How to Live Your Life by an ESYS Major: Fashion and Sustainability

written by: Nadia Link, Lifestyle Contributing Columnist

I am the last person you should take fashion advice from. Whenever my friends ask me, “which one looks better?” my answer usually contrasts with the group consensus. My suggestion would lead to you being underdressed for the occasion. My closet looks as empty as someone who hasn’t done laundry in months, and what’s there mostly consists of different-colored long sleeve T-shirts with an occasional V-neck for when I feel like making a fashion statement.

So rather than giving you advice on what to wear, I will give you advice on how to make the most of whatever assortment of fabric you choose to adorn your body with.

How frequently do you go shopping? Do you always need something new to add to your wardrobe? Probably not. Unless someone can make that dad joke about your clothes being so holy that they belong in a church, you can probably make do with whatever you already have. When it really comes down to it, people won’t notice you re-wearing clothes if you cycle through everything over the course of a few weeks, especially if you switch up how you wear it. Throw on a scarf or some hard core necklaces with the other pair of shoes that you own. Well don’t you feel fancy now?

I know some of you change your wardrobe frequently due to a change in style. What do you do with the clothes you no longer want? Donate them. Even better, donate them to one of those used clothing stores like thredup.com, Crossroads Trading Co. or Thrift Trader where you receive cash or credit for your clothes that you can put toward buying used clothes in excellent condition. By doing this you save money on your new wardrobe, and you give back by reducing the waste from clothes that are trashed with every new fashion season. Some people may like last season’s fashion more than what’s currently trendy, so it’s the perfect solution for them as well. Your used clothes will go to good use.

Buying new clothes every season gets expensive and wasteful quickly. By donating what doesn’t match your taste and buying gently used clothing from thrifty boutiques, you save money and reduce fabric waste. Try to avoid buying a new top for every day of the month, and instead purchase accessory pieces like scarves to change up how a certain top is styled. If you do it just right, people won’t even notice that you’re still just wearing a plain T-shirt and rather that the T-shirt/scarf combo really looks “on point.”