About two years ago I started tracking how many times I’ve worn my clothes. What inspired me was reading Liv Firth’s 30 wears rule and thinking to myself ”Of course I’ve worn everything I own 30 times…right?” Well…I couldn’t have been more wrong: for the past 25 months I’ve only worn 15% of my wardrobe 30 times or more – but that’s a story for another time.
When I set up my tracking I also started adding things like cost, wear per year and I divided them into four labels: items that are: Green, Fast Fashion, Vintage & Second Hand, and 7 Years And Older.
Right now the breakdown of my total wardrobe looks like this.
16% is Older Than 7 Years – The pieces I’ve had for a long long time.
I’m counting all of my fast fashion buys I’ve had for over 7 years. The oldest thing I still wear are my 16-year-old Doc Martens boots.
14% is Green – All the green things I have in my wardrobe.
I wasn’t too specific on this one when I started labelling, so ‘Green’ applies to everything from: Ethically-produced Filipa K Trousers, eco Monki jeans made of bio cotton and my sustainable shirt from Everlane.
51% is Vintage or Second Hand – All things preloved.
Most of it is vintage, I’m talkin 1960s-1990s. One of the brands I really like buying has the year it was made written on the label, and it makes me so happy finding items that are from the same collection. Interestingly, many of my second hand items are the same type of fast fashion items I used to buy back in the day.
19% is Fast Fashion – Items from high street fast fashion brands.
I don’t tend to buy these online. I have these mainly as I was too lazy to look into what I needed, really couldn’t find a green alternative or they were just plain old impulse buys.
Where can I go from here?
I know brands like Monki and Everlane aren’t as green as I want them to be and that should be reflected on my list. But this will have to wait until I feel like going through an Excel sheet on a day off.
Learn From My Buying Pattern
Honestly? I find owning 19% fast fashion is a lot. I know I will continue to wear these items, so they will eventually end up in the older than 7 years category. In order to avoid adding new items to this category I need to find ethical brands that sell jackets and continue to get my Converse and Nike go-to sneakers second hand.
Support Ethical Brands
Clothes that are produced under the fairest possible conditions is what I want from my clothes. That’s why I should be supporting ethical companies with my purchasing decisions. Mud Jeans, ArmedAngels and Thinking MU are three brands I want to look into next time I need jeans or a top.
Recycle The Right Way (For Me)
Repurpose things that are broken beyond repair. I know the H&M group has a recycling programme, but I don’t want to be part of that so I need to find alternative options. At the moment my broken items usually end up as rags, but I hope in the future I can make them into something else.
Take Care Of My Clothes
Take care of the clothes I have by not throwing away items that are stained, washed too often or too hot. I also don’t dry them in the direct sun or in the dryer to help prolong their life.
Have you started your path to greener fashion?
I’ve covered some FAQs about starting your greener wardrobe here and also put together a list with documentaries about what’s wrong with the fast fashion industry.