Did you know that around 39, 000 tons of unwanted clothing have been dumped in the Atacama Desert in Chile? Reducing the amount of unnecessary clothing you buy will save time, tons of money and your sanity. Most importantly, reducing clothing waste will protect our precious planet. Does your wardrobe feel like this clothing graveyard? Read on to discover how to put an end to that mental and physical clutter.
Every year, 60,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing are imported into Chile. The discarded garments are either unsold or second hand and come mainly from the EU and US. They are imported with the intention of being resold but, in reality, more than half of the annual imports don't get sold and are instead dumped illegally in the desert. The impact is disastrous for the environment. Here are several quick and easy ways to be kind to the planet and save yourself thousands on clothing in the long run.
1. How many times will I wear it?
If you're just buying something to wear once, ever, then back away from the hanger! If it's a special or unusual item that you'll wear again, even if it's in 5 years, then that's another matter. You may have read other articles that suggests to ditch anything you haven't worn in over 6 months - well I disagree! If you know that it suits your shape, colouring and personality, then buying with intent to keep long-term means it doesn't matter if you don't wear it often. The problem comes when buying just to wear once or twice and then ditching.
Did you know that charity shops tend to only keep stock on the rails for a couple of weeks before sending away if it doesn't sell? Even though it's sustainable to give to charity and kind to support those businesses, if everyone is constantly buying and giving away, much of this will end up tragically on a landfill somewhere in the world. Conversely, if you buy a garment, love it and wear it a thousand times, you're onto a winner.
Do you have items sat in your wardrobe that you love but don't wear? Switch up how you wear them and what you pair them with. For instance, a silk robe can be squirreled away for a special event that might never come, or you could just fling it over a basic outfit and feel badass in the daytime. If you aren't inspired by your current clothing, the Outfit Planner Magazine will triple the capacity of your wardrobe by making new outfits from what you already own.
2. What's it made from?
How often do you check a garment's label before buying? If it's made from 100% cotton then it shouldn't bobble and will keep its great quality for years. On the other hand, synthetic acrylic will quickly pill and look shabby, likely relegating it to the donate pile or (worse clothing nightmare ever) the bin. Being aware of what your clothing purchases are made from can get loads more wear out of what you buy and will keep clothing looking high quality, regardless of how little or much you spent.
3. Does it actually suit me?
You loved it on the mannequin in the shop window, on the hanger or on the model in the fashion magazine, so you bought it (possibly without trying it on). Then you got it home, put it on and felt like someone had deflated your cute birthday balloon. It looked totally different than what you were hoping for and you hated it. Maybe you couldn't be bothered to take it back, so it just sits in your wardrobe, taunting and haunting you. Pretty much all of my clients have suffered with this and I certainly did in the past. Two examples - a cheerful, neon orange halter that made my skin look more washed out than the moon, and a long, pleated skirt with a print I loved but the silhouette certainly did not love my body shape. This is the power of personal styling - discovering what best enhances your colouring, body shape and personality, and having the tools to understand what to shop for in the future.
Consider roughly how much you've spent on clothes, shoes and accessories in the last year. Next, work out roughly what percentage you've actually worn. Lastly, how much of those purchases are things you don't feel or look amazing in? How much dosh does that come to? I'm sure you've got much better things to spend your hard-earned cash on. Working with a Personal Stylist is the monetary equivalent of buying a couple of garments with the result of saving hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds in the future. When you are certain of what suits you then you'll no longer waste money on clothes that don't make you look or feel wonderful.
Whether you'd like style inspiration to compliment you, personal shopping, your wardrobe exorcised and refreshed or to discover your best silhouettes and colour palette, there's something here for you. Pop over to the Personal Styling page to find out more and for answers to common questions.