January 31, 2021

We all want to do our best to make our wardrobe more sustainable, but where do you start? We look into how the #30wearschallenge could be the perfect way to easily change our mindset by asking ourselves a few important questions before our next purchase! 

30 wears challenge

My favourite dress bought at a vintage kilo sale! As you can tell, I wear it a lot 😂

The 30 wears pledge is the best place to start if you are looking for an easy way to start dressing more sustainably.

This is my review of the 30 wears challenge, and my journey to be more sustainable in fashion. 

What is the 30 Wear challenge? 

The 30 wear challenge is a commitment to wearing a new item of clothing at least 30 times. It forces you to pause before clicking buy and ask yourself, ‘will I actually wear this 30 times?” If the answer is not 100% yes, then you don’t make the purchase. 

The 30 Wear pledge is created for those looking to reduce their fashion footprint without forgetting what’s important - how to be fashionably sustainable. It allows you to buy something new whilst avoiding the guilt. Afterall, most of us are not actually going to stop shopping.

By following the 30 wears rule, you are forcing yourself to stop and think. If you can honestly say that you will get 30 plus wears out of that new item, then it’s OK to make that purchase. But wearing clothes 30 times isn’t as easy as it might sound. 

My favourite jackets bought in charity shops

How does the 30 wears rule work? 

I hear what you are thinking… “30 wears, that’s easy”. Well it’s not quite as simple as it first sounds. Let’s break it down. 

30 clothing challenge

I promise I don't only wear second hand but this is another favourite of mine found at a car boot. Bit of wear and tear but still so cosy.

Admittedly wearing clothes 30 times doesn’t really sound like a lot, but if you were to wear the same item of clothing once a week, it would take 7 and a half months before you had achieved the 30 wear target. 

Wearing clothes 30 times may be easier to do over years, but then the quality of the item becomes more important. Sadly, many fast fashion pieces are just not built to last, so you should also factor in the quality of the item when asking whether you will wear clothes 30 times. 


30 wears challenge
Monochrome stripes are always a winner and can go with anything. I love a high neck but I'm getting a little elastic ruffling from wearing it too much!

How many times is the average piece of clothing worn? 

The average piece of clothing is worn around 120 times globally. This has been decreasing rapidly over recent years, in 2002 this number was around 200 times. 

It also hides the fact that this is drastically lower in high income countries. America for example is around a quarter of the global average

Sadly, this isn’t any different in Europe. A survey of 2000 women in the United Kingdom found that respondents wore an item an average of 7 times.

how to be fashionably sustainable

My mum's jumper is the perfect throw on item - this one has certainly been worn over 30 times!

Social media is one reason why we are wearing clothes less, as many of us feel required to post something new rather than repeat what we have shared before. This is fuelled by cheap, fast fashion designed to last only a few wears. 

If your wardrobe is full of old clothes that never get worn, you are not alone. The average UK household owns over £4000 of clothes, around 30% of which is not used. If we managed to extend the usable lifespan of our clothes by just 3 months, we would reduce our carbon, water and waste footprints by around 5-10%. This is why we need the 30 wears campaign. 

Although I like to think I am fairly good, when I have actually gone through my wardrobe there are many items which I have only worn a small handful of times. 

how to do slow fashion

Another vintage shop find, these shorts have been everywhere with me - here they are in New Zealand

How did the 30 wears challenge start? 

This genius idea was created by Livia Firth, self described professional agitator and the Founder of Eco-Age, as well as Executive Producer of The True Cost.

She has successfully managed to challenge thousands of us to embrace slow fashion and rethink our shopping habits by asking one simple question - Will I wear this at least 30 times?

If you are new to the world of sustainable fashion and don’t know where to start, this is an easy way to dress more sustainably without having to spend hours researching the ethics behind a company or give up buying clothes all together. 

Looking for other ways to dress sustainably or build your own sustainable wardrobe? We have 27 pro tips here

30 wears challenge

A great Depop find, this fleece's zip had broken but that didn't mean it's life was over. Repaired the zip and off it goes with Benji. Plus it fits Tom too!

What else can I do to be more fashionably sustainable? 

As well as asking if you will wear clothes 30 times, we have a few easy tips to dress more sustainably.

how to do slow fashion
  • What will I wear with it? 
  • Can you pair it with things you already own in your wardrobe? If not, then it might not be a wise purchase as you may struggle to achieve 30 wears.

  • Is it good quality and will last? 
  • If it’s not good quality, it likely won’t last 30 wears. You will be forced to break your 30 wears pledge, or try to wear it until it falls apart.

  • Will it soon go out of fashion
  • Will I still want to wear it in 6 months, or am I buying it to follow a short lived trend? All of us buy things on a spur of a moment impulse, but if it’s likely to go out of fashion or is only suitable for the hottest summer days (important if you live in rainy England), then you likely won’t achieve 30 plus wears.

    Looking for more inspiration to dress more sustainably? Want to do more than the 30 clothing challenge? We have created a list of 27 ideas to create your own sustainable wardrobe to help in your journey to be more sustainable in fashion.

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