“Build a Sustainable Closet” is a blog series about slow fashion, minimalism and steps to building a long-lasting closet. Each blog post offers tips and tricks on how to discover your style, buy less and buy better. If you care about the environment and reducing our clothing waste, check out this blog series on Styles For Thought.
According to a report from Thredup, an average woman in the US owns about $8500 worth of clothes but only wears about 60% of them. The remaining 40% ends up being donated and thrown away. This astonishing statistics just shows how much we need to improve our shopping habits and shop more efficiently. By establishing a foundation of high quality basics and renting trendy clothes instead, I believe that we can collectively minimize our clothing footprint and make fashion more sustainable.
What is a Sustainable Closet?
A sustainable closet consists of 2 main components – 1. classic wardrobe essentials and 2. seasonal trendy pieces.
1. Classic Wardrobe Essentials
Google “wardrobe essentials”, and you will immediately get search results such as a white T-shirt and blue jeans, etc.. Many bloggers have shared their take on the items everyone MUST have. But personally, I think wardrobe essentials really depends on the person’s taste and life style. Earlier in the series, I have suggested to create a user journey and a style guide to help discover your style and stick to your needs when shopping. But whatever your wardrobe essentials may be, they should always meet these criteria:
Usability measures how often you wear an item. Generally speaking, a wardrobe essential is something worth paying a high price for because you will wear it so often, and the cost per wear will become so low in a long run.
Timelessness measures how well an item stands against the test of time. A wardrobe essential should be something you wear now and also something you want to wear in 10 years.
Versatility measures how well an item pairs and fits with other clothes. A wardrobe essential should be so versatile that you can create multiple outfits with it.
A sustainable closet should start with a foundation of high quality wardrobe essentials. These basics are highly usable, and they are worth the investment. To shop more efficiently, I suggest you to prioritize wardrobe essentials over other things. And I also recommend sustainable fashion brands or ethical fashion brands.
2. Seasonal Trendy Pieces
I have to admit, fashion is so fun and exciting because of trends. But buying seasonal trendy pieces is inherently wasteful, and not many sustainable fashion brands make them. On the other hand, renting allows you to experience new trends with a less environmental impact, and it is more economical because you get to try out more clothes with the same amount of money spent. Now you can find several rental subscription companies with Rent the Runway being my favorite, and Le Tote being the cheaper option.
I hope you enjoy this post. Lastly, here is my outfit No.2 with a classic white shirt. You can see my outfit No.1 here.
Smile and style on!
Massimo Dutti (Sold out)
Joe’s Jeans (Another pair I love from Rag & Bone, on sale)
Tod’s Boots (Sold out, another sustainable boots I love)