In today’s blog post, I am going to be giving a few tips on how to extend the life of your clothes!
Sustainability isn’t only to do with the fabrics that are used to produce the garments, but it is also to do with extending the life of your clothes and not throwing them away after wearing them a handful of times.
So, here are my top tips below to give you some ideas:
- Buy high quality, classic styles and colours that can be worn time and time again
When you buy clothing, buy classic styles and colours that stand the test of time. There is a growth in people creating a capsule wardrobe with essential pieces that are timeless, so that they can be worn with other pieces to change the look of your outfit, for different occasions.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever buy bright colours or crazy patterns, because you have to keep your wardrobe with a splash of colour and true to your style. But the main goal is not buying trend focused items that can’t be worn again or for another few years until they become popular again.
Also, ensuring that the clothes that you buy are high quality, means that they will last longer, and you won’t need to throw any items away because they are no good. In fact, they will last for years and will be able to be re-worn time and time again.
- Re-wear your clothes
This leads me onto the second point, and I know that this may seem like the most obvious, but re-wearing your clothes is one of the main ways to extend the life of your clothes.
People now buy an outfit to wear for one night and then never wear it again.
Once they have a picture in an outfit and upload it onto their social media, they don’t want to re-wear it in case people notice. When in fact, there is nothing wrong with re-wearing the same outfit, and there are ways to dress the outfit up differently to change the look.
By not re-wearing outfits, this creates a cycle of waste and encourages people to discard and throw away clothing after one use.
- Re-work your clothes
You don’t need to be a seamstress to do this, but if you want to get rid of an item of clothing, there is always the possibility of reworking the item and repurposing it.
This isn’t always possible in every case, but with some items of clothing such as jeans, you could turn them into shorts. If you have a long-oversized t-shirt, you could always cut the top to make it into a crop top. Or there is also the option to add embellishments and change the look of the item entirely.
- Follow the care labels
This one may also be another obvious point but following the instructions on the care label for how you wash and dry your clothing is so important and vital for preserving the quality of your clothing!
If it says to wash the item of clothing at a certain temperature, make sure to follow the instructions. If it says hand wash only because it may be a delicate fabric for instance, or even do not tumble dry, make sure that you read and follow the care labels to best see how to look after your garment.
Care labels are included on the majority of clothing that you buy and should instruct you on the best way to care for your garment based on the fabric composition.
- Store correctly
Make sure to store your clothes correctly.
Depending on the item of clothing, this makes a huge difference in protecting your garment.
This may go without saying but making sure that your clothes are left wet and damp is an essential.
Also, there are certain fabrics that may need to be covered in a clothing cover due to being delicate or not frequently worn, or there are some clothes that should be folded rather than hung up and vice versa.
- Sell on a marketplace
This point, and the next few points, are how to extend the life of your clothes through rehoming them!
If you no longer want to keep your clothes, instead of just leaving it in your wardrobe and it never getting worn or even throwing it away and ending up on a landfill site, a way to rehome your clothes is to sell it on a marketplace.
There are loads of marketplaces online with different audiences, so choose the best for you! But some that you could look at are: depop, ebay, facebook marketplace etc.
- Do a swap
Another way to extend the life of your clothes, if you no longer wish to keep them is that you can always lend to a friend or do a swap.
I’m sure we’ve all swapped clothes with friends (intentionally or unintentionally) and it’s worked out pretty well! You may no longer wear something in your wardrobe, but your friend may get much more use out of it.
If you don’t wish to swap clothes with a friend, you can attend events purely for clothing swaps. These have become much more popular recently and you are able to bring clothes that you wish to swap for other items of clothes in exchange. By doing this, you are extending the life of your clothes and someone else’s!
- Give them to a charity shop
Similarly, to re-homing your clothing by selling them on a marketplace, you can also give them to a charity shop which is contributing to a great cause.
By giving them to a charity shop, you are rehoming your clothes and giving them to people who want them, whilst giving back to a charity and knowing that your contribution is doing good.
Charity shops are always extremely grateful to receive more items of clothing, and even the smallest contributions go a long way!