Welcome back to my blog, I am so excited to share with you today some of my top tips for creating a perfect wardrobe which is both sustainable and stylish!
1 Be eco conscious when shopping
This essentially just means have an eco mindset when buying clothes and think about whether purchasing a particular item of clothing will be a green purchase or not! There are several things to take into account when purchasing clothes and I would also like to stress that there is more than one piece of criteria to fulfil in order to classify a purchase as ‘green.’
The most important criteria of ensuring a green purchase is considering the item to be sourced sustainably. Try to refrain from purchasing fast fashion, as these items of clothing are usually completely unsustainable from the material they are made from, to the wages of workers. The entire supply chain and manufacturing process used to create these garments is environmentally damaging and unethical. Fortunately, you can avoid making fast fashion purchases by purchasing from charity shops or online second hand apps, ensuring you are saving a piece of clothing from landfill and promoting a circular economy. Buying pre-loved is a a great way to ensure you are being sustainable and often means you will save money too!
Another alternative to thrifting to ensure a green purchase, is buying from eco businesses. You will want to check out their website and credentials, as unfortunately a lot of brands pose as sustainable businesses in a form of ‘greenwashing.’ So be sure to check their products are made from recycled materials or environmentally friendly fibres. It is also great if the brand plants a tree with each purchase or has partnered with another organisation to help combat the climate crisis. Eco businesses should also pay their workers fair wages and package their products sustainably.
If you are making green purchases, you are already on your way to curating a perfect capsule wardrobe! However, there is no need to dispose of items of clothing which were fast fashion purchases, as the most sustainable thing you can do is keep everything you already own and essentially, ‘shop you own wardrobe,’ by refraining from making new purchases.
2. Stick to basics and staple items
When first creating a capsule wardrobe, you will want to ensure you purchase lots of ‘basics.’ These items of clothing are really great, as they are versatile and can be paired easily with anything. If you are in the process of starting to create your capsule wardrobe, these pieces are really good for building the foundation before you add more unique and perhaps, patterned or colourful clothing. I find that my ‘basics’ clothing are so versatile that they can be worn in so many ways or in a lot of different outfit combinations. This is really good, as ensures I will most likely get thirty wears out of the piece of clothing. Thirty wears is considered an ideal goal to aim towards with your clothing, as it ensures you are not only eco conscious by wearing the clothing until it is old and torn, but also that you are cost-effective and get your money’s worth! I would recommend thinking about whether you will get thirty wears out of clothing the next time you go shopping, as this way you will avoid making unnecessary purchases.
I find that I wear my basic clothes most often, especially when I am staying home. Due to the versatility of basics, I not only wear them casually by dressing down, but I can also pair them with unique pieces! I have a black ‘basic’ turtleneck which I wear very often, as I can wear it with unique and colourful trousers, but also layer it with dresses. This is a great way to avoid wearing clothes in just one season, as I was able to make good use of a summer dress by pairing these items of clothing together to keep warm in winter. When you next go shopping look out for basics, such as a plain turtleneck. You may find some perfect for layering and wearing with other pieces of clothing! I love minimalistic basics, as I often find these are the pieces of clothing you are also more likely to ‘need’ than that sparkly dress you ‘want’ to wear for a one off occasion.
I would also recommend looking for staple items when creating your eco conscious wardrobe! I found a vegan black leather jacket on depop for £10 which I am able to pair with so many outfits. Having a staple item is so important, because these are the types of clothes you will wear repeatedly!
3. Choose vintage clothes and designer clothes
If you are not into Y2K or other trends, this might not be necessary. However, if you do like edgy clothing and use second hand apps or go thrifting often, you should try and look for vintage clothes. Vintage clothing is great, because you can look both cool and sustainable! It is the best way to conform to the fashion industry’s unethical release of new trends, but in an eco conscious way.
One aspect of vintage clothing that I love is that these pieces of clothing are usually much better quality than other newer pieces of clothing, especially fast fashion garments which are likely to tear or break easily. This is really great, as ensures that your vintage clothes will last a long time. Longevity is so important, since clothes are an investment and ideally, should last for a lifetime. I find that vintage pieces of clothing are often in great condition, especially considering they have been well worn in the past and are very much ‘pre-loved’ items, just as designer pieces are too.
If you are lucky, you may be able to get vintage or designer pieces for a fraction of the price than if bought new! Once while scouring Depop, I found a Ralph Lauren cable knit for £10 on Age UK’s account. It was so cheap because it was well worn and had a few holes, however, other than that it was in perfect condition and over £100 cheaper than if I had bought it through Ralph Lauren. This just goes to prove that if you look hard enough online or in store, you can find some real gems! However, always be wary of counterfeits and be sure to check the authenticity of designer pieces before making a purchase.
4. Buy clothes out of season
This may seem a strange one, because why would anyone buy a summer dress when it’s snowing in December? As I have already shared, you may find that you can layer the dress with a jumper you already own. However, the main reason I would recommend buying clothes out of season, is you are often able to get these items of clothing for a reduced price if you find them directly on a second hand clothing app or in a thrifting store, simply because no one else will buy them. I often buy my pre-loved dresses from depop or vinted in winter, as they are great prices and I can already envision the outfits I will create using them.
Finally, you don’t always need a capsule wardrobe! Some other eco friendly ways to buy or wear clothes include participating in clothes swaps or renting clothes. I love clothes swaps, since they are inexpensive and ensure you are able to borrow a piece of clothing you like in a sustainable way! I often swap clothes with my sisters, since we are similar sizes and like the same styles. I even sometimes wear some of my mum’s clothes she no longer wears or likes.
Renting clothes is also a great eco alternative to curating a capsule wardrobe. I would recommend renting clothes for an important occasion, since the clothes listed on rental website are usually high end and expensive. I love that renting clothes promotes a circular economy, encourages people to reduce fashion consumption and reduces the number of unnecessary fashion purchases made. The best aspect of renting clothes has to be that the clothes are worn repeatedly and hence, thirty wears is always achieved.
I hope you liked this blog and learned something new! Let me know what you thought in the comments.
Have a great day! Beth