With concerns of global warming and excess waste in the fashion industry, talk of sustainability and building better purchase habits, especially when it comes to wardrobes, is on the rise. COVID-19 amped up the conversation and the need for slow fashion–Sewing is a great way to be a part of the slow fashion movement. Sustainable sewing means choosing fabric wisely (i.e. being informed of its origin and its travel methods, etc.), only buying what you truly need, and making pieces and projects that will last.
Tips For Sewing Sustainably:
Opt for Classics
Select wearable and versatile patterns that have classic silhouettes that you gravitate towards. Mood offers 100’s of free sewing patterns, including basic patterns to get you started.
Try asking yourself if you will get “x” amount of wear out of it, if the answer is no, then pass. Another way to get the most out of your pieces is to make ones that are trans-seasonal so that they can continually be useful.
Choose High-Quality Fabrics/Materials
Choosing quality over quantity certainly applies here. Shop for natural materials (like cotton, wool, linen) from fabric to thread and buttons or recycled or upcycled fabrics. Additionally, only use the notions and trims that you need to make garments functional.
Sew with Intention and Purpose
Your intention is your business, but it’s important to have one, whether it’s for mental health, relaxation, environmental concerns, etc. Sewing pieces that resonate with your style instead of trendy pieces that don’t end up being worth your time in the long run.
Get The Most Out of Your Materials
When sewing garments, use strong seam finishes for a longer-lasting product. Consider opting for bigger seam allowances and elastic to compensate for weight fluctuations. Look for zero waste projects to avoid adding to your fabric stash. Don’t be afraid to reuse patterns. Simply organizing paper patterns in a binder or book and carefully filing RTW patterns extends the patterns from single-use to multiple uses.
Use Your Stash
While your fabric stash does not seem sustainable, using fabric you already own is more sustainable than you might realize— Using what you have is always a smart move when possible. Your stash goes beyond fabric, so instead of throwing out any purchases, try to refashion them to give them new life.
Get Informed About Sustainability
Learn about what it means to be sustainable. Sustainable fabrics are ideally fair trade and organic, meaning no environmental damage was done when making the fabrics, and the makers did not exploit anyone during its creation. Shop our sustainable and eco fabrics for more information and lots of options. Upcycling is a sustainable practice, along with other techniques, so being sustainable doesn’t always mean it’s going to cost more.
Tips for Maintaining a Sustainable Wardrobe:
- Look after your pieces by washing with care
- Repair and alter as needed to extend garments use
- Remember the quality of your wardrobe is more important than the quantity, as mentioned above.
- Use a wardrobe planner to easily organize your thoughts and needs.
Building a sustainable wardrobe certainly requires a bit of extra care, but it doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Take an inventory check of items you own in your stash, your closet, and around your home, and challenge yourself to extend their use. Small steps do make a big impact as long as they’re constant.
What steps have you taken to create a more sustainable wardrobe?