Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

  • Red Collective
  • 12/9/20
This post is written with a huge thanks to local maker, educator, and all around amazing woman River Takada-Capel of RIVTAK for her REDTalk on Building A Sustainable Wardrobe.
Here are our takeaways:
MAKE INTENTIONAL CHOICES: Inventory your current wardrobe. Afterwards, build an inspiration board on Pinterest or Milanote or even tangibly so that you have a goal aesthetic in mind. This way, you’ll know what you have so you won’t waste money buying duplicates and you’ll make less “spur of the moment” or “because it was on sale” purchases. That also equals less space taken up in your closet by things you never wear. River’s tip: evaluate what type of clothes you feel great in and buy more of those!
MAKE DO AND MEND: Sort and take time with your laundry, read the labels, go easy on the detergent and hang to dry - all of these actions help your clothing survive normal wear and tear. When a coat or sock finally begins to show its age, mend it creatively, upcycle it with new buttons, or settle in to the sofa with a binge-worthy Netflix show and learn to darn! There’s joy in being a part of the items you wear. PS: this super simple tutorial on sewing those pesky denim holes is easy and handsome at the same time.
HAVE A SWAP PARTY: We haven’t tried this activity digitally, but why not?! When the woes of Covid are just a memory, clothing swap parties are a great way to get your friends together and build each other (and each other’s closets) up. We can hear the repeats of “that looks FANTASTIC on you” already, not to mention it is a lovely notion to be reminded of a caring friend every time you wear a certain frock or blazer.

Here are River’s go-to resources:

GOOD ON YOU: This website (and app) make shopping ethically and sustainably soooooo much easier! In just a jiffy you can see how your favorite labels rank and discover new companies that are injecting mindful goodness into the apparel industry.
THESE FREE PRINTABLES: We don’t think you have to Marie Kondo everything in your walk-in, but using these worksheets will help you decide when to have that suit tailored because it still sparks joy (even though it doesn’t fit like it used to) and when to detox from that long-passé trend altogether.
KNOW YOUR TEXTILES: Are you allergic to wool? Is linen a luxury you can’t do without? Do you brake for polyester but only when its vintage? If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that a little knowledge allows us to make better decisions about EVERYTHING and this post is super helpful.
LAUNDER BETTER: Avoiding the harmful toxins that dry cleaners use is obvious, but this clever blogger has also broken down all the other ins and outs of how to care for clothing. Additional hot tip: laundry detergent from PUR home (a Black woman owned, family run business) smells great, comes in biodegradable packaging and is sulfate free, cruelty free, and vegan!
Have other sustainable tips, tricks, or resources? Share them via [email protected] or tag us in your photos on Instagram!

Our REDTalks always prove to be such informative sessions full of personality and community. Join us for our next one on December 8th when Shannon Salentine continues the mindful path, this time when it comes to parenting! SIGN UP here.

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