sustainable wardrobe 7 styling tips

Tested and approved: 7 inexpensive ways to ethical styling

How many people think that sustainable fashion is either boring or expensive? I guess it’s time to prove them wrong. When invited to an event, whether it be a wedding, a dinner or a birthday party, most people will go and buy the perfect outfit – read “they’ll get something new. Why? They don’t have anything to wear, or they always wear the same old thing – the well known little black dress they wear every time they feel stuck.

Well, let me share with you a few easy tips, creative ways to create an ethical outfit without breaking the bank.

Shop your own wardrobe

Alright, let’s be honest here. How many of the clothes we own do we actually wear regularly? Fashion United reported that we don’t wear at least 50% of our wardrobe. Do I need to say more? It might take you a few hours, but it might also bring back some long-forgotten memories! Be brave, and take everything out – yes, I mean it, everything. You might find some gems and hidden treasures. Our next shopping destination is right here, in our house, it’s totally free, and there is no opening times.

Have fun with your old – and almost unworn – clothes, style them differently. Wear a dress as a blouse buy tucking it in an elegant skirt, be creative!

Style your basics with killer accessories

Sometimes, we don’t even need new clothes, but we always wear the same dress with the same shoes and the same handbag. Take a risk and combine colours, get some vintage jewellery, tie your waist with a silk scarf or a large belt, get one of your accessories to be your statement piece and outshine the clothes – if nobody notices the clothes, then they always look new to others! Check your accessories, and get them to be the Showstopper.

Go thrifting

If you really want to go shopping, then head to the thrift shops, charity shops and vintage stores. Get yourself ready, put some comfy shoes on, and be patient. We all know the types of gems we can find during those shopping trips. High-end designer clothes that still have the tag on, beautifully patinated leather bags that tell an individual story, quirky accessories that’ll steal the show no matter the outfit, it’s like going for a hunt, and hoping for the best treasure. Make sure you check the carboot sales around you as well, and get up early for the best bargains! By the way, when it comes to carboot sales, anything above £5 is too much… just saying.

Buy second hand

This tip is actually nothing new, as we all know the good old eBay for second-hand goods. But while the second-hand website has been known for very sad stories of disappointed women (and men) looking for the best fashion bargain, other secondhand e-commerce platforms built a trustworthy reputation. From Vestiaire Collective to Deuxieme, we can now experience the second-hand fashion experience, from the comfort of our homes! For those of us who don’t believe in feeding the fur and the leather industry, know that second hand and vintage shipping are the most acceptable way of getting yourself these not-so-ethical and not-so-sustainable fashion pieces.

Rent clothes

If you receive many invites to events where you’re expected to wear your best gown, then you might want to consider renting your outfit for a few hours. To be completely honest, when explicitly purchased for the occasion, these outfits are worn once, and then either forgotten at the back of the wardrobe or immediately donated. You might want to reconsider investing in such pieces, and just rent it out for a few hours on platforms such as Wear the walk or Girl Meets Dress.

Swap with your friends

We all have that friend who has a wardrobe full of too many clothes, and who keeps buying new fashion items on a regular basis. Well, just go shopping in her wardrobe! This is sustainable fashion for both of you: you get it for almost free, and she gets a closet cleanse. You will surely find something that suits your style, can be customised, and will be perfect for your event! Even if your friend is not so extreme, she can probably lend you something, while borrowing one of your outfits in exchange. Trading is not dead, we just need to make it work for us and our lifestyle!

Do your research

Right, so this one is a bit trickier because you have to know what you’re looking for. And I understand that it’s not always a reflex either, but with a bit of motivation, and the right resources – which is what I try to provide here, you can find out about ethical brands, or even high street brands that are making a move towards sustainability. With the whole world slowly waking up about these issues, the fashion sphere really couldn’t afford to just ignore it altogether. For example, did you know about

Asos Eco Edit and their attempt at making their brand more appealing for the ethical crowd. Now whether their efforts are genuine or just a marketing move, we don’t know, and it’s our job to judge if we condone or not; but it might be beneficial to do a quick research about our favourite retailers and try to promote the ones making an effort!

And that’s it! Just a few easy ethical styling tips. Obviously, there are many more ways of optimising an ethical wardrobe, and starting to see the many creative ways of using it to its fullest, but these few tips are a starting point!

Who said sustainable fashion was expensive? Do you always buy new clothes when going out? Are you ready to start exploring these ideas? Do you have any other ethical styling tips to share? Let me know in the comments below.

John 6:12

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