Erin Christie

Years of impulse shopping and changing trends can make for wardrobes filled with unused fashion. A study recently released by Australian label David Lawrence shows that there is a total of 52 million unworn items among the wardrobes of the nation. The same study found that the main excuses for wasted garments were the lack of a suitable occasion, items that didn’t fit or suit the individual who bought them, nothing to match the item, or that it was no longer in fashion. However, these situations need to be avoided so that Australians can stop contributing to wasteful fast fashion.

If you need to rid yourself of unworn or unwanted items, consider donating them. St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army are always looking for clothes donations, so that they can re-sell at cheap prices to those in need. Or, even sell the clothes yourself, especially the ones that have never been worn. Facebook has a new Marketplace feature that allows for this situation, and other options include, or private organisation among family and friends to take the clothes off your hands. You may not make back the original money spent, but it’ll be worthwhile knowing that the clothes will now be worn rather than wasted.

Once you have solved the problem of unworn clothes, it’s important to be mindful about your contribution to wasteful fast fashion and stop yourself. If you identify as a shopaholic, there are ways to work around your obsession to save your money and your wardrobe space. Begin by looking at what you do have. Natalie Wood, creative director at David Lawrence, suggests building ‘capsule wardrobes’; sets of clothes that work together across several occasions. Although a helpful organisation method, this may not remove the desire to keep buying new items. To help with this, writing yourself a budget with a strict limit on how much money you can put towards clothes each period will also help you pull things into perspective. Another suggestion included in the research was to really consider what you want to buy; to wait a day after the original impulse. If you still want it, go for it, just remain mindful of waste.

These tips will help you keep a clear wardrobe and a clear idea on what you need and what you’re wasting. It’s okay to enjoy a passion for fashion, just avoid any penchant for waste.