Buy less and buy better.

Vivienne Westwood Buy less, dress up, swap clothes #VWSS21. Image: Twitter @FollowWestwood

Yes, you can! Five outfits a year will limit global warming

Researchers from Berlin’s Hot or Cool institute advice consumers to buy less clothes to reduce their carbon footprint.

Buy less and buy better.

Vivienne Westwood Buy less, dress up, swap clothes #VWSS21. Image: Twitter @FollowWestwood

To stay in line to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius researchers from Berlin’s Hot or Cool institute concluded that we should be buying five new outfits a year if nothing else changes.

With the rise of online shopping and fast-fashion online retailers, like Shein, we now excessively consume fashion, we consume more clothes at the cheapest prices, and at times we don’t need some of the clothes.

ALSO READ: Fast fashion giant Shein commits to cutting emissions

As reported by Vogue, an adequate wardrobe should consist of 74 outfits, when divided the outfits will include six work outfits, three homewear garments, three sportswear, four special occasions outfits, two new outfits are sufficient for festive occasion, and four outdoor jackets and a skirt or trousers.


When it comes to fashion consumption the report points out that it is developed countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan with the highest carbon footprint per capita, and the United Kingdom alone will need to reduce its consumption by 80% to limit global warming.

The report adds that by reducing outfits or if another action is taken we can go back to the consumption levels of 2010 remaining within the limit of fashion’s carbon budget of 1.5 degrees celsius.

“We’re consuming more and more fashion at cheaper prices, and with a shorter usage time per item – and it doesn’t add up in terms of climate,” said Lewis Akenji, managing director at the the Hot Or Cool Institute.


While buying less might be hard for shopaholics, the report suggests other behavioural methods to reduce their fashion footprint such as buying second-hand clothing.

“When you buy a second-hand garment you still have all the impacts associated with consumption; it still counts as a garment that you have to wash and eventually dispose of,” said Luca Coscieme, the Hot Or Cool Institute’s research programme manager.

ALSO READ: Shein factory employees work ’18-hour shifts’, paid ’36c per item’

Furthermore, consumers are advised to wash their clothes at 30 degrees celsius and skip washing them once in every three washes can also help reduce their carbon footprint,

Longevity in clothes also reduces their carbon footprint by 25% if the average life of clothing is extended by nine months, this will ensure your clothes are properly disposed of and do not end up in a landfill.