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How to build a sustainable wardrobe

It’s difficult to dress in a way that does minimal damage to the planet. Sometimes it’s hard to find a sustainable alternative to a favourite product.

When it comes to making ethical clothing choices, the best thing we can do is educate ourselves on the clothes we are already wearing and perhaps, items that we should opt to wear.

The Facts

The fashion industry is one of the most water-polluting industries in the world. Fast fashion is built on an unsustainable process, where the speed of the trend cycle are prioritised over all else.

Making the change

By making thoughtful decisions about purchasing clothes, we can curate a sustainable wardrobe. When we know exactly where our clothing comes from, we can then give more substance to the garment as we know the story and process behind it.

Capsule Dressing & Sustainability

According to Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called "Wardrobe" in the 1970s, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items. The wardrobe itself consists of a small, well-curated selection of necessary, high-quality items. These items reject the concept of fast fashion.

The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ rings true here. A sustainable, ethical and well made dress may be more expensive but it will last you years and years. It’s important to purchase carefully and selectively rather than buying five, cheap dresses that fall apart after one wear.

It’s about curating a wardrobe solely around the things you love, prioritising longevity and filtering out items concerned with fleeting trends.

Step One: What items do you already have in your wardrobe?

Before you can even think about building a sustainable wardrobe, you need to assess your current one. Throwing everything out is not only wasteful, but is anti-sustainable.

Take the time to go through your items and go full Marie Kondo. Once you have decided what brings you joy. Then you can begin building and buying.

Step Two: Define your style.

Identify several style icons who you admire. Is there a celebrity whose style choices you love? Or is there a character in a movie who you wish shared their wardrobe with? Make these people your point for inspiration. 

Are they modern or classic? Bohemian? Feminine? Loud? Subtle? Determining their style will be beneficial for choosing items for yourself. You probably already have a strong sense of what suits you and makes you feel like the best possible version of yourself.

Step Three: Go shopping, with purpose and intent

Once you have one through your wardrobe you are going to see some gaps missing. This is the time to research. Have a read of our Ethical Sustainable Slow Fashion piece in our Journal series for some more information.

It’s important to choose pieces that will intertwine with your current wardrobe, that are transeasonal and are colours that will pair well with others. Items that are great for a variety of occasions are also great for a sustainable wardrobe, it’s important to be able to dress up or down with accessories. Lastly, don’t forget to look for natural materials and fibres in the composition of your garments.

Our Top Sustainable Picks from Fashion Boundary
Stępień strives to create items that are durable, sustainable and easy to recycle. This collection is designed to be transeasonal using natural materials such as linen which is breathable, perfect for layering and also - durable. Through this collection she emphasises the idea of the cycle of life and the importance of giving your clothing items another life. 

Our Favs: The Powder Pink Blazer and the High Neck Blouse

Simétrie believes that the human need for self-expression shouldn’t cost the state of our planet the way it does today - pollution, overconsumption of resources and non-biodegradable landfill are some ways of the fashion industry is damaging our Earth.

Simétrie bags are primarily made from natural or water based materials, right down to the dyes and glues used to construct them. This means that they are not harmful to produce or use, nor do they present any dangers to the Earth’s soil or waterways. 

Our Favs: The Universal Tote Pack in Night and the Thick Crescent Moon Bag in Natural

ORES believes that the manufacturing of clothing should be produced in a responsible way. They develop their knitwear with a yarn company who have a strong Animal Rights stance and a focus on ethically produced materials. All wool is traceable. No animals are harmed or ill treated.

ORES are very concerned with harmful chemicals featured in the production of clothing items in the fashion industry. That’s why ORES takes care in sourcing fabrics that use minimal chemicals in the production and dying process and aim to use less water and energy. Many of the fabrics used in the collections have OEKO-TEXT and/or meet Global Organic Textile Standard.

Our Favs: The Black Raw Silk Trouser and the Kaftan Dress

Ballūta shoes are sophisticated statement pieces imbued with art and nature influences. Every Ballūta piece is made from high-quality sustainable materials, animal-free and made in Europe. All Ballūta shoes are produced in a family-run factory in São João da Madeira, Portugal.

Our Fav: The Cyano Mules in Nude

We hope you have found this piece informative. Please keep an eye on our social media and for additional brands to our website.