Whether you enjoy following all the latest trends or prefer to dress for comfort, fashion is something that affects us all. But how do our fashion choices fit in with our faith? Does God really care where we buy our clothes from?
We read in Genesis 1 that God created the heavens and the earth, He said that it was good, and He made Adam and Eve and told them to look after His creation. As Christians, we are also supposed to look after God’s creation, and enjoying fashion sustainably is a way that we can make sure we’re doing just that.
Sadly, the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world (Sustain Your Style) and around 350,000 tonnes of clothing go into landfill in the UK every year (Clothes Aid). So, as Christian girls, how can we take a more sustainable approach to fashion?
- Mend & Repurpose Clothes
Mending and repurposing clothes used to be a common part of day-to-day life not so long ago, but sadly it has become a dying habit. Learning to mend your clothes (small rips, fraying edges, loose threads, missing buttons) can help to lengthen the life of your clothes. These are skills you can learn at a local sewing class, by asking a friend or family member to teach you, or by having a look at online tutorials. Clothes that are damaged and can no longer be repaired can be turned into a new item; a dress can be made into a skirt, t-shirt bag tutorials can be found online, and fabric from your once-favourite clothes can be turned into cushion covers or quilts.
- Shop Second Hand
Whether it’s visiting your charity shops or shopping online, shopping second has never been so easy! Some great websites for shopping second hand are Re-fashion and Thrift+ as they allow you to return items if they don’t fit you. Another way you can enjoy second-hand fashion is by organising a clothes swap with your friends; get together for the afternoon and bring along any clothes you no longer wear, then give and swap your clothes with your friends. Some of my favourite items of clothing are second hand, from a clothes swap or used to belong to my mum or my sister!
- Declutter Your Wardrobe
Going through the clothes that you already own is a helpful way of seeing what’s in your wardrobe and evaluating what you own and whether you really need it. Ask yourself questions as you sort through your wardrobe; Can I remember when I last wore this? Do I have items that are similar which I wear more? Does this item fit me comfortably? Decluttering your wardrobe allows you to fall back in love with clothes you had forgotten about as well as helping you to part ways with clothes you no longer need.
- Consider Your Purchases
This is one of the more difficult habits to adopt when considering sustainable fashion as we live in a society that focuses so much attention on fast fashion. But by shopping from more sustainable brands (such as This Is Unfolded and Rapanui) and by purchasing less, we are helping to lessen the pollution that is caused by fast fashion. When shopping for clothes, consider whether it is a purchase that you need or is it just something that you want. Maybe take a few days to decide whether or not to buy an item. If you are adding new items to your wardrobe, perhaps you have other clothing that you can donate or repurpose to make room for new items in your wardrobe.
- Tearfund Fashion fast
If you want to dive in at the deep end and cut ties with fast fashion, why not join the Tearfund Fashion Fast? Tearfund are a Christian charity who are helping to fight poverty around the world, and you could get involved by joining their fashion fast this March.
Fashion is a way that we can express our unique, God-given personality and it can be a lot of fun. But it’s important to consider how we can also live out our faith in our fashion choices, how we can love fashion in a way that doesn’t hurt our world.
Deciding a few ways to get into sustainable fashion is a great place to start!