Can adopting Scandinavian habits actually lead you to a more sustainable lifestyle? What is sustainable living? And how can we naturally implement it in our lifestyle?
During the years I’ve lived in Denmark, I did my best to adopt Scandinavian habits that fit with my lifestyle. As I wrote in my previous post ,“5 Scandinavian habits to make your life healthier and happier”, not only did those habits improve my way of living, but it also slowly lead to a more sustainable way of living as well. In my experience, Denmark has a high rate of people that adhere to sustainable living. Danes in general do care a lot about the environment and I am happy that I am slowly incorporating it into my own lifestyle.
Sustainable used to be a word that scared me so much in the past, it had so large implications in my head, and it was something that I thought I would never be able to embrace in my lifestyle. But what does sustainable living actually mean?
Sustainable living describes a lifestyle in which we reduce our natural and personal resources to a minimum with a goal of less environmental damage. As sustainablefriends.Com says,
“To live sustainably, we must use less of the earth’s natural resources, replenish what we can and produce less polluting waste.”
Over time I discovered that sustainable living doesn’t necessarily require drastic changes into your lifestyle, with just a few little ones you can make a big improvement both for the environment and yourself. So, let’s talk first about how we can implement a sustainable living in the fashion world.
The fashion industry has long had a big impact on our environment, unfortunately not a very good one. Fast fashion brands use textile dyeing which contributes to water pollution, inefficient practices and exploitation of labour. I used to be a big fan of fast fashion brands myself and sometimes I still get caught up in the temptation to always buy more clothes, but at the end of the day, I realise that many of those items I might wear once and then end up not loving them anymore. Do you have clothes that you only wore once or twice and then confined to a spot at the back of your closet?
On the other hand, sustainable fashion produces clothes, shoes and accessories in an environmentally and social-economically way and encourages sustainable consumption and use patterns, that can offer us a different behaviour toward the item. To be honest, I know that lately lots of sustainable brands have been popping up, personally I’ve worked with two so far, one of them you can check out HERE. The difference is that even though they are a little more pricey, you actually get more for the money and the items often have a special meaning and backstory. For example, to me everything that is handmade such as this for example, HERE and carefully picked is something that I will keep in my closet forever.
But even the big fast fashion brands such as H.M and Mango, have made sustainable collections that you can purchase for a decent price.
You are probably wondering, is a wardrobe palette really important? And how will that help with sustainable living?
By having a wardrobe palette I mean that you should pick a few colors for your clothes and build your wardrobe according to that palette. If you like wearing colourful outfits that’s great but then find a balance between them or simply focus on colors you really like to wear. In my first year of blogging, I bought lots of items that were trend inspired, had a lot of colors and sophisticated designs, but I often ended up using them just once and then recycling them. But starting with last year I asked myself, what are the colors that best fit my personal? So I started buying mostly whites, blacks, beige, neutrals and a hint of mint or other colors that match with these colors. I love red pieces and am often tempted to buy them, but I just don’t see myself wearing it. I prefer buying only pieces that I will definitely wear. I think this way it helps define my personal style as well and it’s easier to pick outfits, because I know what I have in my wardrobe and I wear items that I really really like.
As a bonus, it has also helped me spend less money on clothes which is sustainable and invest more in pieces that have a meaning to me.
How do you recycle your clothes ?
Throwing away clothes is a waste and something that doesn’t benefit the environment at all. How many times have you thrown away a pair of jeans that didn’t fit or pieces that you didn’t like, raise your hand! I am guilty of this as well. True story, until I got stabilised in Denmark, I was moving a lot from country to country and to different places and I was always throwing out clothes so I don’t have to carry so much.
But what other option do we have? There are actually plenty that can not only benefit the environment but also other people! If you have a second hand market nearby I suggest you book a space and sell what you don’t want to wear anymore. You won’t get rich from selling your clothes, accessories or even makeup but at least someone else can re-use the pieces. I do it once every 3 months and I don’t throw anything away anymore. Other ways that you can contribute to a sustainable living is: donate your unwanted clothes to charity, rework and use them for other purposes, or recycle them to organizations that can reuse the fabric for other purposes as well.
Can you think of other great ways of getting rid of unwanted clothes and accessories?
I find that the correlation between Scandinavian lifestyle and Sustainable living is very big and I want to share more great examples, you can easily implement into your lifestyle. However, life is short and way too long posts can become a bit too much to read; therefore, I am splitting this post in two. I will be posting the rest of the Scandinavian Guide to Sustainable living habits in the next 2 weeks, stick around for part two and sign up for my newsletter if you want to be notified when it’s posted.
Follow my fashion journey on my Instagram account, HERE.