One of the major concerns about creating a sustainable wardrobe comes with the cost associated. On my last post, How to be a Conscious Consumer I received a lot of comments in regards to the price of more sustainable clothing pieces. And yes, many of you are completely right – sustainable clothing brands tend to be more expensive due to the manufacturing processes and the fabric used. However, you don’t need to sell your kidney in order to create a more sustainable wardrobe!
How to Create a Sustainable Wardrobe
First, it’s important to know why creating a sustainable wardrobe is so important. If you haven’t already, make sure that you check my introductory post to the world of Fast Fashion and then make sure to check out how you can become a conscious consumer!
There are a number of ways that you can create a sustainable wardrobe without spending an arm and a leg while you’re at it – and today we’re going to discuss some of the ways that you can do that!
Create a Capsule Wardrobe
The first step is to declutter your current wardrobe from clothing that is not getting any use. Go through your closets and dresser drawers and try to pick clothing pieces that are versatile while minimizing your collection. Not only will this help you get organized, but it also feels like you have a little less weight on your shoulders!
There’s a few ways to create a capsule wardrobe depending on your climate (and I’m not going to lie and say I’m an expert in capsule wardrobes!) so here’s a few resources:
Of course, go at it with your own pace and you never need to follow the rules (such as only having so many t-shirts, sweaters etc.) In the end it’s your closet and you know your lifestyle! The nice thing about a capsule wardrobe for myself is less clutter and less worrying about what to wear on a particular day!
Buy Pre-Loved + Donate
I understand the stigma that can surround shopping at second hand or thrift stores – we feel like it’s somehow only for the less fortunate and I admit that when I was younger and up until I exited my teenage years I thought that for the most part as well. I feel liked we’re groomed in society to believe that it’s below us to shop second hand (or at least where I grew up.) However in many cases you can find great pieces that are lightly used for way less money than buying something brand new at a regular retail store.
It’s also a great way to recycle old clothing and it’s better for the environment. So if you’re looking for cost-effective ways to create a more sustainable wardrobe, consider shopping at a thrift store. Honestly, you can find some real gems there!
There’s also clothing shops online where you can buy preloved articles such as Depop or ThredUP. The only thing to remember is that the shipping does add to the environmental cost of the clothing. If possible, shopping local is better.
Clothing Swap with Friends
Another fun way to change up your wardrobe when you get a little bit tired of what you have right now is to organize a clothing swap with a couple friends! Of course only bring pieces that you would still wear yourself because you don’t want to be trading crappy items of clothing with your friends. You can extend this to family or even set up a community clothing swap if you’re feeling really ambitious.
Think about it – everyone wins because you get rid of stuff you don’t want while creating a new wardrobe for yourself… for free!
Repair Your Clothes
Before mass production of clothing was a thing, people used to repair their clothes. I know it might seem like a completely obsolete thing but getting your clothing pieces repaired (especially if there’s just a rip in the seam) will increase the longevity of your clothing. You can even have your shoes repaired when the soles come out or the heel breaks off! It may cost a bit of money, but if you invest in good articles of clothing to begin with it will be well worth it!
Purchase Ethical + Sustainable
Lastly, and of course the most costly would be to invest in ethical and sustainable clothing brands. It’s not easy to spend $60-100 on a t-shirt, I know. But if you are able to save up and start slowly by creating a wardrobe with more sustainable clothing pieces you will be one step further to creating your fully sustainable wardrobe.
In the next post I’m going to share a few ethical clothing brands and how to find them.
What do you do with your unwanted clothing items?