Friday, January 04, 2013

How to plan a sustainable wardrobe

Over the last years I have tried to plan my wardrobe requirements using different criteria than before in an effort to:
  • minimize expense and impulse buys
  • more sustainable fabrics( no dry cleaning only fabrics)
  • make them instead of buying mass produced( clothes miles)
  • better fit and less angst about body size
  • any colour scheme
  • locally sourced and produced( less travel miles)
  • I want to know where my clothes come from
  • deliberate decisions based on my needs not my wants
The starting point has to be the colours in fashion for spring/summer 2013 ( thanks to Pantone Colour reports)

The colour of the year is heralded to be emerald green. More information can be seen on Pantone's website :

Looking at my public wardrobe requirements I intend to have the following additions of new clothes :
1 pair of hemp trousers ( could be dyed in any of the above colours)
1 cotton summer cardigan
1 short sleeve/long sleeve colourful warmer top ( in case we have a chilly summer and for the transition to autumn)
The items in my wardrobe go along three phases in rotation :
  • new clothes for outings ( in that seasons colours)
  • last year's clothes for wearing casually and around the home
  • gardening and work clothes( after which they get recycled, upcycled into something else, or given away)

I could see what is available in secondhand shops instead of buying new and then dye it but in pursuit of the make and mend movement and to enhance my skill levels I am considering making them myself. Over the years I have found that making your own garments creates an attachment and appreciation for the resources used in producing the item and an appreciation of the quality of materials used. Apart from that I enjoy making things that are individual and am steering away from the mass produced look.

Colours are personal and I have a black base of mix and match items to which colourful items are added as and when.

When the items are completed they will take their place in my capsule wardrobe and I will then do the same for the autumn/winter wardrobe. I can always scour the charity shops and car boot sales for accessories in other colours or support individual makers on A search for emerald green items threw up quite and array of possibilities:

In time I have come to appreciate that there are four seasons and that each season has its own focused activity. Winter is to hibernate and prepare for spring, spring is all about starting the garden, summer about enjoying sunshine, the garden and the long available daylight hours and autumn is about harvesting, preserving and slowing down to winter.

I have 3 months of winter left after which the gardening season will kick in so there is no time to lose.
3 months and 3 projects.

January - cotton top
February- trousers
March- transition cardigan

Let's see if I can pull this off and how I get on.

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