Quick Tips to Making Your Closet More Sustainable

With celebrities Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Stella McCartney, it’s hard not to see how luxury is meeting sustainability in High Fashion.

Actress Involvement

In 2016, Emma Watson looked stunning as she attended the Met Gala wearing a dress made from recycled plastic bottles – a dress you’d have to see to believe. The 3-piece ensemble was a result from a collaboration with Calvin Klein and the Green Carpet Challenge. The look included a bustier, trousers, and a train. Not only is the material sustainable, but the gown can be re-purposed for future use.

Designer Participation

Designer Stella McCartney is pushing the forefront of sustainable fashion. McCartney explains the important role of fashion designers to ask valuable questions, “How you make that dress, where you make that dress, what materials you’re using. I think that the way to create sustainable fashion is to keep asking these questions while making sure to make desirable, luxurious, beautiful clothing and accessories that women want to buy.”[2] The design and sourcing for collections are important, but “Everyone can do simple things to make a difference, and every little bit really does count.”[2] 

Want to know more? Check out McCartney's Q&A

Too Many Textiles

The Council for Textile Recycling declares 85% of textile waste is placed in landfills each year, that averages at 70 pounds of clothing for each US citizen.[1] The need for change is clear, and there are a variety of ways we can help lower these statistics - without lowering our fashion standards.

Fashion inspirations such as Emma Watson, and sustainable designers like Stella McCartney, it’s hard not to look at your own closet, and see how you can create a fabulous, sustainable wardrobe.

1. Additions You Adore

This may seem simple, but it’s much easier said than done. We all have those pieces that were a ‘maybe’, and we bought them anyway. Well as it turns out, a wardrobe of ‘maybes’, does not satisfy the needs for creating the perfect outfit. Next time your shopping at your favorite boutique, and come across the inevitable ‘maybe’, use the Konmari method. Hold it up, and if it doesn’t bring you joy, discard it. If you don’t want to wear it out of the store, you won’t reach for it in your closet.

Blonde woman in light room holding up white dress, picking out outfit

2. Explore the Ethics

Sustainable development is a growing demand by fashion-lovers everywhere. It's easy to learn what brands support ethical construction for their collections. Brands we love: Reformation, Redone, Tome and Stella McCartney (obviously!) Before you buy your next clothing essential, explore the ethics of the brand. 

3. Buying Better

With trends shifting with the seasons, it’s easy to get caught up in buying pieces you’ll throw out as the trends fade. The never-ending quest to stay current fuels this idea of disposable fashion. Staying current is valuable to all fashionistas, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in key pieces. What’s in this season? Buying high quality clothes that you can wear for years to come. A great fitting pair of white jeans, a luxurious cashmere sweater, or a timeless DVF Wrap Dress are a few pieces that can extend the life of your wardrobe.

Organic cotton plant stalk

4. Value in Vintage 

There’s nothing worse than matching styles with a complete stranger. Large brands today create hundreds of identical items. Truly unique pieces come from Vintage. Not only will you eliminate identical pairing, but vintage items were made to last. Crafted from remarkable fabrics, these hand-stitched pieces are higher quality then machine-made, mass-produced pieces today. Not to mention the exciting day you’ll have rummaging through vintage shops with your girlfriends.

5. Mend, Don't Spend

We all don’t have mice and birds to come fix our clothes like Cinderella, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fix those pieces that are a bit warn. Take those pieces that have seen lots of love, and find a great tailor. Or, take a sewing class and learn the tricks of the trade! By revamping your already loved wardrobe, you give your favorites a new life. 

Beads and tools needed to mend a garment

6. Stylish Substitute

Do you ever question where all your hangers go? Well, no-where. Instead of buying more hangers, open a bottle of champagne and take a walk down memory lane - clean out your closet. Whether it’s a shirt you haven’t worn in years, or skirts that seem too short now, it’s time to part ways. Rule of thumb? If you haven’t worn something in 12 months, let it go! Every time you buy something new, take out something old. By swapping out old styles, you never run out of hangers, and it feels good donating your previously loved pieces.

   

REFERENCES:

1. Council for Textile Recycling. Retrieved from http://www.weardonaterecycle.org/index.html

2. Q&A with Stella. Stella McCartney. Retrieved from https://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/us/sustainability/qa-with-stella/