twelve easy ways to buy less clothing

Incorporating sustainability into your wardrobe is one of the kindest things you can do for our planet. Luckily, there are more ways you can join the #FashionRevolution than there are Primark tshirts in your local landfill.


And let me tell ya, that’s a pretty big number.

One of the most common reasons that people hold back from buying conscious fashion is the fear of being forced to compromise on personal style. Sure, there’s a growing range of beautiful brands out there whose pieces I adore, but I know that minimalism isn’t everyone’s cup of coffee ( I’m not a tea drinker ) ( please no hate ) . So how can you get involved with the slow fashion world if your style doesn’t fit with the classic neutrals-filled Instagram grid?

Well, exactly that - slow fashion.

what is 'slow fashion'?

Slow fashion is, groundbreakingly, the antidote to fast fashion. Coined by Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, the movement is the garment industry’s take on the Slow Food movement of the ‘80s. This was a grassroots revolution, which originally emerged in Italy in response to Rome’s first branch of McDonald’s. With an emphasis on the notion that food should be ‘good, clean and fair’, you can see why its values inspired the Slow Fashion movement ( source ) .

how do I use slow fashion?

Today, one of the key ways to take part in the Slow Fashion movement is by purchasing less clothing. It’s as simple as that - well, in theory. When you’re a fashion-lover like me, it can certainly be a little trickier. So how did I go from shopaholic to capsule-wardrobe-lover?

Here are twelve ways that I minimised my clothing consumption that I think you should try out …

the thirty wear rule

If you don’t think you’re going to wear a garment at least thirty times, it’s not worth picking up.

Whilst retail therapy certainly releases those good vibes, it’s a very short-lived feeling and soon after you’re craving another purchase to make yourself feel better.

Only shop when you’re in a good mood to avoid feelings of ‘I’ll buy this to cheer me up … okay, maybe this too … yeah, a whole new wardrobe will definitely help my mental health’. Oh man, been there, done that - wouldn’t recommend!

only shop when you’re in a good mood

unsubscribe from marketing emails

This is a good way to digitally detox, and when it comes to shopping you’re going to find yourself far less tempted by the shiny new-in pieces and sales!

shop alone

Everyone has that friend who enables their shopping addiction out of a whole lotta love. I’m that friend. Hi. But I’m also very easily swayed to buy a new piece if someone tells me I can rock it. I’d recommend going shopping when you have an afternoon to yourself - this will make sure you stick to your budget and essentials.

Create a list of ‘wants’ ( not needs ) at the start of the month; at the end of the month, if there’s money left over and you still have your eye on it, it’s likely you’ll get a whole lot of wear out of it and it’s worth the investment.

create a ‘want’ list

Put aside a sum at the end of each month, which you’ll be able to spend on clothing - if necessary - the following month. This means you don’t get into the ‘I’ll just pick that up and pay it off later’ mindset. Any money left over? Put it into savings, or roll it over for upcoming investments in future months.

set a monthly budget

Dedicate time to working out your personal style ( post on its way ) . This will make sure that you don’t get sidetracked by seemingly exciting pieces when you’re out and about that you wouldn’t actually reach for if they were in your wardrobe. Defining your personal style will really help you to streamline your shopping list and minimise your clothing consumption. Basically, get fussy!

stick to your style

swap clothes with friends

Clothes swaps are a great way to switch up your wardrobe without compromising on style or worrying about a price tag. Organise your own with friends, or have a look online to find upcoming clothes swaps in your area.

make a list of what you need before you go shopping

This will keep you on track to pick up what your wardrobe needs right now. Those sale racks won’t lure you in this time.

Would you have been drawn to this piece five years ago? Are you going to love it in five years time? If it ticks these boxes, it’s worth investing in!

the five year rule

the four-way rule

Only buy a piece if you could style it in at least four ways with different pieces that you already own. This is a super helpful way to avoid buying a piece that requires buying another piece to wear with it - a temptation everybody with a love for fashion has experienced!

quality over quantity

Invest in quality over quantity. I’ve said it so many times, but I promise it is always worth it! This way you won’t have to replace a piece over time, which actually costs you more than buying a better quality version outright.

I really hope you found this post helpful in getting some inspiration on how to switch up your shopping habits. I’d love to hear how you find ‘em and any other tips and tricks you’d recommend to other gals new to the Slow Fashion movement! Make sure to join the discussion over on Instagram and Twitter - I’m excited to hear your thoughts!