A guide to caring for your retro clothes in a more sustainable way!
Did you know that nowadays the average item of clothing is only being worn 7 times? To be honest, I’m quite shocked by that number! We live in a time of increased environmental awareness which focuses on for example reducing our meat consumption and driving electric cars. But what about the clothes we wear? An ever-growing number of clothing brands uses sustainable materials for their clothing and this clothing is produced under good working conditions. This is a very welcome development. You can also find sustainable items on the TopVintage website using the ‘sustainable fashion’ tag.
Do you regularly buy clothes made of for example organic cotton or Tencel? Good on you, girl! It’s a step in the right direction. We should also care for our clothes in a more sustainable way and turn this into a lifestyle. Do you think that’s hard? I promise you it isn’t! Here are some of my tips that will help you get started. Maybe you have some great ideas or tips as well? Please share them in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear them! 🙂
Do you really need that dress? Don’t you already own a blouse in that sixties print? Shopping is sheer bliss (I know), but you will feel less happy if you never actually wear what you bought and the item is just hanging around in your wardrobe waiting to be worn. People are often emotional shoppers: ‘’I’ve had a really bad week and deserve to treat myself to something new”. Or you’re going shopping for a birthday gift for your mum and end up coming home with a new pair of shoes for yourself. Does that sound familiar? It does to me and it’s such a shame really! And bad news for your bank balance too. My advice: Less is more. Create a capsule wardrobe with a number of versatile key items that can be mixed and matched in numerous ways. And if you’re having a really bad day, you could try distracting yourself by doing other things. Like going out for a nice meal or taking a nice walk to clear your head.
Sewing is fun
We throw away roughly 14 kg of clothing per person per year. That is staggering number, isn’t it? That’s why we should think twice before we throw something away. The item you want to throw out might be a welcome addition to the wardrobe of a family member or friend. Sewing on a button, patching a hole, mending a seam or fixing a hem can give a beloved item of clothing a new lease of life. A seamstress will be happy to help. Or maybe you’re blessed with some sewing skills yourself? Lucky you! This means you can save some money in the process. Unfortunately, even sewing on a button is beyond my skill set (shame on me), that’s why I’m going to sign up for a sewing class soon. It’s a fun thing to do with friends and it’s a great way of learning a new skill!
Mix and match!
Shopping your own wardrobe; isn’t that the coolest thing ever?! 😉 Take an afternoon to get re-acquainted with your retro wardrobe. What are your favourite items? Which items deserve a new lease of life and which items do you really want to throw out? You might even (re)discover some items that you didn’t know you had. You should try matching your favourite purchases with items that you normally don’t wear. Try shaking things up by creating new combinations of clothes, prints and colours and by pairing outfits with different accessories. You’ll be surprised at the large number of looks you can create with the items you already own and how fabulous these outfits will turn out!
Showing your clothes some love and treating them the right way will help your clothes live longer. So annoying when your perfectly good sweater comes out of the washer about two sizes too small! Right? 😉 Here’s a super handy overview of all the laundry care symbols and their meaning to help you out. Tip: save this image on your phone. This way you will always have this information to hand when you need to wash your favourite dress and you’re unsure which wash cycle to use.
Capsule wardrobe with sustainable key items
High quality clothes last longer and you will enjoy wearing them for many years. But of course, they are usually more expensive. We’re all on a different budget, but if you would like to invest in high quality items, buying a handful of key items made of sustainable material is a good place to start. little black dress, a classic white blouse or something else that you know you will wear time and time again. You can pair these key items with items from a less expensive collection or brand.
Vintage and second-hand clothes are also a great option for a more sustainable wardrobe. And it’s fun to browse around flea markets and little boutiques, even more so if you manage to find some vintage gems!
Create your own style!
With every new season comes a wave of new fashion trends that are in every magazine and in every store. New trends are fun! But it’s also important to discover your own style instead of buying a completely new wardrobe every time to keep up with the new season’s fashion trends. So ask yourself: What defines your personal style? What looks good on you and what doesn’t? What are your favourite colours? And being a retro lover, you might even have a favourite decade?
Try keeping those things in mind when you go shopping because fashion trends come and go… but your fabulous style is (hopefully) forever. 😉
Host a clothing swap party
Sometimes you fall in love with a fabulous item, you buy it and after a while you realise that you’ve fallen out of love again. Maybe it doesn’t fit you anymore, maybe this particular item no longer matches with the rest of your wardrobe or maybe wearing it simply doesn’t make you feel as confident as you should feel. Those items are perfect for a clothing swap party! Invite some friends or co-workers over who are roughly the same size as you and ask everyone to bring some pretty items that they no longer wear. This gives you a chance to find a good home for your unwanted clothes while potentially adding some new fun items to your own wardrobe. Clothes, food and drink equals a fun time. It’s a win-win situation! 😀