How to Build a Sustainable Wardrobe on a Budget

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Shopping for a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive. With these tips, you can build an eco-friendly wardrobe on a budget. The initial step to decluttering and organizing your closet is to go through everything and decide what you want to keep, what can be resold, and what goes to charity. After this has been done, start decluttering and organizing other parts of the house as well.

1. Invest in Quality

Although investing in quality clothing and accessories may seem counterintuitive, doing so can actually save you money over time. While more expensive pieces may initially cost more, they will last much longer and resist wear and tear, meaning you need to replace them less frequently. As a general guideline, look for timeless pieces that are comfortable and versatile enough to wear in different seasons. These could include basic T-shirts, jeans or classic dresses that can be styled in many different ways and seamlessly transition from hot weather to cold.

Investing in these pieces can also make you more likely to wear them regularly, which means spending less time shopping and replacing clothes over time. Selecting durable, high-quality pieces can also help you reduce the amount of waste and chemicals generated in the fashion industry. According to the World Resources Institute, contemporary fashion production accounts for up to 10% of global carbon emissions.

sustainable wardrobe

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix & Match

If you’re having difficulty creating a sustainable wardrobe on a budget, don’t be afraid to mix and match. It’s the only way to guarantee each piece in your closet works hard for itself. When mixing and matching pieces, try to keep your color palette consistent. This will help your pieces appear unified and give you lots of confidence when styling them.

It’s essential to ensure the clothes you purchase are durable and long-lasting. While this may necessitate spending a bit more upfront, doing so will ultimately save you money in the long run. Avoid tossing out worn-out clothes by repairing and recycling them. Not only will this save you money, but it reduces your impact on the environment!

Another way to create a sustainable wardrobe is by shopping second-hand. When purchasing used garments, be sure to inspect the fabric quality; natural fibers like cotton, wool, and linen tend to be more durable than synthetic ones.

3. Shop Trans-Seasonally

One of the best ways to create a sustainable wardrobe is by shopping trans-seasonally. Doing so allows you to maximize your current clothing while still staying current with current fashion trends. Ultimately, you want to build your wardrobe around timeless basics that you can wear for years. To do this, opt for items made of natural fibers like organic cotton, linen, merino wool, and silk.

Summer Dresses

These fabrics are not only eco-friendly but soft, lightweight, and breathable – keeping you comfortable all day. Plus, you can mix and match them easily with existing wardrobe pieces to create endless outfits. Start your sustainable wardrobe on a budget with Organic Basics’ range of pieces! They are ethically sourced, and eco-friendly and take an ethical approach to their supply chains and production methods. To get you off the ground on this journey, we’ve joined forces with them.

sustainable wardrobe on a budget

4. Keep It Simple

Sustainable wardrobes are composed of key pieces that can be worn time after time. To achieve this look, select garments, shoes, and accessories with a #100wears rating or higher. These pieces will last the test of time and make it easy to switch outfits. Not only will this save you money on clothing waste – a major contributor to pollution – but it will reduce environmental impact as well.

When creating a sustainable wardrobe, don’t be afraid to invest in items that are slightly pricier than what you might find on the high street. If you know these pieces will last for years to come, the extra investment will be well worth it. When purchasing basic clothing items like t-shirts and jeans, always opt for natural materials. Not only are these materials better for the environment than synthetic materials, but they’re also durable and can be used in various ways – meaning your investment will last longer than cheaper versions made with less durable materials.

5. Shop Second-Hand

If you’re on a budget but still want quality pieces, consider buying second-hand. Not only does this reduce waste but it has an eco-friendly impact as well. The fashion industry consumes vast amounts of water, energy, and raw materials during production. Furthermore, it employs numerous pesticides, chemicals, and dyes which contribute to environmental pollution.

That is why we advocate buying second-hand whenever possible when creating a sustainable wardrobe on a budget! Doing this helps prevent contributing to the enormous water and energy consumption associated with fast fashion, which only leads to further environmental harm in the long run. By purchasing second-hand items, you are helping the environment by not sending them to landfills and recycling them instead. This is an excellent way to reduce textile waste that ends up in landfills.

Finding sustainable clothing at an affordable price point can be done through charity shops, thrift stores or online sources. Many of these garments are organic cotton and Fair Trade certified – meaning they were produced safely.

6. Upcycle Your Existing Garments

If you’re on a budget and want to build an eco-friendly wardrobe, one of the most beneficial steps you can take is upcycling existing clothing. Not only will this save you money, but it reduces your environmental impact without buying anything new. Upcycling doesn’t have to be a complicated process; with just some creativity you can transform even the ugliest pieces into something completely new. Not only that, but it’s an excellent way to ensure you have access to your favorite clothing pieces for years to come.

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You might be amazed at how many garments you already own that are functional but not quite stylish or practical enough for your needs. There are countless tutorials online to help transform any item into something new – more versatile, easier to wear, or just more enjoyable! Another excellent tip for upcycling is to take a good look at your closet and discard any clothes that don’t fit properly. This is especially true of tops; taking an hour or two to adjust a shirt’s length or adding sleeves can give you more bang for your buck in terms of outfit possibilities.

7. Look for Brands with a Social Impact

Building a sustainable wardrobe starts with shopping from brands that make a social impact. Whether it’s through their fabric sourcing and production methods or how employees are treated, it is essential to look out for these types of businesses when looking for apparel options.

Brands like TOMS and Patagonia are prime examples of companies that incorporate a social impact into their business model from the beginning. Their values have become so deeply embedded in their products and services that they would cease to exist if they didn’t provide some form of benefit to society with each purchase.

If you’re uncertain whether a brand is sustainable, take the time to check its website or social media pages and learn its philosophy. Doing this will help narrow down your clothing purchases and give you more insight into what ethical fashion entails.

When creating a sustainable wardrobe, it’s essential to select pieces that will last. Basic T-shirts, dress pants, and classic dresses are great examples as they will last for years and years to come. Plus, these versatile items can easily be dressed up or down according to the occasion and go perfectly with other pieces in your closet.

8. Don’t Forget About Accessories

Accessories, in addition to essentials like jeans, tees, and jackets, should be an integral part of any sustainable wardrobe. Not only can they add an instant of sophistication and flair to your looks, but they’re also incredibly fast! If you’re searching for ethical accessories that won’t harm the planet, opt for pieces from brands that plant trees and are Climate Neutral Certified. One of our favorite brands is entree – they not only plant a tree with each purchase but also monitor its impact.

Another excellent destination to shop for sustainable basics is Saint Basics. Their soft eco-friendly basics come in sizes XS-XL and feature an array of neutral hues like faded denim or silk burgundy that will complement your wardrobe perfectly.

Photo credit Canva

By Jason Rube

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