4 Ways to Lower your Fashion Footprint

Climate change is a hot topic in 2021, quite literally. A record number of fashion brands have launched their sustainable ranges and the slow fashion revolution has picked up the pace. Despite all of this, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions are actually on the course to rise to 2.7bn tonnes a year by 2030

The good news is that if all of us make an individual change we can start creating system change, and guess what? The solutions we can adopt are actually within reach! Keep reading to check out our top tips for reducing your fashion footprint starting today. 

1. Build your Capsule Wardrobe

You may have heard this phrase floating around recently – we can confirm that you do not have to buy a capsule shaped wardrobe to get involved. 

We think of a capsule wardrobe as a treasure chest of versatile and timeless pieces that you love to wear! Whether this is inspired by Marie Kondo or the ease we felt once upon a time wearing a school uniform – the message is the same, less is more. This way of building your wardrobe affords you more time, more money and a clearer conscience. If you’re considering taking the plunge and building your treasure chest, our top tip would be to go slow in order to go fast.

So what does that even mean? Look at your wardrobe and take time to think about your style, your preferences and the climate you live in. What are the pieces you gravitate towards most? Are they suitable for layering? What are your go to colours that you can mix and match together? It’s worth investing the time upfront so that you know yourself and what you love most to curate your selection of outfits. 

2. Repair before you Replace

With more and more people upcycling bits of furniture on the street, it’s about time we adopt the same mentality for our clothes. Wear and tear is inevitable, but instead of walking over to the bin why not reach for the sewing kit? This fix-it-first mentality will take us a long way in terms of reducing clothes waste and reducing the number of clothes being produced. 

If you’re anything like us, you haven’t picked up a needle for more than a simple running stitch since year 3. That’s ok, we’ve got you! There are many sewing kits you can buy which take you through the motions and can double up as your weekend craft activity with family or friends. If this isn’t quite your jam, consider investing in a local tailor. As the urgency around climate change continues to grow we are seeing more and more businesses trying to help us extend the life of our clothes. For example, a new app called Sojo launched this year, which has been described as the “Deliveroo” of clothing alterations.  

3. Close the loop and buy Preloved

The current industry operates with a linear mindset of take-make-use-dispose. We can close this loop by choosing to re-love and re-wear first. When you buy your next item of clothing you may want to consider if it is made well enough to last for multiple owners. 

There are obvious ways to do this such as hitting up the local charity shops or sites such as Depop. Our favorite way to do this is by making it social – i.e. get your whats app group to share more than memes. Why not arrange a clothes swap once every few months? Combine that with some food and you’ve got yourself a great night in – one where you’ve gained more than you’ve spent! 

4. Restyle and Revive 

This is what it says on the tin – restyle, revive and repurpose your clothes to make them feel new. Pause before you purchase and think about what you already have at the back of that wardrobe. Many of us have accumulated a number of pieces over time which could feel like a brand new outfit. These are often the gems that no one else will own, reducing your chances of an outfit clash at your next dinner party.

Some of our best restyling moments have been

  1. Cutting up old t-shirts and creating a frayed boho look 
  2. Matching your old glittery crop top from university with your mum’s saree for a wedding party 
  3. Turning those old jeans into a pair of shorts 
  4. Cropping your shirts and creating a front tie to wear with a pair of jeans

We hope we’ve managed to encourage you to kickstart your circular fashion journey or at least reconsider how you shop. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we believe it’s a start for those who need a little push in the right direction. 

At Circular Threads we are focusing on driving the preloved movement in South Asian communities so that we can close the loop on the clothing lifecycle. If you’re interested in hearing more about what we’re building get in touch and follow us on our journey!