10 ways to rework your wardrobe instead of buying new

Australians spend 5.1 billion dollars on fashion each year, and the average household will waste $1226 on clothing items purchased but unused.

Our compulsive buying habits have even been given a name,"oniomania". We donate huge amounts of unwated clothing. But, 12.5 million kilos of this is unsuitable for reuse and ends up in landfill.

“It has become apparent that, for some, shopping and buying are the activities that give pleasure while actually consuming the goods bought is secondary and may not take place at all.”
- The Australia Institute

How do you get that new car smell (new clothes smell?), working only with what you already have? The devil is in the detail.

Fran Lebowitz, owner of great glasses, bestower of wisdom, and my own personal muse, once said, "women think that clothes fit them if they can fit into them. But that's not at all what fit means".

So, I present 10 ways to rework your wardrobe without buying new. Not only will you save money, but you won't be contributing further to the harmful impacts consumerism has on our planet.


The cuff roll is the ultimate accessory. Creative director and president of J.Crew, Jennifer Lyons gives away her trade secrets in this nifty little video.

The trick works for long sleeves too!


How to tuck, tie, and twist your shirt

Tying a shirt at the waistline seems simple, but it's a nice alternative to the old fashion tuck.


To keep some definition around your waist with a tucked button-down shirt, do a quick tie in the middle then tuck up the front and back.


Pop a tighter fitting t-shirt over a dress to make it look like a shirt-skirt combo. Just give it a little twist and tuck it under to keep it in place.


Twist your T-Shirt before tucking it into your jeans for a nonchalant; it just sits like this kind of vibe.


Pants and Jeans

I'm all about the 80's peg roll, or tight roll as it's sometimes called. Channelling the breakfast club is easy. Pop on your jeans and grab one side of the excess fabric on the ankle, pull it across diagonally and fold up, and then repeat and tuck up again. Check out an instructional video here.


To tuck non-skinny jeans into boots, cuff the legs up once, pull the bottom of the excess fabric of the ankle diagonally across the leg then tuck it into some tight long(ish) socks.



Get creative with the way you tie your belt, tutorials here.


Finally, there's more than one-way to wrap a scarf, here's 20!


[Header Image: Julia Ceasar]

READ THIS NEXT: It's time to talk about conscious consuming

1 Million Women is more than our name, it's our goal! We're building a movement of strong, inspirational women acting on climate change by leading low-carbon lives. To make sure that our message has an impact, we need more women adding their voice. We need to be louder. Joining us online means your voice and actions can be counted. We need you.

Are you already a 1 Million Women member? Do you often shop your own wardrobe?

Why not add this activity to your low-carbon living dashboard, and start tracking your progress on how much pollution you are saving. Just click button below.

What you can do

Reduce what you buy and always ask: Do I really need this?

You can reduce your overall consumption by questioning all significant purchases, resisting impulse buying and shopping/restyling your own wardrobe.

2,930 Tonnes of CO2
savings pledged
Make this a habit

Bindi Donnelly Former Head of Digital Suggest an article Send us an email