10 Steps To An Eco-fair Wardrobe

In ten simple steps to a sustainable wardrobe? Sounds almost too good to be true. In the midst of textile discounters and disposable fashion, many good ideas have already emerged that can help when switching to eco-fair clothing. Fashion expert Kirsten Brodde and blogger Alf-Tobias Zahn show how to renounce short-lived fashion trends and still be perfectly dressed in their guide “Simply attractive”. Instead of buying cheap goods by the kilo, clothes are repaired, exchanged and borrowed. And if it should be something new, a visit to the flea market or the thrift store will help.

Rediscover the old

It couldn’t be easier: browse through the closet to your heart’s content and rediscover what you already have. It is not uncommon to find long-forgotten treasures that can be perfectly combined with your favorite jeans or vintage pullover. There are no limits to your creativity: boyfriend jeans and a floral cardigan, dress shirt and sweatpants. Seasons can also be safely ignored, because the airy summer dress with thick wool tights, booties and a cardigan quickly becomes a winter look. A full wardrobe and a bit of experimentation create new looks without buying anything new.

Repair favorite items

The cozy Norwegian sweater fits the new skirt, but does it have a hole? No problem. If you value something, you take care of it automatically: shoes are repaired by the shoemaker, broken zippers are replaced by the change tailor – and the holes in the knitted sweater are filled with a needle and thread in just a few minutes. The hardest part is taking time to do it yourself. What you learn when repairing clothing: “The new cool is solid.” The better the clothing is processed, the less you have to patch up later.

Change instead of throwing away

What has not yet been used in the wardrobe experiment does not necessarily have to be thrown away. Just make something new out of it. The keyword is upcycling: shortening, coloring, printing – everything can be changed and remodeled somehow. This turns the skirt into a practical shopper and the unfavorably cut dress turns into a beautiful top. Even old T-shirts can be spiced up quickly with an iron-on transfer or print. You can find inspiration and the right tutorials on the Internet.

Give away or sell

The dress with a floral print and you just can’t get together anymore? Well, it happens. But instead of throwing it away, you can give it to a friend or sell it and give him a second life. Offer it to a thrift store, Oxfam shop, or the nearest flea market. If garments can no longer be passed on or repaired, they should be placed in the used clothing collection and ideally recycled. But be careful: There are many black sheep under the used clothing containers, which pretend that they are non-profit with fictitious seals and then sell the clothes in Asia or Africa.

If new, then secondhand

Despite new outfits, could your wardrobe take a breath of fresh air? Then vintage is just the thing. Since the trend is so popular, there are now numerous well-stocked second-hand shops and vintage boutiques that offer carefully selected treasures from times gone by. With Vinokilo, for example, you pay according to the price per kilo. Flea markets can also be true vintage treasures. If you value quality, you will find high-quality clothing in selected vintage online shops that are delivered directly to your home.

Organize a clothing swap party

Still not found anything, even though you’ve scoured all the second-hand boutiques and flea markets? Then organize a dress exchange party with friends and acquaintances. Everyone brings five to ten pieces of clothing with them and then they try on and exchange them cheerfully. Result: a few cupboard keepers and in return a few new parts – without any money and resource consumption.

More variety with a clothing subscription

Regardless of whether you need an outfit for a special occasion – for example a chic cocktail dress for a wedding – or if you basically want new items of clothing to spice up your everyday wardrobe: Renting clothes is the new fashion trend. Simply sign up for a clothing subscription at a so-called fashion library. Every month there is a new package with borrowed trend or designer parts – matching your own style and size.

New purchase, but correct

The jacket you saw in the shop window is so beautiful that you absolutely want it? No problem, new purchases are not prohibited. With new clothing, however, make sure that it is produced ecologically and fairly. The best range of well-made eco fashion can be found in specialized concept stores and “green” online shops. There you can also ask all questions that come to your mind about certified fashion, because the owners are very knowledgeable and know which brands really produce fairly.

Pay attention to the seal when buying

Conventional clothing stays covered: the sewn-in label only reveals fibers, care instructions and the country of production. No information is given about the chemicals or working conditions used during production. Fortunately, there are a number of textile seals that you can use to orient yourself when buying eco-fair clothing: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) or the seal of the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry (IVN Best), just to name a few to name a few.

Free yourself

Don’t be patronized by a fashion dictation that prescribes strapless today, leoprints tomorrow and palazzo pants the day after. Find your own style and resist the constant “buy me” and “you need me” of the advertising industry. You will see that it is possible to buy less and be happy with it. A clear basic wardrobe with timeless, easily combinable items of clothing is the secret of every style-conscious woman anyway. We also know that happiness cannot be bought in bags.

These and other tips can be found in “Simply attractive” by Kirsten Brodde & Alf Tobias Zahn (oekom Verlag). In their “Simply attractive” guide, Kirsten Brodde and Alf Tobias Zahn show how you can make your wardrobe sustainable and individual in ten steps Published by oekom Verlag, Munich, for 15 euros.


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