Fashion model Ana Nicolaie shares her top sustainable fashion tips
Fast fashion is destructive. Fact. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy fashion – you just need to be more sustainable in your choices.
Ditching your “wear it once” mentality in favour of investment pieces is one way you can drastically improve how climate-friendly your clothes are, but that’s not all.
As an industry insider, these are my top sustainable fashion tips…
Are you ready to be more sustainable? Great! Here’s what you need to do…
You have a friend’s birthday party coming up, or another special occasion, so you go to the department store to buy a new dress. Sound familiar? I’ve done it myself countless times but being sustainable means controlling those impulses. Rather than buying a new outfit for every occasion, rediscover those pieces you haven’t worn in years. Pairing a dress with a different belt or distressing an old pair of jeans is sometimes all you need to update a look.
As a fashionista it’s important to know what’s trending. However, most trends come around again and again, which is one argument for investing in high-quality staples. Denim, culottes, linen dresses, vintage T-shirts… These are all trends that appear every year or two in some form, so keep an eye out and invest where necessary. Avoid jumping on the bandwagon with “of the moment” slogans or fussy details and instead shop with timelessness in mind.
I’m not talking about making a dress from scratch, but anyone can alter a piece of clothing or add some embellishments that look professional with some practice. You can use clothing from your existing wardrobe or buy from discount stores and thrift shops. Before you get started, watch YouTubers like Nava Rose, who’s a pro at upcycling designer clothes, and has heaps more sustainable fashion tips for you to try.
Taking proper care of your clothes will make them last longer, which will not only save you money but also mean you can be more sustainable by shopping less. Always read the instructions on your clothing and follow them carefully. If an item’s ‘dry clean only’, take it to the dry cleaners. Also, store items that are susceptible to damage in garment bags – this may include evening dresses and wool jumpers. And finally, if an item is damaged, such as if a heel on a nice pair of shoes breaks, take it to your dry cleaners and have it repaired.
There are many labels out there that specialize in sustainable fashion, whether that’s using purely natural fibers, coloring products with natural dyes, or using offcuts in their work. Spend time searching online and read fashion magazines like LINEN to find these labels.
You should always be striving to invest in the best quality fashion items; one exceptional dress is better than three dresses that will fall apart within six months. Inspect what you’re buying before you commit to it: Are the seams well sewn? Are items finished correctly? Is a pair of trousers lined? In most cases, the more attention to detail, the better the quality.
You can’t change the past, but you can definitely change your perspective and how you act in the future. Embrace my sustainable fashion tips and invest, upcycle, and alter with a better world in mind.
Finally, never throw clothes out: if they can’t be altered, always donate them to a worthy cause.
About Ana Nicolaie
Ana is a Dubai-based fashion model, TV host, and influencer. She is at the forefront of fashion and regularly contributes to leading fashion publications.