With the nice weather here to stay, no is the perfect time to get organized, and a great place to start is your closet! Regularly auditing your wardrobe is an effective way to take stock of your clothing, reduce clutter, organize your favorite outfits, and declutter space. When performed seasonally, this process can encourage shoppers to purchase with intent, be mindful of the environment, and increase the longevity of your textiles.
Below I’ll be sharing some advice you can use to clean up your wardrobe and replace old items with sustainable alternatives!
6 Tips for Preparing a Sustainable Wardrobe this Summer
Always make sure all your clothes are clean, especially if you have plans to donate your unused or gently used garments. Starting with clean clothes allows you to take a complete wardrobe inventory, and ensures clothing is in the best condition to be stored, donated, or recycled. To ensure your textiles last, follow proper care instructions located on the tag, and correctly use your washing machines settings.
After you’ve cleaned your clothes and performed an initial inventory, it’s time to sort them into three piles, keep, donate, and recycle. Start by checking the label of each item to see if it still fits, while also inspecting for stains, rips, missing buttons, etc. If the article doesn’t fit, but is of high quality and stain-free, place it in the donate pile. If the item doesn’t fit, or won’t pass your inspection, place it in the recycle pile. Before putting everything else in the keep pile, pull out duplicate, old, or unused articles and set them to the side. If they are unused, gently used, and still look good, place them in the donate pile. Remember, sorting and downsizing means letting go of unnecessary items.
Now that everything is sorted into their respective piles, pull aside all the garments in the keep pile and subject them to the following questions. The step will help you determine if the cloths in your keep pile are actually worth hanging on to. For every article in your keep pile, ask the following questions:
- Is it multi-seasonal, transitional, or timeless?
- Is it of high quality, In good condition, and still fits?
- Do you wear it often?
- Is it sentimental?
- Does it give you self-confidence or make you feel good?
- Do you have less than 30 pieces of clothing in your closet?
If you can can answer “yes” to every question, set that garment aside the keep pile, ultimately, these outfits will make their way back into your closet.
After you’ve gotten cleared away your unused, worn out, or out of season outfits, your closet may seem a little bare, and that’s okay, we will address this below.
Always donate your unused, gently worn, and seasonable apparel. Not only do the donated outfits help individuals in your community, it also prevents textiles from being sent to a landfill. You may notice that your donate piles contains a few duplicate, unworn, and rarely worn outfits, but make sure each item is of the highest quality and never donate fast-fashion articles (recycle them). A seasonal cleanout and donation, helps you avoid collecting items you don’t like, and allows you to feel good knowing those items get a second life by individuals in need. Gentlemen, also this goes for your used suits, tuxedos, ties, and dress wear. If it’s in good shape, but doesn’t get worn or won’t fit anymore, donate it.
(Include local donation organizations)
Now that you’ve sorted, bagged, and donated or recycled your used textiles, it’s time to re-organize your closet with the articles you’ve selected to keep. Following the rules of minimalism goes a long way, so avoid collecting more than 30 single-season outfits in your closet at one time. Keeping your clothes clean, hung, and in place allows you to easily inspect and keep count of your outfits. As long as you remember to store all large or bulky seasonal items in the closet or under the bed using organizers to maximize space
#6 Purchase Wisely
- Put simply, avoid fast-fashion, and unnecessary shopping sprees.
- Replace fast-fashion articles with their durable, transitional, and sustainably produced alternative, until they’re all gone.
- There are dozens of exemplary textile manufacturers that go above and beyond to source and produce products that benefit people and the planet. For example, Pact Apparel specializes in organic cotton and authenticates their products on the tag, listing materials, health, and environmental certifications such as Global Organic TextileStandards (GOTS), or Fair Trade Certified.
- Instead of replacing or purchasing new formalwear, consider renting from an online suit and tux rental company like The Black Tux seen here, because even if the suit or tuxedo comes back worn out, it will either be repaired and donated, or recycled!
Your Choices Make a Difference
In conclusion, the purchases you make, the clothing you keep, and the ways you dispose of your clothing is important. When taking on your closet this summer, keep in mind that this is benefiting you, your community, and your plant. As you reduce consumption, waste less, and donate more, you’re voting with your wallet, while also saving raw materials, time, and energy. So shop, buy, and care for your clothing with intent, because the longer they last, the less you need.