1. be realistic
This is the toughest tip because it starts at the source: with what you actually buy. First of all, don’t buy clothing that needs to be dry cleaned if you never go to the dry cleaners. If you’re not going to properly care for it, it won’t last and then what’s the point? I stopped buying t-shirts that needed to be dry cleaned because it’s just not realistic for me. I only go to the dry cleaners for jackets/coats or huge stains.
Secondly, make sure you can wear this new item with at least 3 pieces of clothing already in your closet (bonus if you can make 3 outfits with it). Make sure it actually fits into your wardrobe and that you can see yourself wearing it with other pieces you already own.
Lastly, ask yourself if you have the physical space for it. Can you actually fit another sweater, coat, pair of jeans in your closet? If not, don’t buy it. Try and shop your closet – apparently we only wear 20% of our clothing for 80% of our lives.
2. think differently
This was a tip I picked up during the LG panel with Vanessa Craft, a legendary fashion editor (and editor-in-chief). We’re wearing a lot of casual clothing at home during the pandemic (or at least I am), and I’m always looking for ways to dress up joggers or a hoodie. But think about it from the other angle: instead of dressing up your casual pieces, dress your more formal items (like a suit) down. For example, a dress with a sweater or cardigan, or a suit with a hoodie.
3. wash them correctly
Apparently I’ve been doing laundry all wrong. I almost never read the washing labels (and don’t know how to properly read them, along with 34% of Canadians), separate my laundry by colours and always just guessed at the amount of detergent I was supposed to use? While at an LG pop up (masked, physically distanced), I learned that you should actually separate your laundry by fabrics, which makes a lot more sense
Since I obviously have no idea how to do laundry (lol) the new LG AI ThinQ® Front Load Washer and Dryer (now available in Canada) actually uses Artificial Intelligence to sense the fabric weight and softness to optimize the wash pattern for the best fabric care, which increases the longevity of your clothing by 15%. It has an ezDispense™ feature that takes the guesswork out of detergent dosage by automatically adding the exact amount of liquid detergent.
Doing laundry can unfortunately use a lot of energy, and so I’ve started to use cold water only as well as using the mini TWINWash(TM) Pedestal Washer (when I don’t have a large load) on the LG AI ThinQ® Front Load Washer to save water.
4. don’t let stains sit
This seems like a no brainer, but I honestly do this. I’ll spill something (happens all the time, I’m such a klutz) and then just put the piece of clothing aside to deal with later. This obviously sets the stain and then greatly decreases the chances of getting it out. It’s just silly – take care of your garments so you’re not contributing to the landmass!
5. treat all clothing as equals
When you spend a lot of money on a piece of clothing, you’re more likely to take better care of it. It’s easy to buy fast fashion and then throw it away after a season or two. My tip here is to take care of every piece of wardrobe as if it’s all expensive. I learned this after buying my favourite t-shirt of all time (it’s vintage – cost $20) and realized that the black colour was starting to fade quite quickly and the fabric was starting to break down. It was not an expensive piece of clothing, but it’s incredibly valuable to me, and so I started to take better care of it – fewer washes, different detergent and actually separating it to go with other cotton garments (as opposed to separating colours) have prolonged the use of this tee (I hope to wear it forever).
6. repair it
This is something people (myself included) forget about it easily. Especially if the garment was cheaper, there’s an innate reaction to throw it out. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially if you’re looking to be more sustainable with your fashion choices – even if your top was $15, sew up that hole and wear it for a little longer! There’s no point in adding to landmass if it’s not necessary (although, I understand that ample fashion choices aren’t necessary). Do this within reason though – if you can’t wear it because there’s a hole in the middle of your top, donate it or use as a cleaning cloth.