sustainable wardrobe

The best fabrics for clothing are organic cotton (or natural/recycled cotton), hemp and linen. These are better than bamboo (okay, but some companies use chemicals to produce it) and Tencel (made with flammable eucalyptus trees – Spain and Portugal have banned new plantations, due to wildfires).

If sewing with upcycled synthetic fibres (like polyester) launder in a microplastic catcher. Keep sewing materials away from children and pets. Also read how to alter or repair your clothes.

Sustainable Wardrobe is a book packed with tips to create a more sustainable wardrobe, without breaking the bank. The world’s consumption and discarding of clothing is harming the planet, and the issue can’t be fixed overnight. But what can we do to make a difference? The answer is that if we all take small steps, it will collectively result in big change. Journalist Sophie Benson (who specialises in writing on sustainable fashion) guides you through, breaking down the issues from the clothes we buy to how we care and dispose of them. You’ll find easy tutorials to follow including:

  1. How to read a clothing label
  2. Have a conscious closet clear-out
  3. Upcycling hacks
  4. How to darn socks
  5. How to care for your jeans

Sophie Benson is a freelance journalist who focuses on sustainable fashion, the planet and human rights. An expert on greenwashing and upcycling, she began her career as a stylist and quit to work in the area of sustainable fashion. She now chooses second-hand clothes or makes her own from scratch.

sewing techniques to transform old clothes

DIY thrift flip

DIY Thrift Flip is a fun book by a student in California who learned how to make her own clothes on a budget, by transforming existing clothes or finds from thrift shops. Join her, as she teaches you how to find, upcycle and customise secondhand clothing for sustainable style, with simple sewing instructions. April takes you through every phase of the process, from how to find the best clothes and fabrics to transport, plus easy ways to alter and tailor shirts, dresses, trousers, coats and more.

You’ll also learn what can (and can’t) be fixed and how to gauge sizes when you can’t try something on. Learn how to use patterns to alter clothes (or parts of garments), how to add sleeves and hems and pockets, plus how to custom-tailor an altered piece for a great fit. The projects are for beginner to intermediate level, and include lots of inspiring before-and-after photos. QR codes give access to techniques and tutorials.

pretty organic cotton poplin fabric

organic cotton poplin fabric

If you sew, this pretty organic cotton poplin fabric is not just good for the planet, but beautifully designed too. Organic cotton is good, as it avoids the chemicals used in conventional cotton (better for wildlife and farmers). And as organic cotton has not been treated by chemicals, it tends to last longer. 25% of all pesticides used on earth are for the cotton industry, so try to choose organic or recycled if buying new items. All cotton is biodegradable so doesn’t leach microplastics in washing machines.

This range includes 12 designs, so you are sure to find something you like for your next sewing project. These superior fabrics are good for quilting, garments, light upholstery or even making non-medical reusable face masks. You can order a sample square before purchase, all cut from stock in a Dorset studio. You can also order organic cotton thread (you can also order single spools or keen sewers may wish to order the whole 34 colours so they always have something to hand). Spun in Holland, this multi-purpose thread uses combed cotton processing, so it’s strong yet soft. Supplied on a wooden spool.

your guilt-free guide to sustainable fashion

what to wear and why

What To Wear and Why is your guide to affordable sustainable fashion. The clothing industry makes 80 billion garments a year and employs 15% of the world’s workforce, yet exploits labour and pollutes the environment, as well as harming animals to make certain fabrics. Read more on sustainable fashion and vegan footwear and accessories.

We as consumers have the power to make a difference. This book by a fashion writer turned environmentalist activist sheds light on unsustainable practices used in the industry, and presents a compelling argument for why change is urgently needed. Tiffanie offer practical tips on how to make a difference. Plus there are tips from sustainable fashion pioneers throughout.

Tiffanie Darke is an alumna of the University of Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a member of the Oxford University Climate Action Network, she works with over 70 fashion brands.

the forever wardrobe

The Forever Wardrobe is a guide to creating a capsule wardrobe, where you pay more for a few good items of clothing that go together to make dozens of outfits. Donate the wardrobe full of clothes you never wear, or sell them to create a streamlined wardrobe that makes you look and feel good, and saves money long-term by lasting longer. Ideal for any style or budget, let fashion work for you and the planet. You’ll also learn how to consciously buy items (new, vintage or renting) and take care of your clothes, to avoid fast fashion forever.

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