Sustainable Ways To Update Your Wardrobe When Your Body Changes

A woman's size changes approximately 31 times throughout her life, according to Fits Me. When articles of clothing no longer fit, there is the potential for hundreds of items to end up in landfills and ultimately harm the earth. While we cannot prevent our bodies from changing and buying new clothes that give us the most confidence isn't a bad thing, it is important to always consider the earth when shopping. We can change how we update our wardrobes, whether that be with how we choose to deal with getting rid of our old clothing or how we go about buying new pieces.

Fashion is one of the leading causes of pollution, as the average person throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year (via CALPIRG). There are simple ways you can reduce this number and update your wardrobe at the same time. If you are looking to sustainably change your wardrobe as your body changes, look no further.

Keep what you can

While it may sound odd, you can update your wardrobe while keeping some of your old pieces. Some pieces are flexible enough to stretch and shift as your body changes. You can keep these pieces in rotation on your wardrobe and style them differently than you would have before. For example, a t-shirt may fit you as your belly stretches, but your button-down flannel may not. Instead, style the button-down flannel wrapped around your waist or wear it open if it doesn't button (via MasterClass). This may not be a traditional way to wear the item but it gives you a whole new outfit.

Resell and donate clothes that don't fit

Never throw clothing that no longer fits you. Instead, try to resell them or donate them. Even items that seem to have no more wear in them may be able to be recycled. As they always say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Local thrift stores are always taking donations, but you can also make a quick buck and ensure an item will be worn by selling directly to others on Facebook Marketplace or on a resale app such as Depop. You can also fund your new wardrobe with this quick cash, as some resellers make upwards of $10,000 each month on the app (via Business Insider).

Thrift new-to-you clothing

Just as you can sell and donate your clothes to others, you can also buy other's used clothing. It is now easier than ever to thrift clothing, as apps like ThredUp allow you to thrift from home. Thrifting will allow you to find unique pieces at a lower price and prevent you from spending tons of money on new clothing as your body changes. It is also a great way to sustainably experiment with new styles, as you aren't purchasing new pieces and can resell the pieces easily. "I've tried every single type of material, every single type of cut, every single type of shape, every single type of proportion and just constantly experienced it, see how I felt in it," senior content producer Michaela Malvasio told The Zoe Report.

Shop for future you

If your body changes size frequently, as most people's bodies do, it is best to shop for pieces that are flexible and will fit you throughout different fluctuations. Whether that be super stretchy bodycon pieces or oversized pieces that will fit in different ways no matter your size. Aja Barber is a London-based author who says she never buys clothing that fits her perfectly anymore, instead, she always factors in how her life will be in the future. "We shouldn't be buying just for now, we should be buying with the idea that we will have this item for five or six years at least," she said (via The Zoe Report).

Research your favorite brands

Shopping for some new pieces, such as workout clothing and undergarments, isn't a bad thing. Some of your favorite brands may actually sustainably produce these items. It is always best practice to research a brand's practices before purchasing from them. For example, good on you is a directory for sustainable clothing brands. The directory rates Girlfriends Collective, a brand that sells activewear up to a size 6X, as a four out of five for its use of eco-friendly materials. Virtually any brand you are interested in is rated on the good on you website for how they treat people, the planet, and animals.