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Take action and become a role model

Through our daily choices, we all have a role to play in transforming the textiles sector and making it more sustainable. Become a role model, help make fast fashion out of fashion – and inspire others by sharing examples of your actions!

woman folding clothes
Start simple

The first and easiest thing is don’t buy too many clothes! Think about how often you will wear a new piece of clothing. If you don’t think you will wear it a least 30 times, don’t purchase it.

Woman hanging clothes on clothes rack
Hang ‘em up

Look after the clothes you already have. Hang them up at the end of the day. Wear them until they wear out, don’t forget them in the back of your closet. And dial down the temperature on the washing machine to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect colours from running. Washing at a lower temperature also means less wear of the material.

Policy Dialogue between Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner, and young people - European Year of Youth 2022

I really believe that we could get more people on board by using storytelling to communicate this link between sustainability and fashion more efficiently.

Lidia Martin Velasco (ES), Sustainability Consultant
Natalie Haig

I made a magazine on secondhand fashion so we can appeal to young people through aesthetic visual and convey something new to them that they will accept.

Natalie Haig (DK), Creative Director of Proteus Magazine
Woman putting used cloth in donation box
Clear out your closet

Regularly go through your wardrobe to see what you really need and give any clothes you don’t wear a second lease of life by selling them or donating to charity.

Hand sewing torn cloth
Be creative

Patch up and repair your clothing. Personalise an old garment or repurpose it into something else. Accessorise! Learn to make your own clothes to really show off your own unique style.

I am a volunteer but I also started a small business of fashion design, namely sustainable because it’s oriented at upcycling.

Paul van Hoorn (BE), Entrepreneur
Cloth swapping rack
Swap with friends

Swap unused clothes with friends and family or organise an event at your school, college or workplace. Exchange clothing with like-minded people. Clothes swapping apps can be found online.

Woman trying wedding dress in shop
Rent something special

You don’t need to splash out on new clothes for school ceremonies, weddings or other special events. Simply rent something spectacular from an online clothes rental service.

Radost Lozanova

I am a textile artist, in my free time I like to customize jeans, shoes etc. I also volunteer in various organisations and I try to promote sustainable fashion by organising clothing swaps or other events and workshops.

Radost Lozanova (BG), Textile artist and student
Organic cotton tag on knitted cloth
Quality not quantity

If you do need to buy something new, invest in the best quality with a timeless ‘classic look’. Make sure it will last and remain in style longer than cheaper fast fashion styles. This way, you save money and create less waste in the long run.

Man looking for clothes on clothes rack
Be a part of history

When buying second-hand try and find vintage clothes. They not only look cool and stylish they are also better quality with details you can’t find on today's garments. They were made to last and be passed on, not to fall apart. Vintage has history and tells a story, which you can be part of.

Policy Dialogue between Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner, and young people - European Year of Youth 2022

What I think sustainability means is not only eco-friendly fabrics and natural materials, but it also means loving an item and attaching a dear memory to it, associating it with something you love, so it has a longer life.

Roxana Puriș-Topciov (RO), Slow fashion brand founder

For about 6 years I have been promoting ideas of responsible fashion in Ukraine and implementing sustainable solutions through global cooperations.

Daria Marusyk (UA), Designer & co-founder of BE SUSTAINABLE! Fashion Summit
Young woman looking for clothes on cloth shelf
Bring back the dead

Check out online auctions for ‘deadstock’ clothing that was never sold due to small defects or over supply. Similarly, end-of-line clothing can be found advertised online or in charity shops.

Woman surfing on her mobile phone
Only what you need

If you shop online, only order garments you aim to keep. Items you return may not be sold again but instead incinerated to avoid paying handling costs.

George Kyrou

I am a fashion activist and social entrepreneur, I run my own clothing brand where we focus on upcycling military camouflage into new products.

George Kyrou (CY), Social entrepreneur’