Sustainable fashion shouldn’t be a cult trend that we irrationally buy into. I believe that everybody can and should be supporting sustainable fashion. However, supporting ethical fashion doesn’t mean throwing out everything you own and replacing it with sustainable alternatives. In order to be more sustainable, you need to also establish sustainable fashion habits in addition to making a difference through what you buy. It’s defeating the point if you partner sustainable purchases with wasteful buying habits. This leads me on to the question to which I’m sure you’d like to know the answer: Is it possible to shop sustainably on the high street? Speaking as a professional fashion stylist and eco activist, my answer is yes - as long as you follow these basic principles.
Although the same sustainability rules apply to women’s fashion as well, today we’re going to look at sustainable shopping on the high street for men.
Shopping Sustainable Fashion on the High Street
I strongly believe that in order to make a difference and tackle the environment issues associated with textile waste, we all need to play a part. We all need to do something. After all, it’s about doing something rather than nothing! I feel that it’s really important that everybody takes action to become more sustainable, no matter what stage they are at in understanding these ethical issues. It’s more important to include everybody and encourage every individual to do whatever they can, rather than leading those who are less informed about textile waste to feel excluded from the situation.
This is why I’m not completely against shopping on the high street if you’re able to exercise ethical shopping practices. One of the first issues to tackle is buying on impulse, which often results in buying items that you neither want nor need. These garments subsequently go unworn, unused and are forgotten about. Of course, there are many ways in which you can upcycle these clothes, but the most ethical option is to simply not buy stuff that you don’t really need.
Sustainable fashion is a highly discussed topic at the moment, as it should be, and it’s something we all need to consider. That’s why I feel it’s important to show you how sustainable buying habits can be put into practice on the high street.
The Capsule Wardrobe for Men
At the heart of conscious fashion is the principle of buying less and wearing what you already own more often. Although the average person might have a wardrobe full of clothes, if they’re honest, they’re probably only wearing a small percentage of them. Streamlining your wardrobe and gaining a better understanding of the garments you like and wear most often, will put you on the right tracks for the next time you need to buy something. So if you notice you have a shirt in every colour but only ever wear black shirts, you’ll know to only buy black shirts in the future. In my experience as a personal stylist, unless you’re required to wear certain colours or items of clothing for work or other obligations, it’s pointless trying to force yourself to wear something you dislike.
The capsule wardrobe concept epitomises what streamlining your wardrobe is all about. In this post I share the 29 items that a woman would need to curate a functional, capsule wardrobe. These 29 items include clothing, footwear and accessories. You can easily apply this concept to create a capsule wardrobe for men too. The original capsule wardrobe checklist consists mainly of black and white pieces. The reason being is that a monochrome colour palette tends to suit most people and it’s the simplest to mix and match. Of course, you can modify your capsule collection to feature whatever colours you like, as long as you can easily combine them with other garments within your streamlined wardrobe.
Capsule Wardrobe List for Men
• Black vest top
• White vest top
• Black t-shirt
• White t-shirt
• Long sleeve black top
• Long sleeve white top
• White shirt
• Black shirt
• Black blazer
• Hooded jumper
• A belt
• Black trousers
• Indigo Jeans
• Faded Jeans
• Jog pants
• Tracksuit jacket
• A tie
• A holdall bag
• Black shoes
Does it Pass the “30 Wears” Test?
You might remember the #30Wears hashtag from a couple of years ago. It helped to launch a fantastic campaign, encouraging consumers to wear every clothing item they own at least 30 times before parting ways. Whenever you consider making a purchase, you should always ask yourself the crucial question: “Will I wear this at least 30 times?”
Building a wardrobe full of fashion pieces you love and that suit your daily lifestyle is the best way of ensuring that you’ll actually wear your clothes multiple times. Furthermore, you don’t have to throw anything out after you’ve reached 30 wears. You’ll probably wear some garments for much longer. Once you are ready to retire an old, worn out item of clothing, consider recycling, upcycling or donating it to a good cause. There are numerous ways you can put old clothes to good use.
SHOP THE EDIT
Stylish, everyday essentials for a sustainable high street wardrobe.
My final tip for shopping sustainably on the high street would be to chose quality materials. Natural materials, such as cotton or bamboo are high quality and will last well. Aim to buy the best quality available to you and make it last!
*Disclaimer: This post contains gifted items and affiliate links but all opinions are my own.*