Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

clothes clothing colors shirts
Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on

How do you dispose of your old or unwanted clothes?

If your clothes are still in good condition, you can sell them to local thrift stores. These stores will actually buy back some of your unwanted clothes, which is pretty awesome because you earn money just by cleaning out your closet! When you get bored of your clothes, you can always swap with your friends. It’s fun to see how many ways you can style one top. Also, hand-me-downs are great. My older cousin always gives my sister and I bags of clothes to go through and then we do the same with our younger cousins. You can also find a company to donate your clothes to help those that are in need, but make sure you do research before you choose your donation company because some services are not as ethical as you may think and your clothes might actually be disposed of improperly. Also, if your clothes aren’t exactly in the best condition, shirts make great cleaning rags so you don’t have to worry about wasting paper towels.

How can you buy clothes sustainably?

Shopping at thrift stores is probably the cheapest way to create a sustainable wardrobe since you are buying recycled clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. Some people aren’t necessarily a fan of shopping at thrift stores because they feel like the clothes are dirty. However, it is important to keep in mind that some thrift stores are nicer than others, so thrift shopping doesn’t have to be as scary as you think. Sustainable clothing brands are expensive and I am still searching for a go-to affordable and stylish sustainable brand myself. Although, I have found a company that is great for basic clothing essentials and if you keep an eye on the website, you can find some awesome deals! It’s called PACT. You can get a pair of socks and $10 credit by filling out this form, a $20 credit for referring a friend and a $10 credit just for posting your PACT clothing on Instagram. Also, PACT has an awesome donation program. All you have to do is pack your unwanted clothes in the box that your order arrived in and print out a free online shipping label to send it back!

What laundry products do you use?

If you’re looking for eco-friendly detergent alternatives, you can make your own detergent or use Dropps pods. Washing your clothes with cold water will save energy because the water does not have to be heated. Also, doing one full load of laundry during the week is better than doing multiple small loads since it saves water and energy.  You can swap out your dryer sheets with a dryer ball, which also reduces drying time. Always make sure that your settings match your load size! In addition, keep in mind that line-drying your clothes is always a great energy-saving option.

Sustainable Clothing Brands

  • PACT: This company is great for basic clothing essentials for men, women, toddlers and babies. 
  • Threads for ThoughtI’ve also found some awesome deals at this site. I personally like their workout clothes.
  • Girlfriend Collective: This awesome, high quality athletic brand was recommended to me by one of my eco-conscious peers!
  • Patagonia: Sustainable outdoor clothing and gear.
  • prAnaYoga, travel and outdoor clothing with a conscience.
  • Alternative ApparelMen and women apparel basics. I’ve found some nice bags and backpacks on this site throughout the years.
  • Everlane: This company has modern basics and can be a little more on the pricey side, but their basic tops are usually well priced. I’m also a fan of their backpacks.
  • Matt and Nat: Matt and Nat stands for “materials” and “nature”. They have eco-friendly, vegan leather bags and accessories. I was given a purse backpack from here and it’s my favorite! They also have a nice shoe selection.
  • Allbirds: If you’re searching for sustainable shoes, these shoes are simple and comfortable.
  • TOMS: TOMS does offer sustainable/vegan shoes and is currently working to expand their eco-friendly selection. 

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