Buying your clothes ethically is the first step to a conscious wardrobe but caring for them is so important. Whilst I write about buying ethically, I haven’t really looked into the impact that caring for our garments has on the garment. From reading the book (with a whole chapter dedicated to caring for your clothes) I learnt that washing, drying and ironing the clothes in our wardrobes represent 75-80% of the total energy consumed in a garment’s life cycle – a shocking figure to read from someone that doesn’t take as much care into caring for their clothes as they should. However, this practical guide provides tips to reduce the impact our clothes have on the environment, including a DIY refresh spray and tips for washing denim. As I mentioned previously, getting other peoples point of view on the same topic is all the more insightful, it’s so easy to flick from page to page and note down a collation of different tips that allow the reader to gain knowledge whilst being able to develop better habits from reading the book.
There are some easy and practical alternatives to giving your clothes to charity. The linchpin holding the book together is really how practical it is. Did you know it can take 30-40 years for a nylon fabric to decompose? Or that whilst cotton is a a fantastic natural fibre and takes only 6 months to decompose, when cotton decomposes it produces methane – a major contributor to climate change? Offering alternatives and solutions to the choices we already make with the disposal of our clothes; Dress with Sense shows you how you can donate, resell and rethink your clothes with examples and tricks on how to sell. Clothes swaps are a fantastic alternative, an opportunity to get together with friends that have similar styles and dispose of old clothes in a way that is much more beneficial for the environment. Or if you fancied something that allowed you to earn a bit of money in the process, reselling on websites such as depop are superb as well.
Overall, Dress with Sense is a great book that doesn’t make ethical fashion feeling overwhelming although not so worth it if you want more knowledge of certain aspects surrounding ethical fashion. The illustrations and unique insights from activists and people that are directly linked to ethical fashion result in a unique read that I haven’t found anywhere else.