R E L O V E D x Charlotte Corstanje

The reason for living more sustainable. 

Charlotte Corstanje  

In 2013 Charlotte decided to do less shopping, especially clothes and shoes. This became as she was working daily with young and inspiring entrepreneurs. They were working sustainable and she felt selfish as she went shopping weekly by fast fashion chains and then bought an item and only whore it once. During that time, it was trending to not buy things at all, but that was too extreme, so she started to think and be more aware of her shopping behaviour. 

At that time she was teaching marketing and the following subjects were discussed with the students, how to communicate as a company and marketer to motivate consumers to buy. This was an interesting topic and gave her food for thought. Think before buying if you actually need it.  She started buying 2nd hand items but realised this kind a felt like normal shopping as you can buy as much as you can and only wear it once too.

Then she allowed herself to buy 2 items per year, but that quickly became 4 items. She started shopping at the beginning of the year, but realised she could not shop anything at all during that year as she didn’t want to regret items that were bought. Then she made a change to buy one item every 3 months. 

This way you shop sustainable since you actually think about what you need. When buying less items and you take care of them, it doesn’t need to be a sustainable brand per se. Since you buy less and the times you wear this item goes up, your footprint is a lot smaller.


Tips to create a sustainable wardrobe 

You need a few good basic items, white shirt, comfy sweater and a leather pants for example, items that fit you and you love to wear and which you can mix and match items easily. From there on you can build your wardrobe. I love to borrow clothes from the clothing library or friends for example, this way you extend and expend your wardrobe. Research has been done regarding borrowing clothes from friends and it seems that when borrowing clothes you also borrow a piece of their identity. You are experimenting also with your own identity and style. You can find out what you like and don’t like by borrowing items. 

High quality is also important for a sustainable wardrobe, as after giving birth, I prefer to wear cotton underwear not synthetic fabrics which were in my wardrobe. I now invest in this as these pieces will last longer in the end. 

For consumers with a small budget, the clothing library and borrowing from friends is the way to go sustainable.You do not have to buy sustainable to have a sustainable wardrobe. 

What is the biggest mistake to pursue to be sustainable  

Most think that sustainable fashion will be expensive, but it is not. You can buy 2nd hand items which are not outdated or dull. Thankfully that image of 2nd hand has passed since sadly for a long time most people had that preconception about 2nd hand fashion.

Who or what is your inspiration regarding sustainability?

Willa Stoutenbeek, she has her own PR company. Her ideas about buying clothes are inspiring. Elsien Gringhuis is an amazing designer and working on sustainability. She creates patterns for clothes which use most of the fabric, so less waste. Dutch designers in general are very inspring, they have different goals, use different techniques or fabrics, for example Iris van Herpen, she is a real crafts woman which is super inspiring.