How to create a sustainable wardrobe

How to create a sustainable wardrobe

We are delighted that Donna, a personal stylist who specialises in sustainable fashion, has written this piece on how to create a sustainable wardrobe just for us. It’s brilliant for teens, as buying pre loved not only helps the environment but also the budget! We’re sure you’ll love what Donna has to say:


To create a wardrobe that represents sustainable values doesn’t need to mean big investments and drastic changes. Quite the opposite.

By making just a very small shift, you can make an impact. If everyone chose to buy just 1 pre loved item over a new piece, it would save 449 million lbs of waste, 25 billion gallons of water and 5.7 billion pounds of CO2. (Source:Thredup Resale Report 2022)

The pre loved and vintage market has seen incredible growth recently. And it’s not slowing down in pace. With big sponsorships and more mainstream acceptance, the market is anticipated to grow by 127% by 2026. Technology, social media and pop ups are helping this growing market get more accessible. The passionate community of vintage and pre loved sellers is constantly evolving to deliver a beautiful shopping experience, that feels hugely rewarding on a personal level – a feeling of good energy and having sourced something interesting, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.

The facts speak for themselves. You know how positive the impact can be on the climate, on your clothing budget, and on your long standing relationship with your clothes. This also has an impact on how you feel, your headspace. To step into the space of sustainability within fashion doesn’t need to feel an overwhelming task, but there’s a lot of information, terminology and nuances it’s helpful to know. Let me lead you through how you can move past the lure of fast fashion, confidently.

How to create a sustainable wardrobe

1. F I L T E R   T H E    N O I S E

Our phones are a noisy place to be. Especially now, with even more moving images, music, reels. And with ads from high street fast fashion brands and influencer culture contributing to the sense of urgency to buy into the next trending piece, the next must have. To hold your phone is sensory overload. When you have an event looming, or you’re feeling under pressure, stressed or emotional, it can be all too easy. With a few clicks you have a delivery on its way.

Look at the behaviour and repeated language of influencers and brands you follow through your social media. Take notice of hauls, contradictions in posts, swaying from talking about the ‘importance of capsule collections’ to ‘must haves’. Unfollow, or mute brands and influencers, whose values don’t align with yours. Who you recognise don’t make you feel good; encourage that instant reactivity. Your online space is yours, the imagery that you’re fed is yours to control and filter that in a way that serves you and your headspace.

2. T H E   B A C K B O N E

To first step in pushing back against fast fashion, and to make more sustainable, ethical choices with your clothes, is to strip it all back and to really grasp what you already have.

Understanding what you already have allows you to identify what core pieces, to form a backbone of your wardrobe, are missing. These will always be your priority, to support the looks you want to build. Pieces that will be a priority will be Denim, Knitwear, Basics, Outerwear. Have a list of what it is that you need, to maintain your focus. Look at your wardrobe objectively, section by section. To understand what you know feels good for you to wear, what suits your frame, how your clothes behave for you, is a huge step toward grasping what you know you need from your clothes. Along with what inspires you, this will enable you to feel confident to filter through the noise of what you’re pressured to feel you should have, and make more considered shopping choices.

I’ve created a helpful guide for you, to lead you through editing your wardrobe, that you can download:

3. I N S P I R E D

Creating an inspiration board is a great way to allow your thoughts to roll. I’m not talking about a Pinterest board per se. I’d encourage you to try to curate something tangible, a collection of images you’re drawn to. Not necessarily all of fashion, clothes. Look to images of places, interiors, art, vintage cars, flowers even, look to textures. Look to small moments of detail you’re drawn to. You don’t need to explain it, if it’s an energy that grabs your attention. Pull it together, and through this process, as the images come together you’ll begin to identify a common thread of what inspires you. That could be an era you’re drawn to, print, colour, silhouette or a minimal aesthetic.

You will then have this collection of images that you know inspires you, that are reflective of details that you love. You can look to that to maintain your focus, through elements of those moments of details. To maintain the direction you want to take, to not get distracted by what everyone else is doing. To have the visual prompts, those small reminders of what makes your personal style individual to you. An inspiration board doesn’t need to look a particular way. Here is an example of a style that I curate, but if you prefer to work bigger, more maximalist, do it. Enjoy being creative with it.

Sustainable fashion inspiration board4. F O C U S

Once you have identified where your priorities lie, where you need to invest your clothing budget first, and what inspires you, look to the details that work for you, and what you know you’re drawn to. For instance, you’ve decided to buy a long length double breasted coat. Consider what that significant piece would look like, for you. It will be different for everyone. Think about the fit, tone, print, if any, you want to channel. How representative of your personal style and individuality that piece is. Write that focus down if it’s helpful.

Then take to the pre loved selling sites, to Google, and type in those specifics, or adjust the filters to only show you what will deliver what you need. In both the men’s and the women’s sections, this will allow you maximum choice.

For Example : Wool Mix – Double Breasted – Grey – Longline Coat – Size 12/14 – Vintage – Pre Loved

Set the budget to what feels a comfortable spend for you, and hold that boundary for yourself.

If there’s nothing that fits the bill, this time, set your notifications to be alerted. Or reach out to your favourite pre loved sellers and ask to be notified when something comes up. Holding your ground, and being patient will only ever be fruitful and will feel amazing when you do source what you’ve been looking for, at a great price. Such a positive experience all round! These are the pieces with longevity, these are the pieces that you’ll grow to rely on. These are considered purchases because you know exactly what they needed to do for you.

Trends are circular. If you’re seeing something gaining traction and popularity now, filtering through the high street and your social feeds and seeing them around on your peers, those pieces will have been around before. They will have had their moment before, and so will be out there in the pre loved circular system. Using the filters and searching key terms will help you source them efficiently. Also, consider the power a seamstress can have here, to allow you creativity through your pieces, and to allow you to get the best possible fit for you, for a small fee.

A S K  F O R  H E L P

There’s so much to share with you, to enable you to build a sustainable wardrobe. To take the first steps to slow down your reactivity and reclaim the control, the fun from your clothes and the journey to acquire them, pieces that are reflective of the individual you are, what you love and what inspires you. Your style, your clothes are intrinsic to who you are, how you express yourself. Allow yourself to feel supported and confident, they’re important and deserve that level of time and respect. If there’s anything I can do to support you in making shifts, they can be small. Please know you can reach out to me, at any time.

A B O U T  M E

Donna is a personal stylist with over 8 years experience working intuitively, in a visual, gentle way that supports her clients to slow down their pace when it comes to approaching their wardrobe. In recent years especially, Donna has been educating women to understand how impactful fast fashion has been, and is to our environment, and communities. Working at either a 1:1 level or through her workshops, Donna is hugely passionate about teaching us how to unlearn our inherited behaviours and shopping habits to work towards a less reactive approach to how we shop. In a way that allows you to feel confident to make informed choices that are more budget friendly, and contributes to positive changes.

You can reach Donna on Instagram or Facebook. Full details of how she works can be found through her website.

Thank you so much, Donna, for your tips on how to create a sustainable wardrobe. We’re totally inspired by your advice. We know that teenagers who are trying to avoid fast fashion but aren’t sure where to start will be too. 

Louise & Anna x

Bad vibes don't go with my outfit A4 print

‘Bad Vibes Don’t Go With My Outfit’ A4 Print

A little bit about Equipp

We’re Louise & Anna, mum to 5 teens and young adults. We set up Equipp to help spread happiness and positivity amongst today’s amazing young people. We believe it’s vital that every teenager is given confidence to believe in themselves.  Telling them how wonderful they are and putting a daily smile on their faces via the cards and gifts they receive from Equipp is integral to everything we design and produce. Have a browse around our collections of birthday and teenage milestone gifts and please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like any recommendation.

We love to celebrate teenagers in every way, and are building a community of parents who feel the same. We hope you enjoy reading our blog posts and we’d love it if you came and joined us on Instagram or Facebook to chat about parenting teens.

Oh, and we’re raising money for a fantastic teenage suicide prevention charity, Hector’s House, with a donation from every purchase from Equipp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *