Sustainable winter style
Have you noticed it’s absolutely FREEZING in the mornings now? Winter might not start until next month but it’s definitely time to get ready for it. If your seasonal shopping routine usually involves hating everything you own and rushing out to replace it all, this blog is for you. Because let’s face it, that’s not sustainable for you, your wallet, or the planet.
Working out what you have – and what you need – is the first step towards the wardrobe of your dreams. But not many of us give it much thought. The winter months are usually a time of groggy mornings and grabbing whatever’s nearest in the dark. It’s a season of sticking with the same few outfits out of sheer routine. Does that really sound like you’re making the most of your clothes? Didn’t think so. Let’s get started!
What are you working with?
If you’re having to dig through summer gear to get dressed every day, take it all out and store it elsewhere. If space is at a premium, keep it all as far to one side of your wardrobe as possible. You don’t need crop tops getting mixed up in this. Dividing things up clearly will give you a better view of what you have to work with this season. It’ll also give you that Oh Wow, New Clothes! feeling when it comes time to switch things over again come Spring/Summer.
Time for a quick headcount. Make a mental note of how plentiful [or scarce] your jumpers, jackets and coats are. If you find you’ve got approximately 33 sweatshirts but only 1 coat, it’s probably time to even out those figures. Thinking of the outfits you might wear in an average week will help you figure out what you need more or less of in your closet. Breaking the cycle of Same Fit, Different Day can be as simple as just laying out a few different pieces to incorporate into your week.
And if it’s time to say goodbye to some old favourites, remember to explore your options rather than reaching for a bin bag. Garms in good condition can find new leases of life; stuff that’s past its prime is ideal for upcycling. Here’s a few more ideas!
Fast fashion panic buys
It’s cold, you’re cold, you’ve realised you don’t own anything cosy… time to start shopping, right? Pause a second. It’s all too easy to start splurging on new threads when you spot a gap in your closet, but it pays to think things through. First things first, don’t resort to fast fashion. It might be cheap [scarily cheap] but that convenience is coming at an enormous cost elsewhere. And honestly? We both know you’re better than that. Nobody needs itchy knitwear and fabrics that’ll have you sweating all day.
Instead, take your cues from what you’ve already got to work with. Can you layer up with what you’ve got? Do you still have jackets and jumpers from last year packed away elsewhere? Is it just one specific type of item you’re missing, or is it a bit of everything? Once you’ve come up with your action plan, then you can start shopping with confidence. Knowing what you want doesn’t just get you the best results, it prevents overspending and the hassle of returns.
#SecondhandIsGrand, just saying. Of course we’ve got to tell you about how great buying vintage is, but… it really is. Especially when it gets to this time of year. There’s something that extra bit cosy about wrapping up in preloved pieces. You’re getting unique clothing, often made to a higher standard, and you’re doing it all without any new resources being used up. And your local charity shops have got your back too.
If you can’t quite let go of staying bang on trend just yet, rest assured you can still find what you need without going directly to the source. Nearly new pieces to supplement the core classics are always an option. As an added bonus, you’d be amazed at how often you can find designer labels and other hidden gems. Slow fashion might not have the urgency of the fast fashion giants but it’s got heaps more character and infinitely more treasure to be found.
Get the basics right
…and the rest will follow. Honestly? It can be boring. It’s hard to get excited about plain t-shirts and socks but you’ll thank yourself for it, we promise. Investing a little more in the garms you wear the most does pay off. Choose quality over quantity and you’ll find that they’re much more resilient and won’t need replacing anyway. Avoid artificial fibres where you can, and seek out sustainability.
If you’re finding that the most eco-friendly pieces are a little out of your budget, no worries. Making small changes for the better still adds up, and how you care for your items is just as important. Washing on cool temps, treating stains and repairing damage are all key for extending the life span of your clothes. Which keeps them out of landfill, and gives you to most bang for your buck.
Festive AND sustainable
Step away from the Christmas jumper. Yes, even the adorable one with the light up stars and matching mittens. Quirky festive pieces are a huge environmental faux pas. Hubbub foundation estimates there to be around 65 million buried in UK wardrobes, often worn just once. These then get thrown out, further adding to fast fashion’s waste problem. Artificial fibres, glitter, all that fun shiny stuff? It just isn’t good for the planet and can’t be recycled. Ditch the single-use knitwear and go for something you can enjoy for years to come.
Starting a new tradition doesn’t have to take the fun out of things. Look for chunky cable knits and Icelandic patterns to get you in the holiday spirit. Tonnes of these bad boys wind up in the charity shops every year, if you want to put your money to a good cause. And if you’re up for the ultimate challenge, knit your own!