5 Tips For A Sustainable Minimalist Wardrobe

Posted by Fiona McAlpine on

A simplified wardrobe = a simplified life = higher quality living

Here's a summary of what I've learned as a nomading eco-fashionista on how to curate a sustainable minimalist wardrobe:

1. Determine your personal color palette.

Take a look at your current wardrobe and see which colors dominate. Monochromes? Neutrals? Earthy tones? Bright neons? Floral colors? This is your personal color palette. While most of your clothing should be within that one color palette, it's okay to have a few pieces that stand out. Having a single personal color palette is important because it will help ensure that most of your pieces match with at least something else in your wardrobe!

2. Include a solid chunk of basics

It's really what it is. Basics are for everyone, for (almost) every occasion! Dress up with heels or dress down with sneakers. They pair well with other basics, but they also pair well with more eye-catching pieces and accessories. A white tank will match with a variety of bottoms ranging from denim shorts, red jeans, to floral maxi's. Throw on simple studs or wear a pair of dramatic chandeliers. They are so versatile and will never be "out of fashion." Investing in high quality basics is really a great sustainable minimalist wardrobe decision. 

3. Downsize your wardrobe

Other than including pieces within your personal color palette, a solid chunk of basics, and some other of your miscellaneous favorites, take everything else out. Minimalism means cutting down and simplifying. Think about what you truly need, and seriously throw everything else out. By throwing out, however, I mean properly recycling non-biodegradable clothing (including most synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, etc), donating them, re-selling them, or giving them to your friends. See my previous post on reducing here

4. Buy less but buy better

Think twice about what you want. Avoid impulse-purchases. Let it sit overnight. If you can't stop thinking about it after a few days, maybe you do really want it. Think about whether it is within your color palette and will already match with your other existing pieces, or if it will require you to buy more new clothing just to match this one. Think about whether you would still want to wear this in a few months or in a year, or if it is just "in" now and will end up forever sitting in the corner of your closet after a month. Think about whether it is high quality and durable, or if it might rip in three washes and you would have to throw it out.

Buying higher quality may come with a higher price tag, but if you're buying less and buying better instead, these high quality and classic pieces may just last you a life time!

5. Choose clothing made with sustainable and natural fabrics

Developing a sustainable minimalist wardrobe requires you knowing what fabric types are most eco-friendly and natural. If you are buying something new, avoid virgin synthetic non-biodegradable fabrics such as virgin nylon and polyester (read more about polyester here), and choose recycled synthetics like recycled polyester (rPET) instead. This also means avoiding problematic natural fabrics such as conventional cotton (super pesticides-intensive and drains your fresh water sources), and buying organic or recycled cotton, hemp, and linen instead. Of course, there are also other eco-friendlier options you can look out for. Read my previous post here for a quick guide to greener shopping!

Or, if you are ready to become an expert on eco-fashion, you'll have to learn about...

My latest discovery of a must read for anyone that cares about do-good and harm-less fashion.


Whether you are already an expert or don't even know what eco-fashion means, Summer Edwards' recently released e-book, "6 Steps To A Sustainable Wardrobe," will equip you with everything you need to know in order to become a conscious consumer of fashion. It also comes with a helpful and handy workbook that will guide you through your thought processes behind why you shop, all the way through to what to look for when you shop. It has really made me reflect a lot, and I definitely will be using it as a tool to continue developing my sustainable wardrobe!

Overview of developing a sustainable minimalist wardrobe

1. Determine your personal color palette
2. Include a solid chunk of basics
3. Downsize your wardrobe
4. Buy less but buy better
5. Choose clothing made with sustainable fabrics

This article was originally posted by our friends at Kameo World. Head there for all your best tips on ethical living. 

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