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, a documentary revealing the shocking impact that cheap clothing has on the environment.
It was after seeing how toxic chemicals are polluting the waterways, effecting people and animal’s lives that I finally got sickened with the influencers promoting brands that were causing this and decided to change my fashion habits, follow some new bloggers and change the way I shop.
Originally, I just stopped buying the obvious cheaper brands but over time, I have changed my wardrobe and shopping habits so I only buy items that I will wear multiple times and to various places which often means I can invest time and money into my wardrobe which is more beneficial long term.
Here are some tips and habits I have found useful that will help you save your wardrobe, money and the planet!
1. Think Twice Before You Buy
Shopping has never been easier (which can be great) - tapping your phone at the till or clicking ‘pay now’ or ‘pay later’ without leaving your house has great benefits! However, this can lead to impulse purchases leaving you with surplus items which you don’t actually need. Before you buy something, think to yourself: what will I wear this with? do I have something similar already? How many times will I wear this?
2. Change Who You Follow
On average, we spend five hours per day on our phones. That’s five hours of relentless online advertising – whether we’re aware of it or not. Seek to engage with people who give tips on second-hand shopping and upcycling, and who really encourage you to re-wear outfits again and again. Similarly, unsubscribing from stores’ mailing lists will limit your lunchtime impulse buys. There are lots of great influencers and stylists who show you how to have a staple, timeless wardrobe rather than cheap trends which usually just clutters your life!
3. Organise Your Wardrobe
It’s always a good idea to do a spring clean every so often. Be ruthless and take the clothes you haven’t worn in a few months, sell or donate your clothes to someone who will wear them - give your unwanted items a new home! Organise your wardrobe into seasons and pack away your summer clothes when winter comes so you have a clear idea of what clothes you already have before purchasing more.
4. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Change what you splurge on. Instead of spending your savings on a dress for a wedding or a pair of shoes that you'll only wear for special occasions, spend your 'investment' cash on the things you wear every day. Stop thinking, 'I would never spend that much on a pair of jeans'. Instead, consider that you are only going to buy one pair of jeans this year, or one item this month – and make it that. After a few seasons, you will have a high-quality, sustainable wardrobe to be proud of.
5. Care for your clothes
With the average lifetime for a clothing garment in the UK estimated at just over 2 years and an estimated £140m worth of clothing ending up in a landfill each year. Taking good care of your clothes has never been more important to beat fast fashion culture. You can care for your clothes by washing them less and washing at low temperatures. Cutting down on dry cleaning as it's a highly chemical intense process that has negative environmental impacts.
I’ve changed my attitude to the way I shop and as a result, I actually prefer my wardrobe as it contains plain, staple items that I love wearing.