How To Create A Sustainably Sourced Wardrobe

by - 07:30

AD/Gifted - This post contains gifted items, but all of the opinions are my own.

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world! There are so many issues with fashion, fast fashion and greenwashing being two major issues we are seeing lately. Here is how to have a greener wardrobe so you can look after the planet and still have amazing style! 


The image shows a clothing rail which is held up by twine. On the rail is a collection of women's clothing. The clothing is ethically sourced


Why We Need To Shop Sustainably


I thought it would be useful to give you some eye-opening facts that may help you to change your mind about fast fashion. There are lots of things to learn about fashion, but these facts stood out the most to me:

  • 336,000 tonnes of clothing gets thrown away each year (think how much of that you could sell or donate)
  • 20% of the world's wastewater comes from textiles, 90% of which is dumped into developing countries rivers without treatment
  • The fashion industry contributes to 10% of the global carbon emissions
  • Each year we use 70 million barrels of oil on creating polyester clothing
  • It takes 20,000 litres to make just one t-shirt and a pair of jeans
  • Only 15% of our clothing is recycled or donated


Buy Clothing From Sustainable Sources


One of the easiest ways to build a sustainable wardrobe is to buy from sustainable sources. It is a great thing to do if you're not ready to cut out shopping or buy second-hand. There are so many brands trying to fight the issues in the fashion industry. It's all about knowing where to look. One of my favourite sustainable brands is Goose Studios. They make affordable clothing which is good for the planet. It is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, comes in plastic-free packaging and are PETA approved. Goose Studios also are members of the Fairwear Foundation, ensuring workers rights. Goose Studios encourages you not to buy their products. They want you to consider your purchases more and only buy new clothing if you really need to!

I loved trying their t-shirts. They were soft, comfy and basic, meaning they go with every outfit! I was kindly gifted a white and a navy coloured t-shirt. The white tee was fun to pair with a denim skirt. I knotted the front, making it the perfect summer outfit! The navy tee was my favourite. It looked very cute tucked in with a pair of ripped jeans. The bottoms for both outfits weren't sustainably sourced, but I am working with what I have and looking after each garment. The tops creased easily, but they are so comfy. I really loved trying them out with different outfits! Each top was around £16, so it's not an unreasonable investment!

The image shows a model showing the Goose Studios Navy T-shirt - a sustainable sourced piece of clothing. It is paired with a black ripped jeans. The model is sitting on a black blanket, on a bed.

Buy Second-Hand Clothing


I love reselling my clothing on eBay. I have written a whole post about it should you wish to learn how to make money while helping the planet! All of my friends and family donate their clothing to me for resale, so we don't waste anything. If you want to buy some new clothes, purchase second-hand clothing. It's not as good as buying sustainable, but you will be keeping garments out of a landfill for a bit longer. You can buy second-hand clothing on sites like eBay and Depop. You can also go to charity shops, vintage stores or similar places. 

Donating your clothes and selling them on will help other people buy second-hand as well. Don't throw your clothes away! You'd be surprised what people would buy. 


Cut Out Fast Fashion


What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing that has been manufactured quickly and in bulk. It's done like this to suit the ever-changing trends and to make sure we have things to buy for every season. Corners are cut to ensure that the prices are kept low and to make sure things are done quickly. This jeopardises the safety of the workers, the quality of the material and the environment. 

Depending on your lifestyle, cutting out fast fashion may be a difficult step. It's easy to shop at Primark or ASOS and purchase 10 tops for £20, but the ethical implications for this are terrible. The workers get paid unfairly and work in poor conditions. The environment gets damaged with all the chemicals that are used. Cutting out fast fashion is as simple as not buying from these places. It's not having monthly hauls on payday. It's swapping fast fashion for ethical alternatives. If you still want your fix of Primark clothing, look online or in second-hand shops. If you don't care to shop second-hand for a Primark fix, why are you shopping there in the first place?


Be Cautious About Greenwashing


What is greenwashing? 

Greenwashing is a term used to describe how businesses promote their products and their brand. It is essentially where a business tries to present as environmentally responsible to the public to gain your confidence in them. They promote their products as green while not actually putting in place eco-friendly measures. Brands may use the terms "eco", "natural" or "organic" to make it seem like their products are ethical. They may also use greens and yellows in their advertising. 

To build a sustainable wardrobe, you need to be careful about how brands promote their products. Watch out for these marketing techniques. Make sure you read into the brand, how they are being sustainable and if there are any controversial news about them. Here are some examples of potential greenwashing in the fashion industry:

  • H&M allowing you to donate your garments in an eco-conscious scheme, while still having unethical practices. They also have a "conscious" range which may not be as good as you think
  • Boohoo removing wool from their clothing lines, but replacing it with faux fur which is worse for the environment as it's made of plastic
  • In 2019, Primark released a sustainable cotton denim collection while still having their child labour scandal and the rest of their products being fast fashion
  • Asos releasing a range of recycled clothing without evidence that it was produced in an environmentally friendly way


Become Educated


It's easy to say you won't purchase fast fashion or fall victim to greenwashing. Without being educated, you won't know where to look. Learn about where clothing comes from, what makes it good or bad and brands that are working towards a positive solution. It makes a lot of difference when you know what to look out for, and what brands you should keep an eye on. Some of the fabrics you should avoid are nylon, polyester and acrylic as these are all man-made and harmful to the environment due to the way they're manufactured. You want to look out for organic cotton, Mylo or micro silk clothing. These are low impact fabrics. There are other sustainable fabrics and sustainably sourced fabrics that you can look out for. 

If you would like to become more educated, I have compiled a list of documentaries on sustainability that you may want to watch!


Work With What You Have


If you're not willing to spend money on new clothes or buy second hand, then work with what you have! It's great to have new clothes, but why by more and increase the demand if you have perfectly good clothes at home? Don't throw away your old clothes as this generates more waste. Style the clothes you have, upcycle them and make something different. It will keep textiles out of the landfill, and you can create your own outfits. If your clothing becomes damaged, you can make something new out of it, donate them or sell them on if they're in good condition. There is nothing wrong with patching up a tear!

The image shows a model showing the Goose Studios White T-shirt - a sustainable sourced piece of clothing. The model is sitting on a bed with a burgundy denim skirt on.

Now you know how to create a sustainable wardrobe, it is time to make a change. You don't have to be perfect, but taking baby steps towards creating a sustainable wardrobe is really important. Plus, now you know of an amazing brand who are working towards a better future! Make sure you look at their range of clothing and support this small business where possible! What are you doing to make your wardrobe more sustainable? Let me know what your favourite brands are in the comments!



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43 comments

  1. Reading your post has made me want to try harder and not purchase from fast fashion brands, I don’t do it often but the less I do the better for the environment. I’m dying to go into a charity shop and have a mooch around, and search for more sustainable brands online! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  2. I'll definitely be checking out this brand as I only shop second hand or from sustainable fashion brands and I've been looking for some new ones. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  3. I am all for working with what I have. Proud to say that its been an year since I have bought any new clothes for me. I believe sustainable living starts from our closets as well as from the kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  4. Great post! Thank you for sharing! I am trying to more sustainable with fashion and this is very useful!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  5. The more I read about sustainable clothing, the more I feel I should not be shopping at all! It is hard as a parent to shop sustainably. Fast fashion for fast growing children sadly is the only way I can keep my children in clothes. I couldn't afford to do it any other way. Although I have been recently buying second hand and I ALWAYS pass clothes down.

    Certainly for myself though, I am much more aware of what I am buying and where from.

    Thank you for sharing, It is something we all need to think more about for sure, our poor planet can't cope x

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    1. I bet it is - I think that's one of the things I am going to look into next. I've not seen a lot of kids clothing around tbh! I understand the issue, I hope there are business out there looking for a solution!

      It's great that you'd still passing clothes on and getting them second hand

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  6. I've just checked out their website and they do some super cute tote bags as well - I'm definitely going to have to place an order!!

    Roni | myelevatedexistence.com

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    1. They are so cute aren't they! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  7. One thing I started doing during lockdown is buying clothes where the materials sustainably sourced or vegan, the quality is just as good as what you would find on the high street, sometimes even better! Great post lovely x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  8. I love thrifting. A lot of eco-brands have expensive clothing that isn't in my budget at the moment. I really want to (once I get better financially) start to invest in a single piece of clothing at a time, because I know it will benefit me in the long run. Amazing post!

    Grislean | gemlesschosen.com

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    1. I think this brand has a reasonably inexpensive clothing! I think they're great. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  9. Great post! I always try to give old clothes to charity but it can be really difficult to shop sustainably sometimes- thank you for sharing some great ideas :)

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  10. I've recently watched a docu on fast fashion, and the environmental and social costs the industry leaves behind are shocking. I've been trying to find if there's a sustainable clothing brand, so this sounds interesting! :)

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    1. I think it's crazy that fashion impacts so much! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  11. It’s shocking how much clothes can harm the environment! It’s quite a mental step to go more sustainable with clothing I think, but this post helps a lot to get over the hurdle already!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  12. So i didn't know most of the stuff you've mentioned. And it made me realise i should be learning about it more. Im grateful to come across your blog and get to know how fashion can sometimes have these ill effects. Not only have you mentioned the problem but also ways to overcome it which is amazing.

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    1. Aw thank you - I think there are so many things we can change! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  13. Great tips! I'd never heard of Goose Studios before but I just checked out their site and there's some really great pieces on there. What a fab brand! x

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  14. So many great tips and facts in this post! I love shopping 2nd hand stores and having clothing swaps. That's my main way of shopping sustainably. I'm trying to avoid fast fashion now and focus on buying long lasting, sustainable clothing if I'm buying new.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  15. [not sure if my comment went through before]
    I am loving this post, I recently started holding myself accountable as a consumer and decided the best place to start was in my overflowing closet! It definitely started when H&M made the questionable choice as a fast fashion company to create a greenwashing campaign. Pinning this post for when I need a little reminder or refresher.
    You're crushing it girl! Way to help us all make the world a better place while even doing so yourself, you rock!
    xo Bri

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  16. Awesome post, definitely learned a lot! I’m all about that second hand shopping ✌️

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  17. I think we all have sufficient wardrobe and options if we can optimally use them. Great post.

    COT | changeoftomorrow.com

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  18. These are some great tips that I too am trying to follow. Education definitely is the best place to start with; for people won't know how to change without knowing WHY they should. You're doing such a great job with helping people - thank you Em!

    Paige // Paige Eades

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    1. Aw thank you so much! I think it's a slow process, but deffinitly manageable! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  19. Great post! I think I need to take your suggestion and get educated because I really don't know much about fast fashion or sustainably sourced clothes. I think you've given me the push I need to start learning.

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    1. That's great! Good luck on your journey. It's crazy the damage that clothing has.Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  20. I have learned so much from reading your post and definitely want to start buying clothing more responsibly. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  21. Great tips. I am IN LOVE with thrifting. There are so many reasons to enjoy it... great deals, the joy of 'the search', environmentally responsible... Why not have fun with it? Right?

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

      Em x

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  22. Lately, I've been switching more second hand after learning the Fast Fashion industry on how they impact the enviroment and one of my small goal is to fill my closet full of second hand and slow fashion.

    Michelle| brokebutflawless.com

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