Sustainable fashion has moved on from the days of hemp clothing and fusty second hand shops. The new look sustainable fashion model has plenty of options when it comes to slowing fashion down whilst remaining stylish. So with this in mind we've put together five key guidelines to work towards when trying to create a more sustainable wardrobe this season.
Build a wardrobe of key classic pieces that will form the foundations of your wardrobe. A great pair of trousers, a 'wear anywhere' dress, a neat blazer, a silk blouse, a decent white t-shirt and a quality knit.
Once you have the classics you are far less likely to spend on pieces that won't last. The whole starting point of Distinctively Me came when I realised I'd much rather have one pair of great fitting trousers than 6 pairs that didn't really work for me. A great pair of trousers can be teamed with trainers and a t-shirt or knit for a daytime look, a blazer when you need that suit-style, and with a beautiful blouse for evening drinks. One pair of trousers worn three ways. The same is true of a great dress, a blazer or a pencil skirt.
Start to shop with a long-term mindset to help build a sustainable edit. Invest in quality clothes that will last. Yes, they may cost more than their fast fashion counterparts but the cost per wear will be much less as you'll return to them time and again, season after season. Quality fabrics will wear better but you have to look after them as you would anything you truly value. And quality fabrics and cuts drape better so flatter the body beautifully. A well fitted blazer will not only make you look great, it'll make you feel fantastic, giving you the confidence to go about your day and evening feeling your best.
Made to measure clothes are sustainable in that they are made to order. We don't make lots of sizes and colours in each style as this creates excess supply and waste. We work with you to choose pieces that you love and that will fit you perfectly - one piece at a time - no waste.
When you invest in quality clothing you need to start caring for your clothes. One simple and inexpensive thing I recommend to all of my clients is to buy good quality clothes hangers.
It's important to hang your clothes properly. With a reduced wardrobe of pieces it becomes a pleasure to hang clothes with some space between them so that they don't crease. This gives you the added benefit of being able to see what you have, eliminating those ‘I have nothing to wear' moments. Having an organised wardrobe allows you to wear every single piece from your capsule collection so it's time to ditch the wire hangers you get from the dry cleaners!
Editing your wardrobe also allows you to really see what you have so that you don't buy things you already own (hands up, we've all done it!). Organise your clothes by colour or by outfit, whichever works best for you.
The next time you're in the dressing room, ask yourself whether you really love what you're trying on or if you just like it. You need to love it. And consider three ways you can wear it so that it gives you versatility. A jacket that can be worn over a dress, with jeans and with trousers. A blouse that can be dressed from day to evening.
Having been a complete clothes junky in my younger, corporate days, I now have a much smaller but very strong capsule wardrobe of pieces I know fit me perfectly and suit my body shape. As a result of having clothes that fit me, they also flatter me and make me feel great. So not only do I want to wear them but I'm happy to wear them often. It's about loving the clothes you buy and wearing them over and over again.
Amal Clooney does this with style, as does Helena Morrissey, both hugely successful career women who always get the right look. Both women know the pieces that suit them and they stick to the same style formula.
A few practical pieces of advice on caring for your clothes.