Circular fashion: How to reduce fashion waste

As Aussies we think everyone should deserve a fair go, right? 

The thing is some of the clothes we wear are barely worn because < insert latest shopping failure - for me it was “too purple” >. Often the garments still look like-new but we just can’t bring ourselves to wear it. We think they’d look great, and that’s why we bought them, but we didn’t know how to wear it or where to. Other times, we just simply grow out of it (kids are especially good at this). We need to find a way to extend the life of our clothes’ wear. We have a few tips on how you can just do that! Here we go:

The #30wears challenge

“Will I wear it at least 30 times?” is a good question to ask before you buy a piece of clothes. The #30wears campaign asks buyers to think if the clothes they are buying will be versatile enough, of relatively neutral colours to be mix-and-matched with other items, and outlast the current fashion trends. 

Until we figure out a way to recycle used garments more efficiently and effectively, the best we can do is to try and collectively slow down the rate used clothes go to landfill.

You are what you buy

As we become more aware about the impact of our behaviour to the environment, we all start doing things, such as separating recyclable household waste, which most of us did not use to do even 30 years ago. But there is still a long way to go!

According to The World Counts, we need about 1.8 planet Earths to absorb our current wasteWhoa! That's close to two planet earths! The website also says that there are 700 chemicals in our body that are not supposed to be there.

One way to help and solve this issue is by buying more thoughtfully. If you have access to Reformation, this ethical clothing brand makes clothes that are beautiful and designed for sustainability! You could also check out Oobi for kids clothes. If you’re looking for staples, brands such as Etiko offer collections for all seasons and occasions.

By championing the movement for ethical and sustainable fashion, brands such as Patagonia and Nagnata go to the extent of making sure that the conditions and equality among workers in their supply chain are at a standard that you would accept if it were for your own children, as well as minimising the environmental impact of producing and owning their products throughout the life of these clothes.

Therefore, choosing your purchase more thoughtfully is less costly and more happiness for yourself, your little ones and the planet we all live in, in the long run!

Take a good care of your clothes

Another simple way to spend less time and money buying clothes is to take a better care of what is already in your wardrobe. We definitely have some experience in taking care of clothes, but we have also done some research and talked to cleaning professionals about ways to ensure that clothes can last longer including:

  • Wash like-colours together (not rocket science!)
  • Wash gently and inside-out where possible
  • Wash items with metal parts (e.g. zippers that stick out) in a mesh laundry bag to avoid snagging
  • If you must iron the clothes, do it with water spray. As fabric materials have different heat tolerance levels dry overheating may damage the clothes, and
  • Fold clothes along the seams to maintain the shape of the item

DIY fixes

It is probably self-explanatory that if you can mend a couple of minor damages on your clothes, then you can potentially wear them for a bit longer. That might even save you from buying a replacement item altogether. Sometimes you can also upcycle clothes for other creative uses, such as mops and gift wraps.

If you are looking for a collection of “basic how-to” on clothes and garments, you can try the 60 easy DIY tips to repair old clothing. Chances are that you will find something that can help you extend your clothes' life.


You can also give clothes a second life by adopting like-new second hand clothes from op shops and thrift stores like SwapUp. We house a collection of secondhand women and kids’ clothes in good and like-new conditions. Some SwapUp items are even new with original tags still on.

We have inspected the secondhand clothes and accessories, and given them minimal care such as sewing on that missing button where we can find a spare. Many of these preloved items are sold at less than 30% of the estimated retail price (ERP), in hope that it will be attractive enough for you to buy from us and return following a happy purchase. Our mission is to provide an online consignment and thrift store platform that encourages sustainable and eco-friendly shopping.

What do you think? Which of these have you tried and which is your favourite so far?