Here is a helpful guide with the most important steps to curate an eco-friendly wardrobe that looks great and lasts a long time.
The lifespan of fashion trends is much shorter now than it used to be. It feels like big mainstream brands put out new collections every month, and it’s really hard to keep up. Besides having a big negative impact on the environment, fast fashion also affects our finances.
Thankfully, more and more people are refocusing their energy towards shopping smarter and being more mindful about what they buy. You might have already considered making the transition, but the thought is still scary.
The idea that you won’t be able to wear your favorite brands may be daunting. But it isn’t as hard as you might think.
Choosing sustainability is an everyday effort. Every decision you make can impact your process.
From the jeans you wear every day, the jewelry you buy for special occasions, even the things you choose to gift your parents on their 30th anniversary, all make a difference.
I also love design of all kinds – including interior design and fashion design.
So I decided to create a quick guide with steps to curate an eco-friendly wardrobe.
To help you begin your journey and stay on the right path, I’ve rounded up 5 tips to get you started.
Read on to learn how to create a more sustainable, eco-friendly wardrobe …without much effort.
Many people have trouble deciding on what to wear each morning and some are even late to work because of it. Fact is, a disorganized, extra-full closet can cause anxiety and stress. Creating a clutter-free, eco-friendly wardrobe filled with quality pieces is the answer to these problems. It’s no secret that an organized closet makes it easier and quicker to find what you need, but it also gives you a chance to see exactly what you own.
Start your journey to sustainability by decluttering your closets and organizing your clothes. Only keep pieces that are in good shape, that still fit you and that you wore in the past year. The clothes that don’t pass this test should go either to charity or sold for a little pocket money.
Besides being a therapeutic process, decluttering gives you a chance to get a better feel of what your style is, and curate a wardrobe that perfectly fits your personality. Moreover, you might find some vintage treasures hidden in the back of your closet. Try repairing them, if needed, to give them a second (or third) life.
The same process should be applied to your jewelry drawer. You can’t keep all the cheap pieces you bought 10 years ago. Instead, opt for a more curated jewelry collection, keeping only valuable or sentimental things – like that necklace crafted from stunning baroque pearls your mom gifted you, or that pair of gold earrings you bought yourself from your first paycheck.
If you still think that eco-friendly clothes are all about bland colors, shapeless fit and lacking any kind of appeal, you might need to re-evaluate things. This may have been true in the beginning of the slow-fashion movement, but we live in different times now and eco-friendly doesn’t mean boring.
With more and more brands becoming aware of the importance of sustainability in fashion, creating an eco-friendly wardrobe doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style. As tempting as purchasing a new dress may be, if you are serious about transitioning your wardrobe to a more sustainable one, ditching impulse shopping is a must. Instead of taking out your credit card every time your favorite brand has a sale, take some time to think if it is really worth buying anything.
You could set a monthly budget to help you keep your spendings under control or you could try calculating the value of each item in terms of working hours. More often than not, you will realize that it is not worth spending that much money on a piece of clothing.
If you are serious about making the transition to an eco-friendly wardrobe, you must be prepared to put in the work. Basically, when it comes to sustainability, always do your research before you buy. Start by creating a list of your favorite eco-friendly brands and dig deep into the way they do business.
Check their websites for information about the production process and connect with them on social media to ask them everything you want to know about their products. When you are satisfied that you have learnt everything about each brand, trim down your list to your top choices. Don’t forget to take into consideration how well each brand fits your style and wallet size.
Choosing natural, organic fabrics is a good way to make your wardrobe more sustainable. However, this is not always easy. Far from sustainable fashion, our cheap mainstream clothes are toxic. From non-organic cotton to the obvious synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, acrylic, lycra and rayon, the fabrics used in mass-production of clothing contain either pesticides, toxic dyes or other chemicals.
So, before you purchase a new piece of clothing, make sure to read the label and see what that item is made of. If you see eco-friendly, natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, leather, wool, hemp or peace silk, it’s safe to buy that piece. Besides being the healthier choice, making the conscious decision to buy only natural fabrics gives you a chance to contribute to reducing the negative impact the fashion industry has on our planet.
Buying better quality, more sustainable clothes will cost you more money than buying mainstream products, but it’s much more likely to last a longer time. You may be spending more at once, but it will be less expensive long-term as you will wear a good-quality piece of clothing for years to come.
This is why you should opt for timeless items when shopping. Think simple colors, less prints, timeless designs and natural fabrics. A black pair of well-fitted jeans, a white T-shirt and a classic trench coat are just a few examples to help you get started. These basic pieces will never go out of style, which makes them much more sustainable than an item which only lasts one season.
However, choosing timeless designs is not the only thing you should pay attention to when creating your eco-friendly wardrobe. You should be able to wear your clothes throughout the seasons. Think leggings and cardigans as layering pieces which will help your wardrobe transition from the hot season to the cold one with ease – and chicness.
Join my therapist recommended video course The Anxiety Cure.