In an ideal world I might have had the perfect ethical closet because I’d have had enough money to sustain this habit. But in a world where nothing is prefect this isn’t my reality. I just don’t have that kind of money to invest in high end items. And of course replacing my wardrobe now with sustainable/ethical items means I would still be contributing to waste at this time. So the best way forward for me would be to build on the current closet I have at the moment. Supporting ethical brands is only one way to contribute towards a sustainable lifestyle. So scroll on to see how you can reduce your personal contribution to the damaging effect of fast-fashion.

Here are 5 ways you can build a more ethical closet:

1) Take care of the clothes you already own.

Taking care of your old clothes even if they are high-street brands is the most basic way to build an ethical closet. Because clothes that are well-taken care of, last longer. That would mean you can buy fewer clothes and only things you really need. This would inevitably help reduce your own contribution to the pollution caused by the fashion industry.

How can one take care of their clothes better? Repair, recycle, handwash what needs to be, don’t try to hang all your clothes, some of them need to be folded and stored. Treat your clothes with love and even fast fashion will stand the test of time.

2) Shop less, choose better.

Fast fashion gets its name from how quickly catwalk designs trickle down into the market at cheaper prices. While this makes being fashionable more accessible, it also generates more waste. Because things are so cheap we don’t put in any thought before purchasing them and most of them are impulse buys. Some of them we wear so poorly that after a few wears we throw them out. Do we stop to think about where these might end up? Most of them go into a landfill creating actual physical waste. It also leaves us with a closet full of things we don’t need, so we keep shopping to fill this void of not having anything to really wear. Even if that means we have a closet full of things. It’s a never-ending cycle, isn’t it?

So how can one be mindful in this situation? No one is saying don’t shop it just means one needs to be more conscious of how they show. Make a list of items you really need before you venture out. Don’t get too distracted by the pretty things that aren’t on this list. Try everything before you buy and don’t settle for something that doesn’t fit perfectly from the get-go. You could also buy just 1 or 2 items that are high-end or from an eco-friendly brand instead of buying 5 cheap items. This will help you to slowly buy less and over time you’ll end up with a more satisfying, ethical and useful closet.

3) Opt for high-quality, functional clothes.

Opting for high-quality clothes means your clothes are going to last you longer than fast fashion items. This also means these items are well-made so they won’t need to be replaced often. And less shopping will lead you to a more ethical closet. This is not a budget-friendly option so don’t overextend yourself. Keep in mind the options mentioned above and below.

4) Buy second-hand clothes.

Another alternative to buying high-end items is looking for pre-worn/vintage clothes. This is definitely a budget-friendly option but most time-consuming. If you go through thrift stores it can take forever to find an item that you love and must-have. But it is worth it in the end because you end up with a more ethically sourced and unique piece that no one else might have.

5) Spend on ethical brands.

Do a little bit of research about up and coming brands to see how ethical their practices are. Don’t buy into buzzwords and smart marketing practices. There are plenty of brands doing some great work ethically. Show your support and invest in those items instead. Again, this might not be budget-friendly so you can opt for this once in a blue moon.

What are some of the steps you follow to build an ethical closet? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow @missmalinifashion on Instagram for more updates.