Ethical Fashion Focus

How to green up your wardrobe

Posted on June 24, 2015 by Noorin Khamisani


At Outsider we want to encourage you to make more ethical and sustainable choices when buying fashion. This can be a challenge at times so we've created these eight tips to help you on your way...

1. Small incremental changes
As you replace items in your wardrobe, try to do it with items made from bamboo, organic cotton or other environmentally friendly fabrics. 

Think especially about your essentials, the items that you will wear a lot; socks, vests and tops for layering.

2. Not on the high street
The UK spends almost £16 billion on clothes and footwear every year. It's a big industry with a few large companies that pay little or no lip service to environmental concerns. However, there are a variety of companies and retailers that do care. Spread your money around. Do your research and buy from a responsible ethical brand.

If you can't find what you're looking for on our site then try a directory like Style With a Heart or Ethical Consumer magazine for guidance. Alternatively, try shopping for second hand clothing and vintage pieces.  

3. Buy something special
Invest in a classic LBD (Little black dress) or a shirt dress that will work for many occasions. Try buying something versatile that you can style differently by adding a belt or scarf, or some statement jewellery.

Commit to wearing a piece at least 30 times and buying clothing that are of a quality to match. Avoid low quality.  Cheap clothes are cheap for a reason and will often not wash well.  

4. Don't throw anything away 
Donate clothes or textiles to charity shops or give them to your friends.  Alternatively you can get creative and cut them up to be used as other items of clothing for you, or your pets. However, if you really think they should never be worn by either human or beast again, rip them up and use them as rags for dusting and cleaning. 

5. Recycling
Most clothing and textiles can be re-used and an increasing number of recycling centres now accept clothes and footwear. 

There is no need for your shoes and dresses to go to landfill, where they decompose and release methane, the bad boy of greenhouse gases. 

On top of that, the dyes and chemicals used in most conventional clothing are also released during decomposition and they leach into the soil and groundwater. These two things combined makes fashion, by some accounts, the second most polluting industry in the world. Oil, unsurprisingly, comes first. 

6. Washing clothes
When using your washing machine 30°C is the new 40°C. It will do the same job on the vast majority of your clothes. Use environmentally friendly washing powder to give the fish a chance. 

If you're fortunate enough to have outside space this means you should be keeping an eye on the weather forecast and using the sun and wind to dry your clothes rather than electricity gorging tumble driers.

There are some other ways to lessen your laundry impact. Hug A Tree With Me do an excellent guide.

7. Get creative
Making or customising your own clothes will inevitably create a personal connection and result in the pieces being treasured for longer.

Outsider now offers a range of sustainable fabrics for you to choose from or you could up-cycle something you already have at home. Have a look at The Good Wardrobe for inspiration. 

8. Feel good
After every small step you take, reflect and feel good about what you have done. Focus more on the small changes within your control rather than how powerless you feel about melting ice-caps and climate change!  Remember, it just takes one Outsider to make a difference. 

Outsider. The home of sustainable and ethical fashion since 2009.



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Outsider Fashion is the Ethical Fashion clothing destination for all things sustainable. We pride ourselves on our use of Natural, Sustainable Fabrics - Organic Cotton, Merino Wool, Hemp, Bamboo and Tencel. Outsider Fashion is a UK based company, with the option of Worldwide postage. Stay up to date through our Ethical Fashion Blog. Now also offering Sustainable & Organic fabrics by the metre and a range of Natural Beauty.

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