Refresh your closet without spending a fortune

A short guide to achieving a sustainable closet

Refresh your closet without spending a fortune

What if you had a forever changing closet with new styles, beautiful designer shirts and dresses without spend a dime. This may sound unrealistic but actually it’s never been so achievable.

Two years ago my closet seemed static with old-fashioned clothes from ten summers ago. Although, I had some timeless pieces, I stopped wearing about 60% of my clothing. In addition, keeping to a tight budget and thinking of sustainability it was hard to keep up with trends and easy to get sucked into the ‘don’t wear it twice’ culture.

After reading a few books and blogs on sustainability I realised that fashion is versatile, expressive and doesn’t have to be liner. You don’t have to buy clothes from the high street, you can make or borrow them. You don’t have to buy brand-new clothes you can swap them or purchase good quality second-hand clothing.

Although individuals now have the power to change fashion trends using channels like social media; it’s apparent that big brands still influence our buying behaviours as we still buy more than we need to. According to the Guardian ‘A study by Elizabeth Bye and Ellen McKinney found that 85% of women have clothes in their closets that do not fit’. So if we forget majority of our clothes why are those items still there? If we want to keep up with trends lets make room for 'new' clothes and recycle the items we don’t want.

After reviewing my own closet and following the below process, I have what I call a living closet full of timeless and fashionable second-hand items that I will use and recycle.

Now more than ever it’s time to Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose. So how do you start your 'living' closet without spending a fortune?

1) Organise your clothes

Firstly, review your closet and then create three piles: Keep, Maybe, Recycle. Sort through every single item until you are happy with the outcome. If an item is in the ‘Maybe’ pile it’s probably not meaningful enough to stay, so when you’re ready, eventually put it in the ‘Recycle’ pile. If you wanted more guidance on organisation, Marie Kondo, a renowned tidying expert explores proven techniques to organise your items effectively.

In the 'Recycle' pile review the quality of your garments, if some of the items are in extremely poor quality contact a textile or fashion organisation that can recycle materials.

2) Take a few of photos and display archive pictures

Ok, so you're ready to let go of your items, now take a few pictures!

Simply, position your item against a light background and take around five photos per item. Take a variety of photos with different angles i.e zoomed out, zoomed in, of the brand label and any unique details/ patterns.

When listing your item include a detailed description of the garment and be honest with the condition of the item (you don't want any returns).

In addition, assuming you have an archive of photos of yourself in some of the outfits, to save time you can use those photos. People like to see how clothing will fit on, so if you are happy to show off your best look include it in the item gallery.

3a) Sell the stuff you don’t want

So once you've organised your clothes and captured some great photos, create an account on a reselling platform like eBay, Depop or/and Vinted and start selling. Make sure you do a little bit of research first as you may find that your clothes are worth a lot more than expected. Research tips and tricks about reselling to help you sell.

3b) Swap the clothes you don’t want

If you don’t want to sell your clothing explore swapping your items. Research fairs or events on Eventbrite where you can swap your items for other items. I’ve attended a few swapping fairs and events and picked up some great items. In addition, there are some reselling platforms like Vinted that allows you to sell or swap your clothing.

4) Reinvest the money you get from your sales to buy the clothes you want

When you start making money from selling your clothes, the next step is to reinvest it in the clothes you want. You can create a money pot dedicated to purchasing second-hand clothing or set a financial target; if you earn above your target you can use the money towards something else – paying off debt or towards a holiday.

5) Use recyclable packaging

If you are going to be recycling your closet continue the sustainable way of thinking and invest in packaging from recycled materials. Recycled packaging may seem lower down on the priority list but every little helps when its comes to helping the environment.

Bonus Tips

- Bundles can sell your clothes faster

Bundles are great, not only doesn’t it reduce transport going back and forth to the post office but can reduce the amount of packaging you use. You can put your items in one bag and it helps to sell your clothes faster.

- Reselling can make you a few extra quid

When you get into the flow of reselling your own clothes you may want to learn more about reselling second-hand clothing. Reselling fashion is not only fun but can be a successful side-hustle where you can earn a second flow of income.

To learn more about sustainable or fashion reselling, follow my reselling journey: fashionresellerdiary

Read next: 7 Most Stylish Quarantine Looks.

I'm a sustainable fashion reseller, following a minimalistic lifestyle, I’m also an advocate for slow fashion. By sharing my thoughts and knowledge I hope to inspire others to consider sustainability in their life.

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