5 easy ways to make your closet more sustainable

Without sacrificing style.

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Clothes aren’t going anywhere. All 8 billion of us are getting dressed every single day in some way or another, and require clothes for a basic need of survival.

However, with the continuous increase of environmental and ethical concerns associated with the fashion industry, it’s no surprise we need to take responsibility and make our wardrobes more sustainable. If we have the choice to do so, we need to be held accountable.

Fashion is the world’s second largest polluting industry, second right behind the oil industry (The True Cost). In addition, the fashion industry contributes to 10% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emmisions (UN).

To give you perspective, over 715 gallons of water are used to produce 1 cotton t-shirt. That is almost 3 years worth of drinking water. (WWF). For one t-shirt.

I don’t know about you, but these facts freak me out!

Below are 5 simple things you can do to transition your wardrobe towards a sustainable closet. The best part? They aren’t even that hard! Take a read and comment you’re favourite below. 🙂

1. Shop Less.

I truly believe the main issue with the fashion industry comes down to consumption. There is nothing wrong with consuming, however there is with excessive consumption. There’s this amazing saying I love:

The next time you want to go shopping, think “Do I really need this? Do I own something similar already? If I do purchase something, can I purchase locally or something good quality that will last for years?”

For some interesting context:


2. Take care of your clothes

In 2013, the USA alone produced 15.1 million tons of textile waste, with 85% of that ending up in landfills (Huff Post).

Have you ever washed a new shirt for the first time and found that after putting it in both the washing and drying machine, it comes out either shrunken or pilling? This is a clear sign of a bad quality item that won’t last past 2–3 wears. We should be focusing on garments that are made well and deserve proper care.

By washing your clothing correctly, or even reducing how often you wash can easily double the life-span of your clothes. Try hanging up to dry, mending holes, or altering clothes when needed.

3. Vote with your dollar.

When you do find the need to add value to your wardrobe from buying something new, consider shopping from sustainable or local brands instead. We’re not short of amazing, stylish, and accessible brands that also focus on sustainability. If you’re having trouble finding a brand, send me a message. I would be happy to help!

4. Donate your clothes when necessary

I would like to highlight that donating your clothes is not a long term solution. A maximum of only 25% of thrift store clothes get sold, while the rest either waits in shop before getting exported internationally to developing countries for sale (CBC). See where my concern with consumption comes from?

Donating clothes is definitely better than directly tossing into the garbage, as it extends the life of a garment. However, be mindful when purchasing clothing from the beginning and consider: how long will this garment serve me?

5. Use a wardrobe colour story

There are so many benefits to having a closet colour story. In this case, it helps you focus on what type of clothing pieces add value to your closet. When shopping, it allows you to focus on certain pieces and helps you avoid spending the money or consuming something that doesn’t go with your style.

Have you ever bought something on sale and realized you never wear it? Most of the time it’s because it doesn’t go with your current closet pieces or it’s simply not a reflection of your style. You may have bought it because it was on sale, or a spontaneous purchase. Having a colour story will also prevent you from purchasing things you don’t need while also helping to discover your overall better personal style. It’s such a win-win!

This is something I specialize in, so send me a message or connect via social media if you’re interested to speak with me about this topic.

If you enjoyed this read, give me a clap (or 50)!

I’m a fashion expert that knows how to find value with less is more. Looking for wardrobe guidance? Contact me here.



Sustainable Wardrobe Stylist. Creator. Dreamer. Adventure Enthusiast. Here are my thoughts @jaylopat

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Jaclyn Patterson

Sustainable Wardrobe Stylist. Creator. Dreamer. Adventure Enthusiast. Here are my thoughts @jaylopat