In response to changing values and global phenomena, our wardrobes too, are changing. There’s a burgeoning subtext to the way we shop and put outfits together beyond just aesthetics. It’s with intention that we’re trying to collectively lighten our footprint. By doing so, we’re leaning into a gestalten way of thinking; the sum of our impact is greater than that of an individual. Encouraging us all to explore pieces made from more sustainable materials – which we define as those which have a lower environmental impact than conventional alternatives – is Alexandra Peters, THE ICONIC’s very own Sustainability & Ethical Sourcing Coordinator.
THE KNITTY GRITTY
A cooler season looms but it doesn’t mean updating every. single. thing. For base layers, jumpers and snug accessories, organic (or recycled) cotton is the way to go, Alex tells us. “Organic cotton gains its tick of approval since it’s grown without the use of pesticides, fertilisers or genetically engineered seeds. It’s also tempered only by organic dyes, making the process much less impactful on our planet.” Alternatively, recycled cotton is made from cotton scraps that have been mulched into fibers and spun anew into yarn. The benefit? Twofold: it mitigates the demand for growing fresh cotton and liberates cotton scraps from landfill to a new life.
For sneakers and boots, Alex recommends looking out for ‘Leather Working Group certified Leather’ as the tanneries which produce the leather are audited for their waste management systems and environmental performance. You can be certain they're monitoring and reducing chemicals, water, and electricity and there is a waste management system in place when producing sneakers, boots, or other leather goods.
Explore potential wardrobe updates tagged with ‘sustainable materials’ within our Considered edit. You’ll find these materials plus recycled polyester, vegetable-tanned leather, hemp, linen, and more.
The cost per wear equation
According to Alex, “investing in good quality, transeasonal staples that you can wear year after year” is the best thing to do. The more often you wear an item, the lower the environmental footprint created to make the item becomes per wear. So that jacket you wear over 93 days in winter? You do the math.
Wet to dry
Washing your clothes also has an environmental footprint, no matter what fabrics they’re made of. To lighten your environmental impact, make sure you wait until you have a full load and be sure to set it to a lower temp. Once they’ve been rinsed & spun, air dry them instead of using the dryer. Better yet? Spot clean small stains to avoid the full wash if possible (obviously not sweaty sportswear).
Well & Ready
“Buy only when you’re ready, and buy well.” Let’s unpack. By this, we mean mending worn or torn pieces where possible to extend their life. And you know, they’re probably your favourites because you wore them so much. Can you really bear to part? More seriously, buying well could translate to investing in slightly pricer clothing or quality footwear that will go the distance. In the same way, explore transeasonal layers like undershirts or light jackets that can be repurposed in different outfits in cooler and warmer months.
How To Give Your Wardrobe A Second Chance
We’ve partnered with Salvos Stores and Australia Post to help address clothing waste.