Based on the fact a truly sustainable wardrobe hinges on the idea that garments are worn and loved for decades, can maternity wear ever actually be sustainable? After all, clothing during pregnancy is only really needed for six to 12 months, which is a pretty short lifespan when it comes to fashion. It is tempting to binge on new clothes when pregnant, only to ditch them as soon as the little one arrives.
We recently had the privilege of photographing sustainable fashion guru, Jane Shields who has spent years thinking about how to reduce the impact her clothing has on the planet. Nowadays, Jane has a paired down, single rail of clothes with about 40-50 items that can be mixed and matched easily.
Jane also happens to be pregnant, so she was full of helpful hints and tips around how to keep your wardrobe sustainable and ethical during and post pregnancy. She shared her five top recommendations with us…
Re-organise your wardrobe
The best place to start is with your current clothes. Jane recommends taking everything out and packing away fitted garments that definitely won’t fit, so you can see if there are bigger, baggier pieces that will still be suitable whilst pregnant.
Make a “belly band”
A belly band is a very simple band of material that goes over your baby bump and enables you to continue wearing your favourite non-maternity tops. Jane handmade one from a simple pattern available at A Beautiful Mess.
Borrow from friends
Pretty straight forward, seek out any previously pregnant friends and ask if they have any spare maternity wear.
Buy second hand
Make friends with Vinted and eBay. If you do need to add something new to your wardrobe, buy out of the mass of garments already out there. Jane picked up a lovely maternity jumper that was originally from Topshop from eBay.
Choose multi-functional items
If you do need to buy something brand new, select items that can be used post pregnancy too. For example, Jane has a Frugi maternity dress that has enough room for bump and can be used during breastfeeding. Shopping carefully means the items have more longevity once baby arrives. Of course, when buying new, standard sustainable fashion guidance applies – so look for brands with transparent production methods and well-sourced materials. Frugi ticks both of those boxes.
Have a nosy around Jane’s sustainable maternity wardrobe here: https://myindiewardrobe.com/2019/08/30/jane/