Creating a more sustainable wardrobe takes work. For starters, you'll need to figure out which brands align with your values. Do you care about labor conditions, environmental impact, or the treatment of animals? If a brand is trying to improve its supply chain, the information should be on their website.
Once you've identified a few brands, you need to find out if their clothing works for you. Part of building a more conscious wardrobe means looking for pieces that are well constructed and not fall apart after a few washes. First impressions matter, take a look at seams, buttons, and check for loose threads. Read the material tag and try to avoid synthetics. Polyester, acrylic, nylon, spandex, and acetate are all made from nonrenewable fossil fuels, and when you launder these items, you will be putting microplastics into the water system.
The price of sustainably made clothes might be more than you are used to paying. Think cost per wear if a $4.99 t-shirt seems like a fair price, and a $35 or higher price tag makes you gasp. Once you find a brand and a size that works for you, there are second-hand, consignment, and end-of-season sales to look forward to exploring.
Before heading online or to the nearest store, make a list of what you do and don’t like. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but it will help you avoid impulse buys.
My list of likes and dislikes looks like this:
-Solids only. No pattern, except for the occasional stripe or graphic t-shirt.
-Fitted or tailored silhouettes.
-Avoid trends or seasonal “must-haves. ”
-Color palette - neutrals, white, black, grey, navy or pale blue and a smattering of pink.
Wardrobe Must-Haves, not including work-out clothes:-T-shirts - white, black, grey
-Jeans- blue, black, white, off-white
-Black Pants- cropped, flare, straight
-Cashmere Sweaters- crew, v-neck, turtleneck, short sleeve, sleeveless
-Interesting Blouses to wear with jeans and black pants. (cool necklines, sleeves, and cuffs are my go-to.)
-Dresses (casual daytime, business, cocktail)
-Black and brown belts with different thicknesses and hardware in gold and silver
-Classic Hoops in gold and silver (various sizes) + statement earrings.
I know this is likely more work than you usually do when shopping but I promise it will get easier. Next up... shopping for a basic white t-shirt.