If you follow fashion bloggers, by now you’ve seen many posts featuring popular looks and styles as well as endorsements for products this summer. There’s a lot of different trends, fashions, and styles out there, eager for your purchase, but before you make your purchase, I’d urge you to consider a few principles I’ve adopted from sustainable and ethical fashion. Why should that matter? After completing Tortoise and Lady Grey’s 20-Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge and considering other challenges like The 30×30 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge discussed on Celeste Fohl’s blog Bookish & Belle, I’m beginning to see how little I need in my wardrobe to be stylish. As an advocate of sustainable and ethical fashion, I’ve found the importance of reducing waste and supporting companies and organizations that use natural dyes, recycled materials, and provide fair treatment for their workers. Hearing this description, you probably think sustainable and ethical fashion is for Hippies, or its support of eco-friendly practices means it’s ugly. This actually isn’t the case. To show you what I mean, I’ve created some outfits to show you how you can use certain principles from sustainable and ethical fashion to create fun, fashionable summer outfits.
For each outfit, these are the guidelines I’ve set for myself to incorporate sustainable and ethical fashion:
- Using items already in my wardrobe instead of purchasing.
- Purchase new only from sustainable and ethical companies.
- Purchase from second-hand shops.
- Make items for my wardrobe.
- Mend and repair items, instead of throwing them out.
- Repurpose wardrobe items into another piece of clothing or other item.
With each purchase I’ll also list prices and companies so you know where you can shop and how affordable it can be. If I make something, I’ll also indicate where I plan on using leftover scraps so you can see that each piece of fabric is used. Last but not least, if I have something already from my wardrobe, I’ll share how many years I’ve had it so you can see how timeless, classic pieces have longevity and can enhance your wardrobe. Even if I don’t all of these principles in my post, I’ll have them handy for future outfits so you can see how to do the same with your wardrobe. So, without further hesitation, let’s begin!
For my first outfit, I chose to wear a dress I found that’s not only perfect for summer, but also a purchase I determined was a winner for future travels. It’s manufactured by prAna, and it’s made of 45% recycled polyester. Although it may seem prAna is only about yoga and workout clothing, it also features great travel and everyday clothing that is Fair-Trade certified. PrAna uses environmentally conscious materials as well as ensuring their workers are treated fairly and work in safe conditions. Although I love my sailboat earrings since I purchased them at a local shop in Denver, Colorado named Starlet, I have always had an affinity for my purple beaded earrings I made in high school and continue to wear with multiple outfits. You can never go wrong with a simple jewelry design to amp up your wardrobe.
From My Closet: Sailboat Earrings (Starlet), Years I’ve Owned: 3
Purchased: Purple Dress (prAna), Price: Gifted to me, but around $25
What I Made: Purple Stone Earrings
This jacket I purchased from Flashbacks Recycled Fashion, a second-hand shop in San Diego, California and have loved incorporating it into my wardrobe. Although I admire Anthropologie’s affinity for handmade and retro-styled clothing, I have a hard time affording it, which is why I was thrilled to find this jacket used. Since I’m also skilled at alterations, I wasn’t afraid to purchase this jacket and take in (knowing alterations or a great tailor can go a long way!) I’ve also found what’s gone a long way is purchasing this camisole when I used to work at Banana Republic. I have others in different colors and wear them in many outfits and many occasions. My denim skirt is also no exception since I made it several years ago after seeing a similar version in a Delia’s. One of the best things about my skirt is that I use leftover denim to repair clothes all the time. My only setback in this outfit is the shoes, which when it comes to sustainable and ethical fashion I hope to find more options for pants and shoes in stores so I can try them on since I prefer not to buy them online. Anyone have suggestions for stores that have products from sustainable and ethical shoe companies?
From My Closet: Brown Lace Camisole (Banana Republic), Years I’ve Owned: 8; Orange Flip Flops (Born Concept), Years I’ve Owned: Recently gifted to me.
Purchased From a Second-Hand Store: Jacket (Anthropologie/Elevenses), Price: $30
What I Made: Denim Skirt
After finding this dress in a Buffalo Exchange store in San Diego, California, I knew it would be a great addition to my regular and travel wardrobe. From a little help of my mom (nurse, seamstress, and photographer of this blog post), I fixed the uneven hem and used a rolled hemming stitch to finish the bottom. Once again, I’ve used the camisole and necklace, iconic staples in my wardrobe to help complete this look. I definitely feel ready for a night out or a date. What’s in your wardrobe for date night?
From My Closet: Cream Lace Camisole and Necklace (Banana Republic), Years I’ve Owned: 8.
Purchased from a Second-Hand Store: Dress (Cameo), Price: $20
Wherever my summer happens to take me, I’m prepared with some great summertime outfits, and I feel even better about my choices with some principles from sustainable and ethical fashion. I hope that wherever the summer finds you, you can begin to see the benefits of this movement and see how affordable, stylish, and simple it can be to incorporate sustainable and ethical fashion into your wardrobe. I’ll be looking into the 30×30 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge for the future, so until my next outfit post, I hope you enjoy all that summer fashion has to offer!