Such a big part of the battle against fast fashion is trying to get major stores to create policies for more robust clothes, from ethical and sustainable sources. We need to create a fashion market that doesn’t mean changing your wardrobe every season.

However, sometimes we neglect the parts that start at home. After all, it’s us who need to start seeing garments as pieces for life. Here are some tips to start extending your clothes’ life cycles.

Wash your clothes correctly

Make sure you’re checking the labels properly and washing your clothes in the right way. Around a third of the UK are no longer wearing items of clothing from their wardrobe because they’re not following the washing, drying or ironing labels in clothes – this works out to around 39 million items that haven’t been worn in the past year. Did you know spandex should be washed on a delicate cycle? And you can refresh your clothes without washing them? Read up about the ways that each fabric likes to be treated on  WRAP’s love your clothes site  which is full of amazing resources. 

Don’t throw out

Charity shops are not always the easy excuse we all thought, as donated clothes are still sadly often binned due to lack of time and resources. If a piece isn’t in style this season don’t throw it out – one of my most complimented tops is my Mum’s old Dorothy Perkins jumper from 1989, which five years ago was the height of bad fashion. Trends always come back around (can’t wait for the legwarmers and tunics rehash circa 2008…).

If it really is time to let those jeans go, make sure it’s in a clean and sellable state before donating, or perhaps try a swap shop or selling online first to guarantee a proper rehoming.

Repairing can be so easy

My coat has a broken zip and the pocket fell off. My life is a mess. But I used my very basic year 8 needlework skills to repair the heck out of that thing. The fact that my stitching is the completely wrong colour of green doesn’t even matter: it makes the coat a unique piece, and people who stand on my left can’t even see it.

If you’d rather have your repairs blend in with the classy people of the world, there are a ton of online tutorials, and I even got another jacket properly resized and repaired for only £9 – cheaper than replacing any day.

Always have a quick online check if something can be repaired before binning. Have clear nail varnish for little tight ladders, as well as vinegar, baking soda and super glue for other mishaps.

Invest in your pieces

This doesn’t mean clearing your bank account on a new item of clothing, just doing some checks on materials and quality.

You’ll most likely have to spend a bit more, but in the long run it’s worth it – a good pair of boots will outlast four of a lesser quality, and that’s not even considering the amount of time and energy to have to dispose and replace. Shoe shopping is mad effort. This is the same with any other items in your wardrobe, especially those ‘staple’ pieces. 

Get your DIY on

Prevention is better than the cure, so no need to go overboard, but checkout weather proofing and other treatments for things such as fancy shoes. You can also go full project runway and look into customisation and upcycling for easy modernisation and upcycling of your pieces. Our favourite clothing save is redying black jeans – read our how to guide on the blog. 

Respect your clothing

If your dearest relative gifted you a fancy but delicate one-off garment, you might wait a little longer between washes, hang it gently, and generally look after it. Why not treat all your clothes this way? Change up your mindset so that you’re not treating your clothes like their disposable, and a little more like they’re treasured items. After all, they’re doing you a big favour by not disintegrating off your body and embarrassing you in day to day life, so say thank you!

Break the fast fashion cycle and reduce the amount of clothes going to landfill with these simple tips to increasing the longevity of your clothing.

We’d love to know how you get on – tweet us @revival_collect and tag @revival.collective in your instas.