Sustainably fashionable people are not always made of money. They simply follow a formula to reduce their waste and wear clothing that suits them best. Here are 10 ways to be sustainable fashionable on a budget.
1. Understand that Less is More
Sustainability is the balance between people, the planet, and the environment. It’s not all about being “eco-friendly.” Most of the time, it’s a useless buzzword. So counteract your spending habits to be more sustainable fashionable. You can’t change everything that is wrong with the world, but you can do some things to make yourself a more thoughtful consumer.
To do this, realize that less is more. Follow minimalists movements. Reduce your clutter, and stop buying as much. This will be WAY more sustainable than simply consuming more and more things that are labeled sustainable. It’s not a regulated term, so you have to be vigilant towards the mentality, not the advertising.
2. Wear Clothing that Fits
I see this on both ends of the spectrum. People buy clothing that they WANT to look good in, and not just because they DO look good in it. There is a clear difference. Nothing wastes more of your time towards being sustainably fashionable than buying clothing that doesn’t fit. You’ll never wear it. Stop kidding yourself.
So many people in my mom’s generation hoard all their favorite clothing from the 80’s to wear once they lose weight. If this sounds like you, stop and think: Even if I was the same size I was when I was 20, would I still want to wear clothing that has been dated by 30-40 years? Yes, some styles remain, but for the most part, you are going to want to buy new clothing.
I’m sorry mom, shoulder pads are never coming back!
3. Know what is in Your Closet
When I was looking for an apartment, I was amazed as the sizes of some of the closet I was looking at. A walk in closet was the difference between $300/month in rent in some places. I was appalled. Even as a fashion designer, I only own like 50 garments total.
We have so much closet space, and so many garments, that we never stop to think what is actually in our closet. Knowing what is in your closet will allow you to know what you actually need so you can stop buying duplicates of things you already have.
4. Eliminate Clothing You Know You’ll Never Wear
When I started pairing down my closet, I donated over 100 tee shirts to the goodwill. None of them I actually wore more than once. I’m sure many of you have similar amounts of clothing just waiting to be set free. The fashionably sustainable know what is in their closet, and keep a tight monitoring on what goes with what. If it doesn’t go with anything, it’s time to give it away.
5. Visualize Yourself As More Sustainably Fashionable
You need an action plan of what style you will feel the best in on a daily basis. In order to do this, start picturing yourself in different scenarios with different kinds of clothing. If you’re a bookworm like me, a big cozy sweater makes a lot more sense than a crop-top. I will never wear a crop-top, so why fool myself.
6. Come Up With a Style Game Plan
Fashion is secretly math. No one ever tells you this, but it’s the secret to being more sustainably fashionable. There are basic math formulas to what looks good with what. It’s actually really simple, but once you realize how this works, it will up your fashion game 10 fold.
7. Purchase Clothing that You Know You Will Wear in Many Ways
This is minimalist fashion 101, but it applies so well to the sustainably fashionable. Buying and using garments that go with other garments in your closet will allow you to reduce your overall spending. When you reduce your spending cycle you are a lot more sustainable than speeding up your spending cycle with slightly more sustainable options. Look for quality. Look for things that match your style. Don’t buy things simply because they
8. Slow Down Your Spending Cycle
In order to slow down your spending cycle, take a good, hard look and be prepared for a reality check. In order to reduce your shopping habits, it is good to take a step back and realize why you are purchasing things in the first place. 9 times out of 10, when you impulse buy it is because you feel bad about something else in your life.
9. Practice Mindfulness of the Things You Buy
To combat all of these natural tendencies towards impulse purchases, it’s important to practice mindfulness. Understanding that you buy things in response to emotional unrest is a very big step towards being more sustainably fashionable. It also just makes you a better person in general.
If you are the kind of person who goes to the mall on a weekly basis and buys a new article of clothing every week, that is 52 articles of clothing you most likely do not need every single year. It’s okay to go to the mall. It’s okay to buy things. It’s okay to enjoy fashion. Being more mindful will keep you from making bad decisions, wasting money, and hurting the planet.
10. Research Research Research
I rarely buy clothing in stores anymore, to be honest. On one hand, it sucks because I am not able to feel the clothing or try it on. I also don’t get that personal satisfaction of wearing a piece and then immediately buying it to take home. However, online shopping gives me a tremendous advantage on finding a wider variety of clothing that I know exactly where it came from. Once in person stores, will be able to do that, it will be my own personal heaven.
Until then, research as much as you can of where you are buying your clothing. It’ll help you make the best possible decision, and generally save money on more sustainable fashion.