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Sustainable Wardrobe Essentials for All-but-Basic Outfits in 2024

“What am I supposed to wear today?” is a question we ask ourselves daily. Whether heading to work, a friend gathering, a party, a formal event, or even the gym, we all want to look the best; coming up with a new look every single day is frustrating and time and money-consuming. 

Switching to a sustainable wardrobe is a possible solution to eliminate the endless daily stress of the what-to-wear dilemma; moreover, eco-friendly fashion helps our environment by reducing toxic waste, protecting human health, and supporting animals’ rights.

Unfortunately, the fast fashion industry is one of the most damaging to our environment, releasing harmful chemicals into water and soil. Did you know that your trendy outfits could be part of this problem?

So, if you want to contribute to people’s well-being and reduce the impact on the environment via your clothes, this article will help you to make your wardrobe more sustainable:

Define What Kind of Sustainable Basics You Want

The first step towards changing your wardrobe into a sustainable one is evaluating its current state. You should organize your wardrobe to have a better understanding of its contents. Start by sorting out what you already have; keep the flexible clothing items you constantly wear and let go of the ones you rarely put on. You can come across suck wardrobe pieces that you haven’t worn for a long-long time or items that you thought got lost.

When you have a better understanding of your wardrobe, and it is already organized, and you know which clothes are useful and which are unwanted, you just can think about donating to a charity the clothes that are not in trend, and you think you are not going to wear them in the future.

Sustainable Wardrobe Essentials - Accessories

Afterward, it’s the time to give your wardrobe the magical touch that will make each clothing item, no matter how basic, screams chic and style; this touch is the accessories. 

Accessories have a massive power to transform your look from boring to breathtaking, but you must remember that not all accessories are worthwhile. A sustainable wardrobe must accommodate sustainable and eco-friendly accessories only; just because they’re sustainable doesn’t mean they’re not stylish; in fact, the options are many, and you can find a variety of sustainable bagsfashionable eyeglasses, bucket hats, eco-friendly jewelry, and more. 

By switching to sustainable accessories, you’ll be giving yourself a favor by helping keep planet earth a better place for everyone to live. That’s not all; there’re still many clothing items that are all-times trendy, fashionable, and ethical.

Take a look at this video by BBC Ideas:

8 Sustainable Wardrobe Essentials to Have in Your Eco-friendly Closet

1. Organic Cotton T-shirt

Even though basic, an organic cotton T-shirt can inspire many stylish looks through the ability to combine it with so many outfits. You can tuck your cotton T-shirt into denim jeans and add a colorful belt for a casual look. Or, you can fit the cotton shirt with a blazer, some unique accessories, and tailored pants for a formal occasion, for example!

Organic cotton has many benefits. One and the biggest benefits is that it hasn’t been processed with harsh chemicals, and this makes the material more durable than conventional cotton. And an interesting fact is that organic cotton is better for people who have sensitive skin,

You will be stylish and environmentally friendly at the same time, as this T-shirt is made with organic cotton, reducing carbon dioxide, chemicals, and waste.

2. Neutral Spaghetti or Tank Top

Tank Tops are one of the most flexible clothing items to match any look, as they never get old or out of style. Depending on the occasion, matching a different accessory item or a special jacket with your tank top can create a whole new look. It perfectly pairs with pants, skirts, and shorts. Tank Tops are an essential piece that you can wear repeatedly and have an outstanding look each time.

Sustainable Wardrobe Essentials - Neutral colored tank tops

3. Monochrome long-sleeved Top and/or Turtle neck

When we turn to sustainability in fashion, we should build a wardrobe so each item complements another. A monochrome long-sleeved top is a versatile style across the seasons. And whether monochromic or not, turtle necks are a lifesaver when the famous question “what to wear?” pops up. This clothing item always adds this classic and stylish touch to your look. Not to mention, turtle necks are perfect for layering and can be worn for work and fancy occasions.

4. Denim Jeans and Skirt

Denim jeans are a long-time trend; they’ve been a stylish clothing item ever since the 1950s, and they’re here to stay. Lighter-colored models tend to be timeless, as they could be matched with a dark coat in winter and a colorful T-shirt in summer.

Denim skirts are no less important than denim jeans; they are trendy, classic, and versatile. Denim skirts bring a variety of options, so you never get bored with what you already have. Denim jeans and skirts could be worn during the winter or the summer, on a casual or formal occasion; you only have to know how to style them smartly.

5. The Little Black Dress

A little black dress is a cloth that every woman should have in her sustainable wardrobe. When you match it with simple sandals or ballet flats, it becomes a great casual dress that you can wear for a walk, shopping, or a picnic. But if you accessorize it with matching jewelry or other items and put on high heels, it turns into an ideal dress for most special occasions.   

 Little sustainable black dresses are made with organic cotton, linen, or recycled polyester, providing a style that never gets old. From Princess Diana’s “Revenge Dress” to Rihanna’s maternity gown, the little black dress has never been out of style.

It cannot go unmentioned that fashion historians credit the ultimate fashion Coco Chanel with popularizing “The Little Black Dress” as haute couture in the 1920s. In short, it is an outfit that communicates elegance and sustainability for all occasions.

Sustainable Wardrobe Essentials - Little black dress

6. Monochrome Jumper

When you go more towards a sustainable fashion approach, the first question is, how many times will I wear this? With jumpers, you will lose count. They could be a cozy winter option with a jacket, autumn and spring companion, and probably, the first thing to pack when going on mountain camping in late winter days. In short, you can wear jumpers all year round.

7. Tailored Trousers

At some point in time, we all will get bored with jeans, and the comfort of our pajamas is not always an option. Thus, a pair of well-made tailored trousers with the right fabric would end our wandering and simultaneously protect the environment.

Tailored trousers have something for both oversized or petite body shapes; they also belong to the categories of womenswear, menswear, or unisex clothes at once. In addition, they could be eco-friendly pieces of clothing that can suit just about everything. All in all, they are not to be missed from your sustainably rearranged closet.

8. Weekend Loungewear

Generally, when you get back from work, it is time to take the uncomfortable pants and tight bottom-down shirt off. Since it will still be too early to slip into your pajamas, here comes the rule of your weekend loungewear- as the name implies- to relax. 

Weekend loungewear makes a really ethical product being made with regenerated waste materials. Furthermore, it is a neutral-sex outfit with a matching jacket suitable for going out or staying in. In brief, it feels really good when you are paying an effort for the well-being of the whole universe by wisely choosing what to wear while also choosing your comfort.

Sustainable Wardrobe Essentials - Neutral colored athleisure

Conclusion

After what has been said above, the idea of shopping inside our heads should forever change. We are not saying you do not have the right to enjoy the process of shopping. We are just suggesting a more careful approach with sustainable items that are not only an economic complement of your style but seriously taking a clear stance with protecting the environment. It is an invitation to be part of the life-lasting change in your wardrobe and the universe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the principles of sustainable fashion?

In sustainable fashion, the proper manufacturing process includes conservation and proper use of natural resources, making sure that the materials used have an ecologically low impact on the environment and can be recycled, make sure that employees have proper working conditions and are paid well. Read the full guide to learn more about sustainable and ethical fashion.

What is the difference between slow fashion and sustainable fashion?

The difference is that slow fashion focuses on brand practices and is based on consumers’ shopping habits. The main goal of slow fashion is to reduce consumption and production. On the other hand, sustainable fashion aims to utilize sustainable materials that can be recycled. Read the full guide to learn more about slow and sustainable fashion.

What is the softest and most sustainable fabric?

Organic cotton is considered to be one of the most natural, sustainable fabrics, and its farming uses 62% less energy and 88% less water than conventional cotton. Many sustainable clothing brands use organic cotton to produce such products as maternity and baby clothes, underwear, t-shirts, and more. Read the full guide to learn more about sustainable fabrics and clothing.

References and Useful Resources 

Forbes: Why Sustainable Fashion Matters  

Unsustainable Magazine: Eco-friendly Beach Essentials

Healthline: Sustainable Alternatives – Recycled Clothing  

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