10 steps to a more conscious closet

In celebration of Redress' 10th anniversary this September, we are sharing 10 steps to a more conscious closet - 10 easy ways to make a positive difference through your relationship with your clothes. So read on and join us for the #10for10! 

1. Cleanse your closet

Getting a handle on what clothes you already own will help you to gather your fashion senses and avoid any unfashionable clothing traits you’re concealing behind closed closet doors: repeat mistake-buying; impulse shopping; great pieces you had forgotten all about; to piles of stained, ripped or misfits that are screaming to be brought back into fashion action. Your wardrobe review needs time and willpower. Once you have taken everything else, make sure to put back in an organised way so you get the most from your closet – seeing clearly what you own will make sure you wear it more often. 

2. Wear more wash less

Did you know the less you wash your clothes the longer they will last? We have got into the habit of over-washing our clothes, which not only means more energy and water are used, but our clothes are over-battered in the process, losing their structure and fibres (not good news at all for polyester garments whose fibres are entering our waterways and oceans and playing havoc with ecosystems).

So choose airing over washing – a refresher spray will give that freshly washed scent -  spot treat any stains and avoid dry cleaning too! 

3. Wear 10 ways

Styling is an essential part of a conscious closet and it’s all about experimentation! Most of us have more clothes than we know what to do with - in fact, many of us only wear 20% of our closet for 80% of the time. So step outside of your comfort zone and release your inner stylist to make more of what you already own! Get inspiration from blogs and magazines. Don't be limited by original use of a garment; who says a stretch dress can’t be a skirt? Whatever you do - layer, tuck, fold, roll – just have fun!

4. Stash a tote

It’s the norm to take bags with us when we go grocery shopping but what about when you head clothes shopping? Grab a tote or two before you hit the town and this month make a pack to say no to single use plastic and paper bags forever! Just make sure your tote is clean and ready to receive your new purchases – there’s nothing worse than crumb filled pockets on a new dress!

5. Skill-up

Lets face it - we sweat, we spill and we tear! Getting to grips with how to properly clean and mend your clothes will help save them an early grave. So this month challenge yourself to pick up a new skill. Whether trying your hand at sewing a hem or polishing your stain removal skills, to something more ambitious like an alteration or DIY there are plenty of video tutorials out there to help. With your new a new skill you will keep your wardrobe in working order and those beautiful clothes giving for much longer.

6. Borrow don’t buy

 If you have a special occasion coming up soon, instead of heading to the shops, why not raid the wardrobes of those near and dear to you, turn to a rental service or choose secondhand instead? You can still get that buzz of wearing something ‘new’ for you, while minimising your wardrobe impacts and saving another outfit being relegated to soon to the back of the wardrobe.

7. Get clued up

Do you know how far your clothes travelled before they reached you? What the materials are and their impact on the environment and the people who made them? Next time you head to your favourite store or shop online, ask a question. If the brand has the same values as you they will have information to hand, and those that don't know the answer need pressure to understand their customers care – you may be a factor in positive change! And if you want to learn more about the issues – grab a copy of Redress’ new book Dress [with] Sense!

8. Ditch nasty chemicals

Next time you need to restock your laundry products, reach for more environmentally friendly options that are not full of nasty toxins. Most of us don’t realise how many chemicals our cleaning materials contain – and the offering of safer, more responsible products out there is growing along with their performance to rival the regular brands, so no excuses!

9. Go capsule

Take your conscious closet a few steps further and curate a capsule closet, which typically contains 20-30 quality pieces. Less here really is more! Select your core items with complementing hues and silhouettes so that your capsule can multiply into many different outfit combos. Once you get a handle on this, traveling will be a doddle!

10. Boycott the bin

After your wardrobe review you will find you have some items you no longer want. Textiles are almost 100% recyclable so make a commitment that you will never throw clothing or textiles in the rubbish bin ever again! Sell, swap, return, rent, gift, donate, recycle - whatever you have, someone will take them - yes even your grotty old tights! Check out one of the growing number of take-back schemes with fashion brands or head to your local council pages to find a textile recycler.

For more tips – grab a copy of Redress’ new consumer guide Dress [with] Sense.

Head over to our 10 for 10 campaign page to find out more about the brands who have joined us in fundraising here.