Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette.
In today's video, we discuss 9 ways how you can make your wardrobe moregreen and sustainable.
It's a well-known issue that the garment industry and themanufacturing of clothing contributes to labor abuses in low-cost countries tothe abuse of natural resources and last but not least, to hyper-consumerismespecially fast fashion brands take advantage of the ever-increasing rate ofturnover trends and fashion seasons in clothing that exploits insecurities inmen which in turn leads to them buying every time something new comes out andthrowing the old stuff away.
By the way, this is obviously not an issue for men, but for women and children as well.
I mean though that's bad, unfortunately, there's no way to make your wardrobe 100% green and sustainable.
All clothesare made from some form of raw material that is an either spun or woven intofabric that is dyed and the final product is typically shipped around theglobe to get to the end consumer.
All these stages have environmental impacts;some more than others, but they all do to a certain extent.
Now as a consumer, it isbasically impossible to opt-out of the supply chain unless you decide to gonaked all the time, or maybe herd your own sheep, spin your own yarn and make your own clothes.
However, to say with Anne-Marie Bonneau: “We don't need a handful of people who do zero waste perfectly.
We need millions ofpeople who do it imperfectly because that has a muchbigger impact on our environment and the green aspect.
” So rather than starting forperfection and feeling guilty about having interest in clothes, it's betterto use a few ways to reduce your impact, on your footprint, to create a more greenand sustainable wardrobe.
So how can you be more sustainable? Well first of all, always ask yourself what is the real impact of the thing I'm buying hereright now? For instance, just about every fabric, natural or not, has an impact onthe environment.
Even something like bamboo, but is really popular right nowthat uses viscose derived from bamboo plants which are renewable and grow fast.
That can also have an impact in the sense that maybe rainforest is destroyedto grow more bamboo.
Fortunately, in this day and age, there are lots of companies who talk about how their things are made, what kind of materialsthey use, and what impact that whole thing has on the environment.
So forexample, if you buy a blazer in a nylon or polyester blend, it will likely agevery quickly and after two or three seasons, you'll see peeling and you'llprobably want to throw away the whole thing.
On the flip side, you get a hundredpercent wool blazer, you can probably wear it for ten years or several decadesto come.
Which brings us to point number two, invest in quality rather thanquantity.
Frankly, one of the easiest things you can do as a consumer is tobuy your clothing more intentionally but less frequently.
For example, a sweater ina timeless style with a high quality yarn is something that you can probablywear over the course of 30 years and obviously, that is much more sustainablethan buying a cheap sweater out of a short, stable material at a lower cost ina trendy pattern that will peel just a few times after you wear it.
Personally, Itry to avoid buying things if I can't trace back the origins especially if theitem is new.
If a company can't get me detailed information about the yarn theyuse, the staple length, and what goes into making the product, I rather skip it andbuy from a company that can give me those answers because that way, I know Ibuy quality and not a crap.
Even though the concept of a green orsustainable wardrobe may not resonate with you, think about it from a resourceperspective, not just for mother nature but also for your own wallet.
Typically, agreen or sustainable wardrobe is more intentional, more satisfying, and alsoless wasteful and you typically spend less money on it ina long term rather than buying cheap stuff left or right without any thoughtthrough concept.
Why? Well, because it's filled with useful, versatile andhigh-quality pieces that don't have to be replenished very often and that willstand the test of time.
And that means you have to invest a whole lot lessmoney and isn't that nice if it can use that money and buy something else for it?The fourth thing you can do for a more sustainable wardrobe is to dig a littledeeper into yourself and what you want and develop your own style that isindependent of current fashion movements.
If you think you know your style already, well, have you ever bought something that you never really ended up wearing? If youhave, then chances are you haven't quite nailed your style yet.
Reality is, we allmake mistakes.
The beauty of mistakes is that we canlearn from them.
So if you have bought something in the past that you didn'tend up wearing, ask yourself why, why did I not end up wearing it? Why did I buy itin the first place? then as follow-up questions ask yourself, how do you wantto be perceived? Also, how does outfit X Y or Z or that certain garment make you feel?Because if something makes you feel good the way you stand, the way you've walked, when you look, really radiates that feeling.
Also, analyze your wardrobe andask what are the garments I wear over and over again? Then figure out whatmakes you keep coming back to them.
Is it the fit, the color, is it maybe just theconvenience of it, what is it? Once you've mastered that, you can askyourself what does an ideal wardrobe for me look like? A sad question that can be, what do I value the most in clothing? Is it comfort, versatility, simplicity, orquality? You figure it out.
The whole purpose of asking these questions is that, you come up with a style that works for you, your personality, and what makes you feelgood.
That means, you can wear it consistently.
You will always beperceived as well-dressed and it always provides a certain confidence becauseyou chose this exact outfit for your very own reasons; and that means you'renot just following a new trend because it's hip right now.
Now best of all, once you'vefound your style and nailed it, you can wear the same things over and over againin different combinations; but because of that you will buy less which will saveyou money.
Stop impulse buying.
Why? Well its rarely a way to really improve yourwardrobe but at the same time, chances are very high that you're just wasting money.
It leads to you buying things that you were just coming across and you buy themon a whim but it's not actually something that fills the gaps in yourcurrent wardrobe, and because of that it's likely not very versatile.
If youresist your impulse and go with your plan, you're much less likely to end upwith junk that ends up in your wardrobe just because it was 90% on sale but itdoesn't really suit a purpose.
What's a sixth way to be more sustainable?Well, simply throw away less clothing.
Of course, throwing away fewer of your clothes starts with buying fewer of the wrongthings in the first place.
So next time you face an impulse buy or somethingthat pleases your eye, ask yourself these questions: how long will this piece lastmy wardrobe and for how many years am I gonna wear it? Be honest, not romantic.
How many times will I wear it before I toss it? And if I toss it, will I do sobecause I don't like this style anymore and times have changed, or will Itoss it because it's so delicate that it will have worn out? If any of thosequestions indicate that you won't have this piece for a long time, simply don'tbuy it.
A fantastic way to be green andsustainable is to buy a vintage or secondhand clothing.
I know, vintage clothes are often referred to as dead man's clothing andsome people are turned off by that; but personally, I love vintage second-handclothes.
For me it all started not with a mindset of wanting to be sustainable ingreen, but simply by striving for quality, not having a budget for it as a highschool student.
Now often, vintage clothes or second-handclothes have the connotation of you being broke and not being able to buysomething new that you can afford, however, even though I am now at a pointwhere I could afford to only have custom-made pieces for me, I still lovevintage clothing because they have wonderful fabrics, theyhave cuts in styles and details, that are simply hard to find these days and Ijust appreciate buying something that has a history.
So while it's true that avintage clothes are often a whole lot less expensive than new clothes, you alsobuy something that has already been produced and so you have a much smallerimpact; because most of the time these garments would just be recycled andreused to make into an inferior garment.
This way, you just stop buying new thingsand because of that, new manufacturers produce fewer new things.
To learn moreabout how to dress like a gentleman on a budget, check out this video and if youwant to see how I go about in a vintage store; what I look for so don't wastetime and find the stuff I want, please check out this in-depth guide here.
Furthermore, many vintage pieces are a rather high quality because after allthose years, they're still in good enough shape to be resold.
If you want to see myfavorite vintage items that I bought, or my overcoat collection which is reallymostly made of second-hand vintage pieces, check out this video here.
Personally, I'd also urge you to think outside of the realm of clothing.
You canfind fantastic vintage secondhand furniture glassware, China, and so forth;basically anything relative to interior design and dedicated stores at placeslike eBay or Etsy, but also local estate sales.
Today I love vintage goods notonly because of their quality, but also because of their unique character thatyou can't find in run-of-the-mill stuff that you buy in stores that's produced athousand times over.
No one else will have this dining room set with thosewonderful chairs, that you put together this stuff from Craigslist.
By shoppingvintage, you'll also become aware of great brands that have good quality thathave stood the test of time.
And once my wife and I, we bought a couch from Hancock and Moore that was the second hand and we loved it so much that any couchcome forward will be guaranteed from this manufacturer even if we have to buy itnew.
Unless of course, we reupholster the old couch because it has such good bones.
Which brings us to point number eight: Care and repair, don't just throw things away.
Well-cared-for clothes will not only last youlonger but also look much better with age.
So rather than just throwingsomething away ask yourself, can I fix it? Of course, it all has to make sense.
Mending a $70 H&M jacket for $100 is probably not wise because you could buy anew one for less and the jacket in general is not meant to be worn for along time.
The flipside is $2, 000 sport coat thatyou picked up for 25 bucks at Goodwill should be mended for $100 because ithas a whole lot of wear left in it.
So the big question is, how do you care foryour clothes and protect your investment and at the same time become more greenand sustainable? Well honestly, in most cases you don't even have to spend moneybringing your stuff to a dry cleaner.
Oftentimes, a bit of steam helps, a niceclothes brush and if you want to learn more about how you can really care foryour wardrobe please check out our in-depth series where you cover anything:from ironing to washing a sweater or even a suit; and also how to get rid ofsmells of vintage clothes that you may buy.
Some times repairing things alsomeans think of it outside of the box.
For example, I had this red sweater from PoloRalph Lauren that was pretty old and I loved wearing it and eventually I woreit out on my elbows so I just bought a bit of red leather and had elbow patchessewn on and now it has many more years of wear left in it.
Now, even if yourclothes do wear out, for example, your shirts where the interlining is visibleand the color is basically falling apart; you can still wear that stuff around thehouse, maybe for cooking, right when you have fat splatters or maybe for gardening.
Last but not the least, the ninth thing you can do to build a more sustainablewardrobe, is to invest in versatile pieces.
In the past, we introduced you to acapsule wardrobe and you can learn more about it here.
At its core, the idea of acapsule wardrobe is that, you can pair anything with anything else.
Now whilethat's very extreme, and you sometimes may want to wear a velvet dinner jacketthat doesn't combine with anything else in your wardrobe, there are certain itemssuch as a navy blazer that can be worn with a matching pair of pants for a suit, or maybe with a pair of jeans, a pair of chinos, or gray flannels.
It's just a very versatile garment and if you buy those pieces that work verywell with other stuff, it's going to be very easy for you to combine something.
It means you buy less, it also means you save money, and you're just going to bemuch happier because when you travel you are just very flexible in what you canwear.
For example, the same is true for a pair of cufflinks that you buy.
That goeswith a lot of outfits or let's say you invest in the Fort Belvedere belt systemwith different buckles and belts.
That way, you could buy three belts, maybethree buckles that give you nine options to basically cover you for allthe occasions you will need them for; so rather than buying nine belts, you'rebuying just three, but you get the versatility of nine.
So obviously, smartmodular systems of that nature will help you keep a smaller ecological footprintand build a greener and more sustainable wardrobe.
In today's video, I'm wearing a vintage tweed sport coat which I found at Brimfield, which is the largest outdoor flea market in the US.
It cost about 30 bucks, its madefrom a nice Donegal tweed and has these beautiful football leather buttons.
I'm combining it with a striped shirt from Italian maker Siniscalchi, which is a veryexpensive bespoke maker but I bought the shirt used about 15 years ago.
You know the fabric is very thin and breathable, this is of high quality andhas last until now.
I'm combining it with a Wool Challis Tie from FortBelvedere in Burgundy with Yellow Dots and a Wool Silk Pocket Square likewise from Fort Belvedere which you can both find in our shop here.
The tie baris vintage, I picked up for three bucks.
My cufflinks are modeled after MonkeyFist knots, they're made out of solid sterling silver that is heavily gold-plated and it will never rub off and I can pass them down to my great-grandchildren one day.
The ring I'm wearing is gold with a citrine stone they alsobought in Brimfield at a flea market at the then, current gold price.
My shoes arenot vintage but they're in a burgundy color which is extremely versatile and Ican wear this kind of color for a business event, I can wear it for acasual event and it's probably the most versatile shoe color a man can have.
To an anchor point of the outfit I chose to wear a pair of mustard yellowcotton chinos that I had made for me in Sri Lanka years ago.
I tied it togetherwith a pair of Shadow Striped Socks in Brown and Beige from Fort Belvedere, anda burgundy belt that matches the shoes and a gold buckle both from the FortBelvedere belt system which you can find in our shop here.