April 20, 2022

For most people, summer is the time to don the bright colors, exciting patterns, and sun-ready outfits. However, looking good during summer doesn't have to come at the expense of the environment. 

There are many things to consider when you're packing or creating a capsule wardrobe for the summer, and sustainability should be among them.

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist wardrobe that you create seasonally to ensure that you dress stylishly over a short period. If you are looking to maintain sustainability in the summer, here are some tips to minimize environmental harm through your wardrobe. 

1. Take Stock

Summer is here, and you have everything planned out, from travels and adventure to sports and work. The first step when you're creating a sustainable summer wardrobe is to take stock of what is available. Start by taking out everything from your wardrobe, put the winter outfits aside, and make some decisions. 

Sorting out the outfits means that you have categories such as repair, keep, give away, and recycle. All the items that you decide to keep should add up to at least 25 pieces. These should be enough to dress for a quarter of a year without too much repetition.

2. Don't Add, Replace

If you want to keep your summer closet eco-friendly, you should always keep the same number of pieces. That is if you want to add a new garment, you have to remove another from the wardrobe. 

You can choose an outfit you don't often wear or don't like and replace it with the new one. Alternatively, if a garment is worn out due to consistent use, it is the right time to replace it with a new one. If you have an outfit that is in good condition but you don't see yourself wearing it again, you should consider swapping it with a friend who has one that you like. This ensures that you keep your wardrobe as sustainable as possible. 

3. Choose Used Clothing

Buying and selling second-hand clothes is one bold step toward making fashion more sustainable. This is because the fashion industry is responsible for part of the huge consumption of water, energy, and natural resources. Furthermore, it creates pollution by releasing hazardous chemicals, textile waste, and gas emissions into the environment. 

Reduce fashion’s ecological footprint and minimize the demand for new clothing by shopping second-hand. Not only is it sustainable, but it also minimizes the impact on your bank account, allowing you to try out new summer fashion at a fraction of the cost, and giving new life to a garment. 

4. Mend Your Outfits

Increasing the longevity of what you already own is one of the most sustainable actions you can take to make your summer wardrobe more eco-friendly, and repairing is the best way to do that. Seasonal summer outfits may be forgotten once the season is over, but when it comes around again, it is time to get them out and ready. Mending involves fixing tears, covering stains, and getting rid of any signs of damage. Most people are under the belief that crafts like sewing are outdated, but they bring back the mindfulness and sustainability needed to save the environment. 

With garments being made cheaply, their life cycle is becoming painfully short, and the more we buy, the more the waste is sent to the landfill. However, mending helps you extend the longevity and beauty of your summer garments rather than disposing of them. 

5. Invest in Quality

Fast fashion is inexpensive because it is made cheaply. Many times, we buy inexpensive pieces that were inexpensive but made poorly. The fabric wears out easily, the buttons are attached poorly, and the sewing is imprecise, meaning that they probably won't last you long. 

Buying fast fashion means that you have to get new garments every summer, adding up to the landfill. Instead, it's worth spending a few extra dollars for something that will last you a long time. If you have to buy new summer outfits, pay attention to the materials, colors, and shape. If possible, look for items with at least 60% natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen. They may come at a price, but they are a worthy investment to last you many summers to come. 

6. Make it Versatile

During summer, there's no need to crowd your closet with a lot of garments as just a few versatile ones would be enough. Choose pieces that you can wear in different combinations with what you already have in the closet. 

Get flexible clothes that can also stand the heat. For example, you can match a breathable skirt or sleeveless dress with different tops to create different outfits. This means that you don't need to have a lot of skirts or dresses in the wardrobe, and is one step toward sustainability. A minimal wardrobe means minimal harm to the environment. 

7. Donate The Extra

Always look out for ways to give your extra summer clothing new life. Clothing that is in good shape but doesn't fit can have second life by being thoughtful and donating. The demand for used clothing is not what it used to be before the price of clothes went down. However, you can still find people who could use the extra summer clothes in your wardrobe. For example, some holiday resorts take these donations and revamp them to provide swimsuits and other summer outfits for their guests. Alternatively, many organizations and institutions have donation campaigns to collect these clothes and give them away to those in need. Donating extra clothing ensures that your clothes get a new life, and don’t end up in landfills. 

8. Assess Wearability

Apart from shopping sustainably, you also need to check the wearability of summer garments before you buy them. No matter how it is made, an outfit is not fully sustainable if you are not going to wear it. You have to ask yourself how much you will actually wear it, and if you can't wear it at least 30 times, put it back. Going to the store with this mindset puts you closer to creating a more sustainable summer wardrobe since you get outfits that you can keep and wear the next summer. 

The key to having a sustainable summer is giving your wardrobe an eco overhaul. With these tips, you can be sure that your summer capsule wardrobe will not add to the landfill during summer. The best thing is that it doesn't come at the expense of your fashion style. As we have seen, a sustainable summer wardrobe will help you remain stylish, save money and at the same time conserve the environment.