November 30, 2021

CREATING A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE

There are all sorts of strategies we can implement in creating a sustainable wardrobe.  It may need a little time-investment but the benefits are well worth the effort.  We can embrace and adopt a more environmentally friendly way of choosing and using our clothes a number of ways.

My journey into sustainability began at home – growing up with a Mother and two Grandmothers’ who had experienced life through the War years during a time where resources were scarce and clothes had to last.  I was taught how to choose and buy clothes well so the garment lasted longer and I also recall wearing clothes that Mum had made.

This was my first taste of sustainable fashion so it’s easy to see how those earlier experiences have shaped how I choose and treat my clothes now.

According to The Waste Resources and Action Programme (WRAP) – the average lifespan of a garment is only a shocking 2.2 Years and an estimated £140m worth of clothing ends up in landfill.

By choosing well in the first place we are doing our bit to protect the World’s resources.  This reduces clothing going to landfill and also reducing human exploitation in this industry.

I do believe that we all share a responsibility to slow fashion right down!  There is also a feel-good element at play here – a feeling that you are doing good for those around us and for our environment.

So what can we do.....

Here are my 5 Top Tips on creating a sustainable wardrobe:

  1. Get creative with those items you already have

    Image credit Pexels

    The most sustainable thing we can do is wear what we already own

I would hazard a guess that most of us have items lurking at the back of our wardrobes waiting to be re-worn and re-loved.  Create some time to go through your wardrobe and get creative with those items you have.  We can re-use and re-purpose wherever possible – pair your clothes differently to maximise their wear.  Is there anything here you can try?  The same blouse but with different trousers, a different skirt or as a layering piece perhaps?

If there are items that you will definitely no longer wear, gift them to a friend, fill a charity bag or donate to a fabric bank for someone else to benefit.

 

  1. Creating a sustainable wardrobe

    Consider your choice of detergent and washing temperatures

    Respect our clothes and treat them kindly

If we buy better quality clothes it is more likely they will last longer and we are more likely to care for them.  Hanging clothes after each wearing and storing them well will elongate their life.   Be mindful of over washing (particularly those synthetic clothes, which release plastic particles which may find their way into the sea) and also consider your choice of detergent and washing temperatures – cooler water can be kinder.

 

 

 

 

  1. Find a good Tailor or Seamstress

A good tailor or seamstress is worth their weight in gold.  They have the knack of breathing new life into a garment meaning you are able to enjoy the garment for longer and perhaps in a totally new guise.  If like me, the sewing gene passed you by, at least consider changing up buttons yourself to create a whole new look on a blouse, a jumper sleeve or jacket.  If you are local to York try Sew Versatile who will do an excellent job for you.

  1. Creating a sustainable wardrobe

    Image Credit: GOTS
    Look out for organic or Eco-friendly certifications

    Choose our clothes more selectively

This may take some time but researching some new brands that operate with green credentials - look out for organic or Eco-friendly certifications.  We can also choose fabrics that are natural or organic such as linens, silks, wool or synthetically derived fabrics from plant materials such as Viscose, Lyocell, Tencel or Rayon. All of which will biodegrade.  You will be more informed to make better future choices.

  1. Change our attitudes to shopping

I have often spoken of the effect of fast fashion production upon our environment.  I do believe that we CAN all play a part in reducing the environmental impact by shopping smarter.

We can help to change the culture of consumerism by choosing more sensibly and buying less.  Buy only what we need to replace and try pre-loved clothing.  There are some great vintage shops offering some quality treasures that have all been saved from landfill.  That has to be worth learning more about.

If you are local to York try Dog and Bone Vintage or York Designer Dress Agency.

There is a feel-good factor to behaving in a sustainable way whatever the element...be it using natural products above harsh chemicals, buying from companies with ethical credentials or re-purposing garments.

Tell me, what elements do you already embrace?

If you would like to work with me and learn more about creating a sustainable wardrobe, you may contact me here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Crawford

07494 644788

 

 

January 29, 2020

WHY IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CARE FOR OUR CLOTHES

WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CARE FOR OUR CLOTHES

"Care for your clothes like the good friends they are" – Joan Crawford

Sadly she was no relation but she makes a very good point!   So why is it a good idea to care for our clothes?  Well in my case it is because I appreciate the effort that someone has put into their manufacture but also that when I buy clothes I love, they need to support me and stand the test of time.

It was lovely to hear a client recently comment on how carefully I was handling clothes and how I treated them gently and with respect.   Never a fan of fast-fashion, there is a valuable lesson for us all here to treat our clothes with care so we can enjoy them looking good for longer - like my cherished coat (see below).

There are however many benefits of treating our clothes more kindly so I share some of my guidelines here:

Caring for our clothes means that we can enjoy them for longer. Image Credit: Lindsley Weddings

Choosing your clothing carefully

Shopping for clothes can be a frustrating experience and in a previous blog, I shared some guidance on mindful shopping and how choosing quality clothing saves time and money.

Take this coat - it was an investment piece that each time I wear it, I feel fabulous and it continues to look good.  I hang it up after every wearing and is dry cleaned once annually.

I know that sometimes we don’t have a choice than to take certain garments for dry cleaning but by checking the care label before you purchase an item will indicate how practical this may be for you.

Respect your clothes

We tend to wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time but it’s important to rotate our clothes so they don’t wear out too soon.

Don’t stuff too much into your wardrobe, give your clothes space to breath which also means not so much ironing.  That has to be a positive, right?

Washing your clothes

I am a recent convert to reducing the chemicals in our home and using products that are kinder to the planet too.  Whilst it is early days for me, I can already recommend the laundry detergents by Norwex. 

The aim of Norwex Products is to reduce the chemicals in our homes

 

Sorting out your washing

Separate your whites from coloureds and also wash similar weight fabrics together by that I mean lighter versus heavier fabrics.

Wash clothes inside out

This helps to prevent colours fading so quickly and also avoids buttons/hooks/zips catching on the garment itself.  Be also mindful of garments with Velcro - it sticks to every fabric.

Jumpers are less likely to pill but don’t actually require washing frequently so to avoid them mis-shaping, it’s a great idea to wash them in a wash bag and also those delicate items.

Hand Washing

Take care when hand washing your clothes and check the washing instructions

Rather than take this vintage silk blouse to the cleaners, against the manufacturers washing instructions, I chose to wash it gently by hand.

Whilst I left it in a little too long, it didn’t seem to make any difference to the size (or colour for that matter!).  Phew, a close shave.

Moral of the story?  Use cool water and hang around while your delicate items soak!

 

Allow your clothes to air before hanging up in your wardrobe

Hang Loose

Apart from the aesthetic of looking at beautifully matching hangers each time you peer into your wardrobe, there is another value to good quality hangers – the way they support your clothes.  I would avoid the cheap metal hangers that mis-shape the shoulders of your clothes and instead invest in some wooden hangers or those covered in flock.

We should hang our clothes every day on good quality hangers rather than tossing them on the floor although knitwear responds so much better to being folded.

Air drying rather than using a machine is kinder on the garment and the environment.

Allowing space for our clothes to breathe can also extend the life of a garment.

How to treat jumpers

They benefit from folding to help protect the shape but first leave them hanging to air before folding them away.

Clothes in a Drawer?

Try the Marie Kondo method of vertically folding your clothes into a drawer

We’ve all heard about Marie Kondo – the Mother of organisation and tidying magic?

Essentially she advocates that clothes in drawers be folded vertically rather than horizontally.  It’s so clever, you can see every item in your drawer without having to root out your favourite tee!

Not only is it a great space saving solution to ramming things in our drawers, it also protects our clothes from squashing them down in the hope we don’t snag them on the upper drawer or our drawer runners.

My friend Claire Cutler Casey is a Kinesiologist based in York but also an expert in this area and can be contacted if you wish to use her wonderful service.

Folding clothes along the seams avoids unwanted creases and helps to maintain its shape.

 

 

Shoes and Handbags

Polish your shoes and boots regularly and when necessary, waterproof your leather items.  It’s a good time to check now if any of your footwear needs new heels or soles.  You’ll thank me one morning when you are dashing out of the door for that important meeting.

Using boot and shoe trees helps to retain the shape of the leather and helps avoid creasing, particularly at the ankles.

Using tissue paper, stuff your shoes and handbags to help them keep their shape and if you are able, store them in dust bags (or a redundant pillow case).

 

Remember that the clothes we wear can help elevate our status and help us to feel empowered.  They are a major contributor to creating a positive and lasting impression, for that reason, why it's a good idea to care for our clothes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment.

Jackie Crawford

Image Consultant

 

COLOURS • CLOTHES • CONFIDENCE

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