How To Stay Sustainable In A Fast Fashion World

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3 min read

Every time I open my wardrobe piles of t-shirts spill out on to the floor. This is quickly followed by waves of anxiety and, often, guilt. 

In recent years I have become much more conscious of how consumerism is affecting the planet (fast fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world, next to big oil). And it is something I feel even more keenly since having my own baby. The act of opening my closet door has become such an emotional mine-field I have taken to keeping a small stack of clothes I wear regularly in a separate drawer, avoiding the need to open the wardrobe at all.

In search of a more workable solution, I reached out to Christina Dean, the queen of sustainable fashion and up-cycling (you can read our interview with Christina, here). 

How can fashion be sustainable
How can fashion be sustainable?

Christina recently established RCollective, an up-cycled clothing brand which creates sustainable fashion using rescued textile waste sourced from the world’s leading luxury fashion brands. She and her team reuse these materials through up-cycling to create timeless designs.

Christina is also the woman behind documentary series, Frontline Fashion. The series follows 11 emerging designers from across the globe who are determined to change the future of fashion. Battling to win the Redress Design Award 2018, the 11 finalists meet in Hong Kong to showcase their collections, together with their hopes and dreams in a live grand final.

You can watch the latest episode, here.

So Christina is the queen of dressing well while avoiding the traps of fast fashion, but could she help me out? Anyone can do a wardrobe cull, but I was looking for a more long term solution to my wardrobe woes. How do you keep a sustainable fashion habit six months after you’ve chucked everything that once sparked joy? Luckily, Christina had some fabulously practical advice to share:

  1. Ruthlessly do a closet edit every year, or for the hardened shopper (i.e. me), every six months. This means pulling out all of your clothes and accessories and assessing what you’re wearing regularly (keep these!) and what you’re not (chuck these). 
  2. Sort out and solve what you don’t wear. Ask yourself why you don’t wear it: wrong fit? wrong style? damaged or stained? Then set about resuscitating what you can. 
  3. Visit a tailor for repairs, get fun with styling, or book a stylist to do the imagination with you. Finally, sort out and clean anything left. You can even DIY your own clothes back into the fashion cycle. 

Christina explained this process essentially deals with the ‘waste’ we all have lurking in our closets. It also allows you to get the most bang for your buck out of your valuable collection of clothes, she said.

I took Christina’s advice (well, I’ve started the cull). Piles of t-shirts still fall on the floor when I open my wardrobe (baby steps) but I did re-discover my favourite pair of pre-baby wide leg trousers. And, they fit! This is just the motivation I need to complete the cull during baby’s nap times.

Have you become overwhelmed by the volume of un-used clothing in your closet? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.

You Might Also Like, Christina Dean On The True Cost Of Fast Fashion.

How can fashion be sustainable?

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