The basics of sustainable capsule wardrobe planning - How it can benefit you and the environment?

Updated: May 28, 2021

The idea of a sustainable capsule wardrobe is not a new one. It has been circulated in the blogging world for at least five years, and before that, it was a hot topic amongst celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston.

What is a sustainable capsule wardrobe?

A sustainable capsule wardrobe is an intentional selection of clothing items that provide you with sufficient pieces for your closet without needing to buy more clothes or resort to retail therapy. It's an amazing concept - buy high-quality clothing you will always love, never let your style get stagnant, and cut down on the amount of waste we create by discarding clothes after only wearing them once or twice.

Check out our blog post about textile waste: 5 things we should know about textile waste in the UK.

How can a sustainable capsule wardrobe benefit you and the environment?

At first, reducing decision fatigue was the most important benefit for me. More clothes mean too many choices to make. Before starting to build my capsule wardrobe, I used to feel tired. It wasn't very pleasant when I forgot to prepare my outfit the night before. I would wake up in the morning and feel already stress in the front of my closet because I couldn't match something fast, thinking I have nothing to wear.

With a capsule wardrobe choosing what to wear is easier and takes less time. With fewer hours searching for items in stores or online, trying to figure what to buy, a capsule will save you money.

According to the WRAP report, "Valuing our clothes" (2012), more than 300,000 tonnes of clothes go to landfill every year in the UK. The estimated value of putting this amount of clothes into the ground is £140 million. Individuals throw away over 3 kg of clothes per year. Imagine - a pair of jeans weighs about 0.5 kg and costs around £60, and a t-shirt weighs about 0.2kg and costs around £20. 3kg is roughly equivalent to 4 pairs of jeans and 5 t-shirts costing around £340.

As you progress on this journey, you find your sense of style more and more in the process. You will slowly develop a signature look that will make you feel more confident and reflect your values. Because a capsule wardrobe is made only of pieces that we love, hang on to our pieces longer, we decrease the demand for clothing production, which has a favourable effect on the environment.


I found myself inspired by Daria Andronescu (IG: @dariaandronescu), capsule wardrobe queen. She has a good suggestion: Don't be too harsh on yourself. “Start by making the most of what you have and then slowly add ethical, sustainable pieces into the mix”. She says, “Feeling guilty about your past or current fashion choices won’t lead to behaviour change. But if you do want to see change happen in your wardrobe and the environment, start by voting with your money. And vote wisely!

Further, I will outline the basics of capsule wardrobe planning to help you build a sustainable capsule wardrobe that is designed to fit your style while maximizing the wear of your time and money.

Let's start:

  • Evaluate your closet, and by that, I mean: You need to declutter!

Here are some tips to help decide on what to keep:

Uncover the secret treasures, try on each item and think to yourself:

"Do I wear this frequently or only once?"

“Is it too similar to the rest of my clothes?”

“Is it the proper size?”

“Do I find myself wearing it regularly?”

Livia Firth launched the 30 Wears initiative in 2016. It's as simple as asking yourself, "Will I wear this (whatever article of clothes you're considering purchasing) at least 30 times?"

Pick your favourite clothes and take into consideration your activity and lifestyle as well. When you complete going through all your pieces, you will probably have left with few pieces of preloved or outdated garments. Alternative to putting into charity recycle bins, and we created the #Repurpose_n_Redesign Project that can help you transform your preloved garments into something practical and fabulous.

#Repurpose_n_Redesign Project is an upcycling solution for reducing textile waste and aims to extend the lifespan of a garment. Check it out!

  • Investing in high quality, sustainable, trans-seasonal “basics.

To complete your wardrobe look, invest in high quality, sustainable, trans-seasonal “basics”. Your capsule wardrobe is all about creating a strong foundation of basics, tops and bottoms that look great combined so that you can mix up your outfits. A capsule wardrobe is all about balance, so don't worry if it seems like there are no black pants or black skirts in your wardrobe. We will discuss later remaining consistent with your sense of style.

A much needed basic is the white tee because it can be worn with anything. The weather is no obstacle to the classic white T-shirt either, as you can layer or de-layer as the temperature rises and falls. It's usually a good idea to have a few in your rotation and high-quality ones. Buying higher-quality, more environmentally friendly clothes, at first, may cost more than fast fashion products, but in the long term, you own it longer, and you will buy less every season.

You want to make sure that you are buying from a brand that shares your values. End Of More is a brand that operates with a sustainable focus in mind. Begin small and save months ahead of time for those pricey goods, such as a winter coat or high-end jeans.

  • Maintain your style.

Keep in mind your style. There's no need to sacrifice your distinctive personal style in the name of minimalism. Keep the ones that are adaptable and reflect your personality. Pick your colour palette. Primary colour and some complementary colours will emphasize your skin tone after you've decided on your base colour, or go with your favourite. It will be easier to put together outfits if you have a colour palette because your things will coordinate properly.

The final tally. A capsule wardrobe typically includes 30 to 40 pieces of apparel per season, including shoes and accessories. Accessories play a critical role, and it is up to you to make a great and distinctive outfit by accessorizing. If you need inspiration for clothing styling, you can check out Instagram accounts like @Gemmaamclean.

Make a final count, and if you believe you have more than enough, you may always repurpose and redesign extra!

Moving towards a sustainable lifestyle is undeniably something we should all strive towards. The capsule wardrobe is one of the easiest and most free ways to express yourself while minimizing the impact on Mother Earth.

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