Clothing choices communicate so much about our identities and the communities to which we belong. But updating our closets can negatively impact the environment. When the time comes to add to our clothing collections, we can follow these sustainable ways to update our wardrobes that don’t involve going shopping.
If you haven’t had a clothing swap party, you’re missing out! These are excellent ways to hang out with friends and connect with new people. There are two general formats for these get-togethers. One is to go to a large space, ideally with a few dozen participants. Specific piles across the floor or on a table can be designated for different items (ex: tops, jackets, shoes, etc.). When someone arrives, they add their stuff to the relevant pile(s) and start scavenging around until something catches their eye.
The other is something more intimate—like a small gathering at a friend’s apartment. Here, participants sit in a circle and take turns holding up items they want to get rid of. Whoever claims it first usually gets it; or there can be a fun “tie breaker” activity like choosing numbers at random. When the party’s over, unclaimed items can be donated to a thrift store.
Learn To Sew
Even if you don’t know how to make entire outfits from scratch, you can still do a lot with basic sewing skills. For example, when you get a hole in the crotch of your leggings, you can close it up with a quick stitch instead of throwing them in the trash. Further, with a little bit more expertise you can alter articles of clothing to fit you better, such as by changing the neckline on a new dress. Learning how to sew is also helpful when you want to completely upcycle items, like changing a hoodie into a crop top.
Find the Essentials
Another sustainable way to update your wardrobe is by “planning” it smartly. For example, it is probably fun to splurge on that one shirt with more colors and patterns than a rainbow, but how many times will you wear it in a month? On the contrary, stocking up on neutrals, like a plain black t-shirt or a white pair of jeans, will be more versatile to mix-and-match. Look up capsule wardrobe on Pinterest for ideas on how to expand your fall attire!