Eco-Activist Finn Ni Fhaolain Shares 6 Tips On Dressing More Sustainably This Autumn

With #SecondhandSeptember in full swing, Finn shares how you can make sure you're dressing more consciously all year round.

September feels like the month that everyone needs to get their “life together”. For one reason or another, it’s seen as the month to restart and refocus. And although this is a good thing, starting fresh is often associated with a need for new things to feel like it’s a new beginning.

However, telling yourself that you need to buy new journals, new clothes and new items in order to feel productive isn’t only unsustainable, but it’ll also leave you with less money and more clutter.

Not really ideal after all.

So, what’s the solution to this? It’s pretty simple, skip out on the idea that you have to have new things in your life to have a fresh start, especially with clothes.

Eco-activist, marine scientist, surfer, chef and best-selling author Finn Ni Fhaolain has some tips on how you can make the most of #SecondhandSeptember with your wardrobe. Here are her tips on how to make a fresh wardrobe sustainable, ethical and more pocket friendly.


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Buy well-made natural fabrics

Finn recommends looking for the likes of cotton, silk, wool, jute and linen etc. Buying clothes that you know are made of great materials will ensure they last you and look great for a long time, rather than balling up and making you go off and buy another cheap version, there are always some hidden gems in charity shops and vintage stores so keep an eye out for the good stuff and you’ll be delighted with your bargain.

Shop outside your size range

When shopping second hand your choices may be limited if you’re sticking to the size you’d usually buy in shops. There may not be a whole lot of size 10’s in the shop but expanding your size range can give you opportunities to get a wider range of buys with different fits , oversized is so in right now! Finn says she shops anywhere between size 6-14 UK and even recommends shopping in the men’s section. We are sold!

Tailor your clothes

If something doesn’t quite fit but has potential you can always upcycle it at the tailors. Finn says, “have items mended, hems raised, waists tucked etc”, there are so many changes you can make and come out with something you really love. This can work for some tired items you already own too, shorten that dress, crop those trousers, make the most of the pre-owned!

Look for good quality brands

You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again, quality over quantity! Search the second hand stores for some great brands they’ll always be there, or if you’re buying new, spend that

extra immediate money to get something of great quality you know will last you. Finn says, “My wardrobe is mostly designer, sustainable and natural high quality fibre pieces and I probably spend a 10th or less than what the average person would spend a year on poorer quality high street items.”

Look after your clothes

It is so important to read instructions and follow them in the care of your clothing. Finn says the difference in how you care for your items can allow them to “last you years to decades, not just a few washes”. Make that extra effort and it’ll be worth it guys!

Repair and re-wear

Finn says she gets her leather boots re-soled every season in the cobblers. This is an excellent idea if you’ve a good pair you really love and want to keep them in good shape, and save money on a new pair. “Not only are you supporting the second hand economy you’re also supporting traditional trade industries in your local communities like dressmakers and cobblers” she says.

There are lots of ways to support second hand while shopping, Finn recommends charity shops which are full of gems, if you’re looking for something a little more up market shops like Siopella provide some pre-loved designer bits and even online stores like Depop and Thrifty can help you be sustainable while shopping from home.

Check out more on #SecondhandSeptember here

Words: Jade Carpenter