Do you do your best to live consciously, but could your wardrobe look a bit more sustainable? Marieke Eyskoot, sustainable fashion and lifestyle expert, will lead a Q & A session at the Happinez festival in September. One of her tips: better washing. Because not only what we buy has an impact, but also how we take care of our clothes.
For years you have done your best to put sustainable clothing in the United States on the map. Why do you find that so important?
Because I like clothes very much, but even more fun when I know that the people who made them are also happy, and they do not pollute our earth enormously. Is not it strange that people and the planet are being exploited to get dressed?
Do you notice that in the United States we have started to think more about sustainability in our clothing purchases in recent years? Sure! I get a lot of questions about where you can buy sustainable fashion, what to look out for and what you can do yourself. Many people want very much, but not everyone knows yet. That is why I try to answer all questions in THIS IS A GOOD GUIDE – for a sustainable lifestyle. This new book is full of practical tips in the field of clothing, care, eating, living, working and leisure. Exactly what you need – because doing something good and having it right at the same time: who does not want that right now?
In what way has your own wardrobe been made sustainable in recent years and therefore changed? He has become an army. I have given away a lot and sold, and I buy a lot less. I now find it much more fun to invest in a piece of clothing that I really love, with a nice story behind it and which I enjoy for years. That also saves money, because buying something cheap is often more expensive than investing in a nice item that costs a bit more.
1-Start by building a basic wardrobe that consists of garments that you can enjoy for years to come.
This is of course quite obvious, but then you also have something. Buy from the brands that make beautiful things and deal with people, animals and the environment as well as possible. They are getting more and more, and they come in all types and price ranges – from basic to high-end and from more affordable to expensive.
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself questions such as: Do I really need this? Is it possible for me to wear other items of clothing more often? Does it fit? Do I feel great about it? Am I really going to wear it? Does it last a long time? Do I see myself wearing this in a few years?
Invest in good items, and make sure you do not stay with a pile of ‘just-nothing’ like I did before. It feels like this is expensive, but that is generally not true. You can use it so much more often that it is cheaper than buying new shirts that cost little, but you can only go at most three times.
Take that piece that you can still handle in ten years, but then combined with something else. Buy what you want instead of what you see. Do you see a must have? Sleep over it. Or two. Do you think about it anyway?
This is one of the nicest and best things you can do for a more sustainable wardrobe. The garbage dump is shrinking, no new raw materials are used, the garment has a second life and you have a unique item. And: it is often cheaper than new. There are garments in the world, so plenty to choose.
It may sound like the least nice tip, but it is secretly the best. Children are delicious. Check how much time you spend searching for the most beautiful finds. To adjust, decide, doubt, send back. Do not know what to do every morning. The more stuff, the more stress, it appears. So this tip is a life saver. It really helped me in recent years. I could not say better than fashion designer Vivienne Westwood: ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last.’
Wash less, as cold as possible, do not iron, use durable detergent, hang in the bathroom if you shower instead of bringing the dry cleaner, do not take a dryer but a clothesline – this saves money and pollution. Our aftercare for our clothes has more impact on the environment than the production and distribution together, so this really matters.
Who knows, you might find something beautiful that you had forgotten for a while – and anything that you do not like anymore / does not fit you anymore / you can no longer handle it. Give away, bring to the cycle, sell, exchange …