6 Easy Ways to Create a More Sustainable Wardrobe

Most people might not think of what’s in their closets when we talk about pollution and waste. But the fact is that the fashion industry does actually create huge amounts of waste, and that waste is very rarely recycled. Moreover, the problem is getting worse as fast fashion increasingly dominates the market. 


Wondering how to be more eco-friendly in your wardrobe selection? You’re not alone. Many shoppers are now in search of more sustainable looks that will slide seamlessly into their style. These six tips will help you choose greener options no matter what color you’re wearing.


Source: Maridav/Shutterstock.com


1.     Look for classic designs and high quality materials. 

Your wardrobe is an investment in yourself, and that means it’s important to buy clothes that will stand the test of time. Rather than cheap pieces that might look dated or come apart in a few years, invest in some durable classics that are made with quality materials. These are the clothes that form the foundation of a functional wardrobe. 


What should you be looking for? Experts recommend seeking out clothes in neutral colors with classic designs. Some examples include khaki chinos, dark jeans or a little black dress. Remember that you’re looking for the good stuff, so read some reviews of the brand and look for signs of quality like patterns that match at the seams, neat hems and a money-back guarantee from the manufacturer. 


2.     Go for sustainable fabrics whenever possible. 

Some fabrics and fibers are more eco-friendly than others. In general, natural fibers like cotton are more sustainable than synthetics like polyester, thanks to their natural biodegradability, but production methods matter a lot. Common fibers like cotton are often produced with heavy pesticide use and monoculture farming, so choose organic cotton when it’s available. 


What about synthetics? The good news is that they don’t require water use or pesticides like natural fabrics, but the bad news is that they don’t biodegrade in a landfill. Even worse, they degrade over time and shed tiny bits of themselves, called microplastics, into waterways. Since it can be tough to avoid synthetic fabrics completely, try to choose recycled synthetics whenever possible and wash synthetics carefully to reduce microplastic shedding. 


3.     Shop for clothes second hand. 

Secondhand shopping is a great way to keep clothes out of waste streams, and there are more ways to do it than ever. Thrift and vintage stores are the classic options for secondhand enthusiasts. Stores like Goodwill are perfect for those who don’t mind doing a little digging in search of something unusual and cool, while vintage stores are good for those who want a more curated selection. 


Source: Roman Chazov/Shutterstock.com


Apps like Depop, Poshmark, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are the other major ways to shop secondhand today. These platforms all offer huge selections, plus filtering tools and search functions that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. The potential downside is that they can be more competitive than a thrift store, since you’re shopping alongside hundreds or thousands of other people from around the country. 


4.     Don’t forget about your accessories.

Accessories can make an outfit, but have you ever considered their impact on the environment? What happened to that cute but cheaply-made purse that broke after a few months, or your old plastic phone case that you threw out? Unfortunately, the answer is usually that they end up in a landfill or in the ocean, where they have all kinds of negative effects on the environment.


Today’s accessories can help us do better, though. Many eco-friendly accessory companies now offer cute hats and purses made from recycled and sustainable fabrics, and that’s just the beginning. New developments in sustainable materials have given us cool accessory options like compostable phone cases to replace plastic ones — and tech lovers can even get eco-friendly Apple Watch bands that are as comfy as they are green.


5.     If you don’t love it, skip it. 

When you’re out shopping, it’s not just easy to buy things you don’t need, but it’s even possible to talk yourself into something you don’t really want. If something is made from an uncomfortable fabric, you don’t think you can pull it off or it’s a little bit too small or too big, there’s a good chance you won’t wear it very often. A few years later, you’ll probably be throwing it out. 


Practice saying no to yourself when you’re not totally sold on something. Save the cash and put it toward buying high quality clothing that really fits your style. In general, smarter and more conscious shopping practices will help you conserve your budget while buying more clothes that you’re actually proud to have in your wardrobe. 


6.     Learn to repair and sew clothes.

Much as gardening is a great next step for eco-conscious cooking enthusiasts, sewing and general clothes repair are awesome skills to learn for anyone who wants to make their fashion choices more sustainable. Knowing how to sew is one of the best ways to free your fashion from the cycle of consumption and disposal because it allows you not just to repair old clothes, but to create completely new ones from old materials. 


If you’re interested in learning how to sew, start with some small projects like sewing a button back onto a shirt. As with almost any other skill you might want to learn, YouTube tutorials are your best friend. Once you’ve mastered some home sewing basics, you can set your sights on more advanced projects, at which point you’ll also probably want to invest in a sewing machine. If you find that you enjoy sewing, you might even start designing and making your own clothes! 


Source: Igisheva Maria/Shutterstock.com


If there’s one thing we know about fashion, it’s that it changes all the time. When fashion consumers make more sustainable choices, it helps steer that change in a more positive direction that can fight the influence of fast fashion and make everyone’s wardrobe a little bit greener.


DIY Earth Day Projects: Reusable Produce Bags

Celebrate Earth Day everyday by making some Earth-friendly projects. While many of us have plenty of reusable shopping bags what about produce bags? I didn't like how many plastic bags I was using to fill up and separate my produce with so I made some out of recycled flour sacks I had been using for dish towels. These are the best, light weight but sturdy, and EASY to make. Add The Green Life embroidery designs to these projects for extra detail. This collection features several linework designs that are great for quick embroidery on light weight materials like flour sack towels, t-shirts, and shopping bags.  For the Upcycled Jeans Tote Bag you can use this tutorial here. Get the DIY tutorial on how to sew your own reusable produce bags. 

  • The Green Life embroidery collection
  • Flour sack towel 
  • Brother SE1900
  • General sewing and cutting supplies

DIY Reversible Tote Bag

With the lovely weather we've been getting down South, it got me inspired to sew a reversible tote bag for the Farmers Market. My son and I enjoy hitting up the Farmers Market most weekends. He loves to pick out fresh produce to cook and snack on. I have plenty of reusable totes but of course I don't think you can have too many. I love this vintage inspired cotton print from Stylish Fabric with the peaches (Peach state here). Yes, they have cotton fabric too! This is a large bag to fit plenty of things and can be customized with fabric for a weekend bag, a beach bag, and plenty of other options. You can even add pockets or snap closures as well. Get the DIY tutorial below on how to make a tote bag. 



DIY Knit Beach Romper


Made a little romper to wear to the beach this past week. It was a great swim suit cover up but also add a denim jacket and ready for lunch on the pier. This was made with Stylish Fabric's rayon jersey. I love that this material doesn't wrinkle in my bag and just has an overall nice weight and feel to it. They have all types of prints and solids offered. I wanted a Tie Dye/Shibori type look and went with this Navy Tie Dye on Rayon Spandex and added a fun macrame detail on the back. If you want other prints or tie dyes just use their search engine bar and have fun! Get the details below on how this romper was made. 


DIY Athletic Phone Arm Band

With Spring and warmer weather to look forward to soon, I thought I'd share how to make a phone arm band for workouts. I use this arm band for running, hiking, biking, and just general outdoor play with my kids. It's "handy" to not have to worry about your phone and I also like the Dritz 1/2" Grommets opening used for earphones. Use Dritz 2" Soft Waistband Elastic that works great for grip but also soft enough against the skin. Get the DIY tutorial on how to sew your own running arm band below. 



DIY: Sew Your Own Lounge Pajama Shorts

Well we are still lounging around the house here come February 2021 so might as well make something cute and comfy to wear. I love a women boxer short. I use to take my husband's until I bought a knit boxer set for myself and was blown away by the comfort. So I decided to make my own PJ Lounge short with Stylish Fabric's knit. They have the best knits, prints, and prices around so load up on a few options. You need about 1 yard of each. Here are the prints I picked Palm Leaves and Coral Stripes.

-1 yard knit fabric or cotton fabric: Palm Leaves and Coral Stripes.
-1 yard soft elastic for Underwear or Pajamas
-Simple Shorts Pattern or draft one. (I drafted mine)
-Brother 1034D Serger and Brother Sewing machine (SE1900)


Machine Embroider a Sweatshirt: Valentine's Day Inspired

Take a plain sweatshirt to the next level with machine embroidery. From monograms to fun designs you can customize this cozy wardrobe essential for yourself and others (great gifts). Get the tutorial below on how to embroidery a sweatshirt (Valentine's Day inspired) with Embroidery Online. 



-CutAway stabilizer

-Applique Fuse and Fix

-Brother PE800

-505 Spray Adhesive

-5 x 7” hoop

-Clips (hair clips)

-fabric marking tool 

-Embroidery designs: Lipstick Applique from Retro Mod Bathroom Collection

and Love.

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