3 Easy Steps to Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

How to Incorporate Sustainable Clothing Into Your Closet

If you've been thinking about transitioning into a more sustainable wardrobe than you are already off to a great start! Just being aware and thinking about making changes is enough to start you down a new path. Now, if you're here and you are unsure as to where to begin, no problem! We’ve got you covered because we are going to remove the guesswork for you. Follow these 3 simple steps to get started with creating a more sustainable, eco-friendly closet. ​

earth tone tops, clothing rack

1. Spring Cleaning

Everyone needs a good Spring Cleaning. It helps you identify patterns in your wardrobe, see what you wear the most, realize what you don't wear enough of, and perhaps what key pieces you may be missing as part of your capsule collection. Using a capsule wardrobe, or paring down your closet so that most pieces coordinate and can be mixed and matched is a great first step. This tool of the trade is the easiest way to start transforming your wardrobe. 

This can be done by going through your closet/dresser and taking out everything, then dividing them into three piles: Yes, No, and Maybe.

Your No & Maybe Piles:

  • For the ‘No’ pile: donate, resell, or re-use
  • For the ‘Maybe’ pile: ask yourself how many times have I worn this in the last year? The last 5 years? And if not, why? Were they your favorite pair of jeans at one point and no longer fit? Or maybe you've been meaning to buy something to go with it and never got around to it?
  • If, after taking stock of the ‘Maybe’ pile, you decide to keep something because you asked yourself the questions above, then put it back in the ‘Yes’ pile. If you can live without, put it in the ‘No’ pile and send it on its way to someone who can make better use for it! 
  • Tip: show gratitude to your clothes by saying a silent “thank you” to each piece as you put it in the different piles. It makes it so much easier to say goodbye.

2. Explore first, Shop Later

Step 2: Put your clothes shopping on pause for a while. By doing so, you allow yourself time to research what you like, think about what you don’t, and contemplate on what matters to you most (as outlined in step one). 

Here are a few tips to help you get started on your research:

  • Find out what sustainable fashion entails. We give a breakdown here.
  • Take time to think about the causes you are most aligned with. Is it sustainable fabrics? Environmental impact? Fairtrade and knowing who made your clothes?
  • The more you start to consider the impact your purchase can have, the more it becomes instilled in every purchasing decision you make.
  • Find brands that align with this new mindset of yours. We give a great list of sustainable brands we stand by in our brand directory

Know your style

  • Refraining from buying for a while will also allow you to get to know your personal style. 
  • What do you wear the most?
  • Are jeans your go-to? Or are you more of an athleisure type? Then start there. If you want some help getting to know your style you can take our complimentary style quiz to get matched with a style profile based on your preferences and lifestyle needs. It’s fun and fast, even if you do know your style we promise you will still like the quiz!

3. Start Small

It's called building your wardrobe for a reason. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your closet won't be either. Slow fashion involves considering how your garments were made and what they were made from. But it also stems from buying less, longer wear, better quality. Remember, a higher-quality item may come with a higher ticket price. However, when you stop to consider the price per wear - it's worth it.

Here's an example:

You buy a shirt from your (old) favorite fast fashion shop that cost you $25 but you only achieved 3 or 4 wears out of it before it started to unravel, fall apart, or start to fade in color. That's an average of $6.25 per wear. Now say a shirt of much better quality costs $120 but you get 2 to 3 years-worth of wearing it. Plus you wear it at least 1x a month (if not more). So 12 x 3 years = 36 wears. $120/36 is an average of $3.33 per wear. So really that shirt cost you less than the other shirt in the long run because the need to go buy another one was not necessary, and you got way more use out of it. It's important when you start looking at prices for sustainable brands, that you understand the value & impact it brings. 

Be thoughtful when building your wardrobe. Take baby steps. Start with one key item. Maybe you need a new coat, or a new pair of jeans. You can learn more about the impact of 'non-sustainable' denim here but the average pair of jeans requires 2,000 gallons (7,600 liters) of water. Warp + Weft is one of the world’s cleanest integrated denim companies. So far they have saved over 572,400,000 gallons of water. Did we also mention they are size inclusive with over 75 sizes,  for different shapes and heights?

The journey to a sustainable wardrobe will look different for everyone, but this is a great starting point. By following these guidelines, it will help make the process of building a sustainable closet a lot less stressful, much more intuitive and well thought out. Take your time, and be kind to yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting to this very moment right here. Good luck and happy shopping!

blond woman, wearing LAmade Clothing Grey Sweater

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