Sustainable Style

What do these boots, this sweater, and this vest have in common?
They were all purchased at Goodwill!

Today I'm going to be sharing some tips for tidying up your closet and making your wardrobe more sustainable.

Tidying up your Closet

Recognize the need to refresh. Times come when we need to update our wardrobes and let go of items we've had forever. As I enter my later twenties, I find that I'm gravitating towards different styles than I used to. Although I still love that worn out floral dress I bought in college, it might be time to let it go. See some ideas below for keeping a piece of that beloved item around!

Be honest with yourself. I have a plaid jacket that I bought when I was in high school (10 years ago) and keep promising myself that I'll wear it. I probably haven't in at least 2 years. Be honest with yourself about what you don't wear. Unless your body is actively changing, let go of clothes that don't fit. Having a wardrobe that consists of clothes that you know you can and will wear simplifies things.

Keep, donate, toss. This method is popular for a reason. Make three piles and make sure to follow through. When I really want to get serious, my goal is to make a decision about the item in a maximum of one minute. That way I lessen the amount of time I can rationalize keeping something I shouldn't.

Steps for a Sustainable Wardrobe

Check out secondhand stores. Thrift shopping is like a treasure hunt. It's a time investment, but so worth it when you find great brands for amazing deals. Not all thrift shops are created equal. This fall I checked out the Oregon City Goodwill and keep going back because they always have great items! I rarely buy high end brands new, but it's surprising how many high end items in great shape you can find secondhand.
Brand savvy: These Goodwill finds were incredible deals on brands I would never buy full price. The vest is Gap, the sweater is Nordstrom BP, and the boots are naturalizers. I bought them for $10, I found them online for $140!

Check out sustainable companies. 
There are some wonderful businesses out there that are dedicated to sustainable fashion. Check out PACT. In their words their goal is "to create the comfiest clothes in the world without destroying the earth, or harming people". Their shop is full of super-soft basics that you can feel good about living in. 

Mix up wardrobe pieces in unexpected ways. Keep you wardrobe feeling fresh and updated without buying anything by styling an old piece in a new way. For example, see how I styled a patterned skirt  and a flowy tunic in three different ways.

Repurpose retired clothing. When a top or skirt you love no longer works for you, you can repurpose the fabric into an infinity scarf, bag, or headband! Pinterest has some amazing ideas for this. It's nice to be able to hold onto a pattern or fabric you love and get a new accessory out of it.

Support local and family businesses. Small business shopping helps the local economy survive the Amazon era. It's neat to know that your purchase can help a family meet their needs, or keep a beloved boutique in your town alive.

Don't buy it unless you love it. This is the hardest one for me. If it doesn't fit quite right, if it isn't your color, if you can't picture yourself wearing it, even if it is $8, don't buy it! When I've justified these types of purchases, I always regret it when I wear the item. Unless you are committed to tailoring clothing it is just not worth it, and clearly not sustainable.

Do you have any other tips for keeping your wardrobe fresh and updated while being conscious of the global and local community? What are your techniques for tidying up your closet? Let me know in the comments below.

To see more thrifty, cozy, and cheerful styles and keep up with my other adventures and projects, follow me on insta, @kelseymichelletew. Or find my blog facebook page here! Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. These are all excellent tips! I try to be ruthless when donating clothes I haven't worn in years but there are a few pieces that have weird sentimental value that I can't seem to part with. Time to donate or repurpose! Thanks!

  2. I've been going through my closet carefully and selling or donating the things I don't love wearing—including the ones I think I should wear but just don't feel comfortable. I'm a big fan of second-hand shopping, and you have some great tips here!

  3. these are some great tips! I have a hard time parting with clothes for some reason but I like the idea of donating if you haven't worn it in 2 years! portland has some great goodwills too! i love them for finding blog props!

  4. It's definitely time for me to do a run down of my closet and donate lots of pieces. Love the sweater and vest that you were able to score at Goodwill. Thrift stores are such a fun way to shop!

  5. I am all about second hand shopping, not just for clothes but also for home goods too! I love the sweater and how you layered it!


  6. We have been thrifting a ton lately, and it feels so good. It's amazing how one person's trash is another's treasure!!
    In fact, if you're interested, there's a couple of us that host a #thriftedchicstylechallenge every month. This month it's Feb. 12-16. And there's even a prize!! (you can see the highlight in my IG feed: @jtouchofstyle). We'd love for you to join us!!

  7. These are all such fab finds! Love the sweater on you, and thanks for sharing your tips with us too! XO



  8. I can't believe you found such amazing pieces at a thrift store...especially those boots. My daughter loves to shop at thrift stores, I just don't have the patience. I love all your tips, and totally agree with all of them, especially the one about not keeping something if it doesn't fit.

  9. Such a cute look! Love those boots!

    <3 Shannon 
    Upbeat Soles


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