By Tifanee Po, Creator of Sustainably Unique.
By now I’m sure you’ve seen that I have a passion for reducing textile waste and the impacts that it has on the world. Aside from me operating a business that focuses on this cause, I also work through typical practices on a regular basis so I can further reduce my footprint.
Here are some of my top tips for reducing clothing waste:
1) Educate yourself to be a conscious consumer!
This is arguably the most important step in reducing textile waste! Be aware of where your clothing comes from and what brands are doing to be sustainable. A lot of the typical fast fashion brands (that have been scrutinized in the past) are actually launching lines to be more environmentally responsible and now have some of the most sustainable practices in the industry. All this requires is a Google search - easy! If I can find reliable sources, I’ll dive into the company culture as well to see how they treat their employees and what they really stand for in terms of their overall mission.
Obviously be cautious of companies trying to just “appear” ethical, but actually are not. It’s all about diving deep into who they are and what they stand for.
2) Shop second hand.
This is sometimes easier said than done. I get it. When you’re looking for that one sharp blazer in a certain color and size for a Friday meeting, it’s not always easy to find. For me, it starts with having a good “base wardrobe” that has the basics you need for work and your personal life. Then from there, you’re rarely ever in a pinch. Some of my personal fave second-hand options in Calgary are Closet Raid, Re-love Market (my pal Sarah actually hosts this! Check out her Spotlight HERE), Like New Vintage & Secret Shop YYC (Co-Founded by the amazing, Jimmy Boi! Check out his Spotlight HERE). There are lots of places to shop, such a wide range of consignment spots, it all just depends on the styles that you’re looking for!
3) Build a basic wardrobe.
It’s always good to know what you have and make sure you’re stocked with the basics. I’ll always have a pair of light and black denim, black dress pants, black and white blouses, and a couple of blazers. Can’t you tell I don’t really wear color lol! These are usually my go-to items day to day, so I can't live without them. I’ve also had them all for years and when I need a refresh, I’ll typically wait for Closet Raid to shop. Whenever I go shopping, I always know what items I’m looking for so it’s more efficient and I don’t spend money on non-essential things. I honestly don’t really like shopping - it sometimes overwhelms me and I’ve lived in clothing stores for 11 years of my past life so I like to avoid them haha. When you live through your basics, you’ll be more likely to wear these items for years so will be reducing your footprint in going against fast fashion.
4) Clothing swaps.
This is always something fun and easy enough to coordinate with friends or family! I personally find the Facebook groups a bit difficult and time-consuming, so I’ll just do personal trades if I feel the need. Get a bottle of wine (or five) and make it a fashion show, complete with clothing trades at the end!
5) Research before you donate.
This was something that I learned through Closet Raid. Before I select a local charity to partner with in each city, I always research what they do with the donated clothing along with their mission. There are quite a few places that will actually dump clothing that they don’t sell to the city landfill, which obviously goes against the cause.
I would love to hear how you reduce clothing waste and if you’d love to READ MORE!
For any inquiries, reach out to Tiff at: