How not to buy new clothes

The relatively low prices and constant supply of new designs in the shops have made us lost our connection with the origin of our garments and their real value. We are disconnected from the true cost of our clothes, which is the key to caring for our future.

Working towards a sustainable wardrobe is understanding that sales can be our enemies; in many ways, they put consumers at risk when it comes to creating debt and building up an unnecessary stock of clothes that will end up in the landfill.

A 2018 report from OnePoll found that 83% of UK consumers are buying clothes they never wear. In the UK, we send around 350,000 tonnes of clothing (£140 million worth) to landfills every year, according to WRAP.

By buying less during a time of financial difficulty, you are not just helping your pockets, but also helping the planet. There is no doubt that the current fashion business activity is creating a negative impact on the environment.

How not to buy new clothes

Update your wardrobe

  1. Bring out the seasonal clothing and store away the outfits that you can not currently wear.
  2. If you don’t have space to store your ‘out of season’ clothing, perhaps you can use a portable rail for your everyday outfits and keep the rest in your wardrobe.
  3. Try thinking out of the box and style your clothes differently. Use a dress as a shirt and a shirt as a tunic/ shirt dress. Wear your tops back to front, etc.
  4. Add some accessories or sew/iron on badges or jewellery to give blazers, jackets or denim items, a new look.
  5. Look on social media for inspiration on how to style your clothes differently.
  6. Sell the items that you don’t wear to make some money out of them.
  7. Think about fixing and altering the clothes that may need some mending, (sleeves shortened, or amend a too long/ too short skirt or trouser. Better yet, create something new out of your existing outfits.
Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Unsubscribe from email lists

This task can be painstaking, but unsubscribing from all those emails and newsletters that the fashion brands keep bombarding us will help to stop triggering the urge not to miss out on the latest sales, offers, or ‘new season’s arrivals’. If you think about it, the best season’s clothing is already in our wardrobes!

Make it a habit to click on the ‘unsubscribe’ button every time you receive a new sales email. This way, you won’t have to go through and unsubscribe from a ton of emails in one day.
You can also block a sender, or if you use Gmail, click the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the very top of your email, and Gmail will remove you from their mailing list. In Outlook, the ‘Unsubscribe’ link appears at the bottom of the message window.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

Shop second hand

Everything we need has already been created, and there are plenty of outfit gems still waiting to be discovered. Compile a wish list and stick to it – take your time and research online before committing to a purchase.

Photo by Burst on

I hope these tips can help you stay away from shopping relentlessly once the shops reopen in a few days following the extended coronavirus lock-down. In any case, if you fancy a new outfit number – make a list of what you need and, if possible, avoid impulse buying.

Enjoy having fun with your clothes 🙂.

What are your tips on how to stop buying new clothes? Share in the comments below or get in touch with me on Social Media

Elena Daniilidou

Elena is an ethical vegan and minimalist advocating for sustainable and slow living.

View all posts by Elena Daniilidou →
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