As we enter a new season, it can be tempting to scoop up that stack of brand-new plaids on display in a shop window, but we’ve said it before: fast fashion takes a huge toll on the environment, and it can hurt your wallet too.

It’s no secret that the Trove Fashion team loves to put together a secondhand wardrobe. There are so many benefits to choosing preloved goods, including environmental benefits that can’t be overstated.

How can we interrupt the harmful cycle of fast fashion? A recent BBC article suggests a 3-step approach to creating a sustainable wardrobe:

  1. Reducing new clothing purchases
  2. Buying pieces that are made to last
  3. Recycling clothes at the end of their lifespan

Today, we’re talking about letting go of fast fashion and building a sustainable wardrobe that will last for years to come.

Reducing new clothing purchases
Cutting down on new clothing doesn’t mean that you have to cut down on new-to-you clothing! Buying secondhand reduces the need to create new items and also offers great value, which means that you can spend your budget on high-quality items without generating additional waste.

Many retailers are getting in on the secondhand game, with initiatives such as Patagonia’s Worn Wear secondhand market or large luxury brands collaborating on upcycled collections with resellers like The RealReal. While this is a step in the right direction, ecommerce shipping still takes a toll on the planet, and we like to support local options whenever possible.

Check out what people are doing in your city: clothing swaps with fashion-forward neighbours, vintage clothing collections curated by local Instagram sellers, and local consignment shops all contribute to a closed-loop clothing economy. Bonus: when you buy from a local business, you’re supporting someone’s dream, and this makes all the difference to the entrepreneurs in your town.

Buying pieces that are made to last
Shopping secondhand allows you to access high-quality goods at a lower price point. Higher-quality items tend to have a longer lifespan, which means that you can enjoy the beautiful pieces in your closet for years to come without generating additional waste.

Before you head out on your next shopping trip, take inventory of your closet. Everyone has items in their closet that they never reach for, either because the fit isn’t right or because it no longer suits their style. Consigning those items gives them a new life in someone else’s wardrobe and puts money back in your pocket to invest on well-made pieces that bring you joy.

Recycling clothes properly at the end of their lifespan
Certain textiles can take decades to break down in the trash, leaching harmful chemicals into the soil in the process. If your clothes have reached the end of their lifespan, take a moment to research local recycling options. For example, many cities have textile recycling bins or designated drop-off days, and all H&M stores have a collection box where you can drop off clothing by any brand and in any condition for recycling.

Letting go of fast fashion and focusing on sustainability takes time and mindfulness, but bit by bit, our efforts are making a difference!

Tip: Do you follow Trove Fashion on Instagram? You can browse many of our new arrivals on our feed, see our styling suggestions, and shop our stories on Tuesdays and Thursdays!