Dreaming of a sustainable wardrobe? Here's how

One of the easiest ways to live more sustainably is to buy less. That also goes for your clothes. Because we buy new trendy items every season, a lot of our clothes end up unused and unused in the back of the closet - and eventually in landfill. The fashion industry is well known as one of the most polluting industries and it's not for nothing – we have to do better! But how do we change the way we are used to putting together a wardrobe? Time to evaluate, organise and get that capsule wardrobe going.

With tips from Laura de Jong, Capsule Wardrobe expert

 

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is based on the idea of having a limited number of quality garments in your closet. Items that fit you well, are timeless, fit your personality and fit your lifestyle. Fewer items doesn't mean that you always wear the same outfits. Did you know that you can create approximately 80 outfits with 'only' 30 to 37 items?

 

 

You determine the ultimate mix

A capsule wardrobe is created seasonally and consists of 30-40 items excluding accessories, basics (t-shirts, underwear) and sportswear. Experts often define a capsule wardrobe as having specific classic items in your closet, such as a good pair of jeans, a suit, button-down shirts, a black dress or blazer. Maybe this works for you, but maybe not. The whole idea is to buy less; to buy items that you will actually wear for a long time and that you feel good in.

"Do you find it difficult to choose a style for your personal capsule wardrobe? A colour analysis can help!"

Getting started with your capsule wardrobe

1. Inspiration: Find out what you like and what you can wear. One way to discover your style is to make a mood board of all the items that catch your eye (for example on Pinterest). When you've finished your mood board, look for similar aspects, such as colours, prints and materials. Use these aspects to paint a picture of your future capsule wardrobe. "The more time you spend creating a personal moodboard and looking for new combinations with what you have, the more you will learn," says Capsule Wardrobe expert Laura de Jong.

"Do you find it difficult to choose a style for your personal capsule wardrobe? A colour analysis can help! You'll know for sure which colours suit you. And - big plus - if you buy colours in your own personal palette, they will all match. This will help you to mix and match more and let go of the fixed outfits, like that one skirt or pair of trousers that only goes with that one blouse."

 

Laura de Jong is Capsule Wardrobe expert and teaches online courses to put together your own capsule wardrobe.

 

2. Vision: Dig into who you are as a person; What works for you as a person(ality)? What kind of clothes fit your lifestyle? Do you need specific things for your work?

3. Create overview: Evaluate every item in your closet. What do you really like (keep), what doesn't work for you but is still in good condition (to give away or sell), are there items that need to be repaired (fix!) or items that you can change to make them perfect for you? Keep in mind that basics, sportswear and underwear are not included in the 30+ items per season.

4. Make a list: Make a list of things you're missing to complete your outfits and add to your existing favourites. Our tip is to divide this list into weekday and weekend outfits to ensure you have some great outfits for both times.

5. Shop: A good step towards a sustainable and long-lasting wardrobe is to buy clothes consciously. In other words, think before you buy. This way you can make smarter choices, which are better for your wallet and the planet.  Every time you are about to buy a garment, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want it because it is in fashion or is it a timeless item that is missing in your wardrobe?
  • What 'wardrobe problem' will you solve if you buy the garment?
  • ·How can you combine the item with your current clothes?
  1. Linn Clothes Rack Large - Black
    Linn Clothes Rack Large - Black
    £168.00
  2. Linn Clothes Rack Small - Black
    Linn Clothes Rack Small - Black
    £144.00
  3. Linn Clothes Rack Large - White
    Linn Clothes Rack Large - White
    £168.00
  4. Linn Clothes Rack Small - White
    Linn Clothes Rack Small - White
    £144.00
  5. Aluminium Clothes Hangers Set of 4 - Silver
    Aluminium Clothes Hangers Set of 4 - Silver
    £14.75

Invest in the future

Fair and sustainable clothing often seems pricier than fast fashion. But it can really be worth it to invest in high quality products that last longer or can even be sold or passed on for a second round. This way the price-per-wear can be less than that of cheap clothes that you wear only a few times.

Does your budget not allow for big investments? Remember there are a lot of beautiful pre-loved items for sale when you know where to look for it.

Tips for a sustainable wardrobe

  • Are you going to wear the piece only once or twice? Think about borrowing or renting it. Much cheaper and better for the planet.
  • Pick versatile pieces that can be styled or even worn in different ways.
  • Want new clothes, but don’t have the money? Revive the old! 
  • Keep your clothes good for as long as possible, with these handy tips. 

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