Tips for Creating a Sustainable Wardrobe | the ReFab Diaries

The state of the fashion industry can discourage those who want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty every time you go to get dressed. It just means using a little more strategy when we pick out our clothes. That’s why I’ve collected my favorite tips for creating a sustainable wardrobe.

Tips for Creating a Sustainable Wardrobe

Go Thrifting

I view thrifting as treasure hunting. Instead of sifting through rows of nearly identical outfits, you can peruse a trove of unique pieces from every era under the sun and save a few bucks while you’re at it. To make a good time even better, thrifting circumvents all the environmental muck that manufacturing new clothes produces and keeps old clothes out of landfills.


Buy New Clothes Selectively

Most new clothes get manufactured based on the “fast fashion” model. In other words, companies mass-produce low-quality clothes intending for people to wear them for a small amount of time and then throw them away. This drives up emissions, water use, and pollution rates. If you have to buy new, keep these principles in mind:

Choose Sustainable Fabrics

Even the most ethically made and expertly thrifted clothes will wear out eventually. And when that day comes, you will want to know your clothes will harm the environment. You can be sure by picking clothes made of organic, biodegradable fabrics. A few good choices include:

  • Linen
  • Cotton
  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Wool
  • Silk

But not all “sustainable” fabrics are created equal. Let’s say you wanted to buy a wool beanie. The wool might be treated with chemicals or combined with other synthetic fibers, making it less than biodegradable. A more sustainable option is an organically sourced merino wool beanie.



Focus On Quality, Not Quantity

Buying quality clothes isn’t just about looking good. Quality clothes will last longer, especially if you wash items in cold water and hang to dry. And the longer they last, the longer you keep them out of the dump. Plus, they likely weren’t made using destructive fast-fashion practices.



Try a Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are the embodiment of the idea of “quality over quantity” in a wardrobe. They involve having a few key timeless clothing items in your wardrobe that you mix and match to create more outfit choices. Along with being a great way to create a sustainable wardrobe, they also make sure your closet only features clothes you really want to wear.



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