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How to Edit Yourself to a Sustainable Wardrobe By Robyn

Robyn Davies

Robyn Davies

*Sustainability* it’s one of the buzziest words in fashion right now. Thing is, you don’t actually have to buy stuff to dress more consciously and have a sustainable wardrobe. In fact, the most sustainable thing to do is maximize what you already have and then buy less, buy intentionally, and buy better.

If this sounds like a total buzzkill, or completely unattainable to you, stay with me.  The end result is a wardrobe that’s truly reflective of you (and better for people and our planet).  Good, yes?  Okay…now onto how to execute.  

Last month I challenged you to buy less stuff (or nothing at all) for a month.  Think of it as a shopping “detox.”  Did you try it?  How’d ya feel?  Anyone browse through their closet and think “I have nothing to wear”?  I hear you.  This is all part of the process.  

We’re gonna take that passive closet staring and make it actionable with a conscious closet edit.  This is a fancy way of saying *thoughtfully* clean out your closet.  Now, before you think, “I’ve done this before and I ended up with a closet full of nothing to wear a few months later,” a conscious closet edit IS different from just frantically tossing a bunch of stuff into a bag (hey, I’ve been there) because there’s intentionality behind it.  You do the following for each item:

  1. Ask yourself what you do or don’t like about it
  2. Decide whether there’s anything you can do to make a “no” a “yes” 
  3. Jot down why something is “yes” or a “no” so you can make more informed buying decisions in the future

By the time you’ve gone through your entire closet, you’ll be left with four piles: “yeses,” “noes” to alter into “yeses,” “noes” to style into “yeses,” and “noes” to responsibly let go.  It’s definitely more involved, then grab, look, and toss, but it’s totally worth the effort because you glean all these glorious insights into what actually works for you, plus, you discover ways to wear pieces that were previously a “no,” which is kinda like finding free clothes in your closet.  

…so, how does this actually work?  

Let’s say you’re deciding what to do with a pair of YSL-inspired Bermuda shorts.  

First, ask yourself whether you’ve worn them within the past month.  In this case, they’ve been handing in your closet for ages, so that’s a big “no.”   

Instead of just throwing them into a reject pile, ask yourself, “why?”  Maybe you love the style, but real talk, the fit just isn’t right for you–you like the high rise, but prefer a shorter inseam because it’s more flattering on your legs.  

Could you alter it to fit better?  In this case, it’s an easy alteration. Put this is your “‘noes’” to alter into ‘yeses’” pile, take them to your local tailor,  and ask them to raise the hem to your desired length.  

You’ll come away with a seemingly new pair of shorts that fits you perfectly (and keep them from ending up in the landfill).  WIN. WIN.  Plus the knowledge that as much as you may love Bermudas, they just ain’t happening for ya, so don’t buy them again.  

This last part is key because by knowing what actually works for you, you can more easily buy less, buy intentionally, and buy better.  Which gets you to that sustainable wardrobe 😉  

Ready to try it out?  Follow these four tips to get going:

  • Give yourself four to six to edit everything, depending on on the size of your closet (and stamina bc it’s surprisingly tiresome) 
  • Ask a friend to help you decide whether to keep or let go of something, or hire a stylist.
  • Set the mood.  Put on some music that gets you moving, and if you’re really feeling it, pour yourself something sparkly like a Lavender Margarita.  
  • Take notes as you go and store them in an easy to access place on your phone

Happy editing!




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