Transitioning to a sustainable and ethical wardrobe can seem like an overwhelming feat, especially after scrolling through some ethical fashion websites and seeing the crazy high price tags. We all know the harsh impact of the fast fashion industry on our planet and we want to do our part, but what if it's just seemingly out of our budget? I am here to tell you that it is definitely possible and will share my top 5 tips for building an ethical closest on the cheap cheap.
Once you have pinpointed the items you still need for your dream closet, have some fun looking through ethical fashion websites and picking out some dream pieces. Think about what you really need and maybe choose just one or two things each season to add to the closet. Choose classic, versatile items that you absolutely love and pieces that can be worn and revived throughout the seasons. For instance, in the Springtime pick out a couple tees and a pair of slides, Summer is time for a sundress and a sustainable swimsuit, a pair of boots and new jeans for the Fall, and a sweater and jacket should do it for Winter. If you are looking to add some life to your activewear rotation, then a unique set from Wolven is the perfect pick. Not only do they remove one pound of plastic for every order made, but the high quality pieces will last you years and years. On top of this, most Wolven styles are reversible so you can buy less and do more. After going through your own closet, it should become more obvious what items you personally need in order to glide through the seasons in ethical style. Plus, when you start spending a bit more money on these essentials, you will find that they last much longer, so you won't have to buy new the next year. It may seem like a splurge, but in the long run you will save money and help ease the strain on our planet.
First and foremost, go through your current closet. Find those buried treasures in the back of your drawer and get rid of the items you no longer wear. It can be so refreshing to start with a somewhat clean slate. Not only will it help to clean your space, but to clear your mind as well. I find that the more I go through my closet, the more clearly I can see what I actually wear. This helps to give a better idea of your own fashion style - what pieces you need more of and what you need to stop buying. As for the clothes you get rid of, you can donate them to those in need or try selling them on resale websites to make an extra buck or two.
I suggest making a pinterest board or a mood board to track your fashion inspiration. This can help you figure out what items you would really like to own and can keep you from making those spontaneous, less responsible purchases. Zero in on your unique style and rid yourself of the outside voices telling you to buy only neutrals or which 10 items are a must. If that’s what you like, then great. But if not, you’ll end up with an expensive closet full of pieces you never wear. Listen to your own voice and use your closet as a way to express yourself.
Bring new life into old items
Building a sustainable closet is not only about supporting ethical companies but also just buying less in general. Learning a couple sewing tricks can do wonders for your closet. From lifting a hem or taking a waistline in, you can craft an old item into something you love and something that fits perfectly. You can always take clothes into a tailor, too, to be re-fitted and tweaked. Look up DIY refashion or upcycled clothing on Pinterest for some seriously cool inspiration.
Scour thrift stores
Whether it’s a brick and mortar shop or online, thrift stores are a treasure trove of cheap goodies. So not only can you find cute, unique pieces to build your wardrobe, but you are also helping to relieve the extreme waste of the fast fashion clothing industry. One tip for thrifting is searching for natural fabrics like linen, silk, and cotton, as these will hold up best and tend to be timeless. Look around for your local thrift shops or do some online shopping with websites like Thred Up, Poshmark, and Depop.
I hope these tips help you get started on your ethical wardrobe journey. Remember that everyone starts somewhere, so just make some changes little by little. Good luck!