How to build a sustainable wardrobe
Sustainability

How to build a sustainable wardrobe

by Sam Maas on Feb 09, 2022

Climate change and sustainability have become a hot topic in recent years as we become increasingly aware of the fragility of our environment. We’re all trying our best to pick sustainable alternatives to reduce our impact on the planet with success! But did you know the clothing industry is responsible for at least 10% of annual CO2 emissions? Among others, fast fashion is one of the most important causes of the rise of this statistic in the last decade. 

Luckily, we’re seeing a fundamental change happening in the fashion industry. There are more and more brands that are leaping towards a sustainable approach. Haze&Finn is no different: our goal is to become fully sustainable by 2025.

Changing your take on fashion and choosing sustainable alternatives is a significant step towards a better world. This article will tackle some questions and give you some guidelines to make your wardrobe more sustainable. 


What is a sustainable wardrobe? 

A sustainable wardrobe is a wardrobe filled with clothing created and consumed sustainably. It consists of clothing and brands who work with sustainable fabrics and employ their people within decent working conditions with a fair wage. 

 

7 steps to building a sustainable wardrobe

The big question: how do you approach and build up your sustainable wardrobe? We’ll give you some guidelines, so you can avoid the typical downfalls and get the most out of your wardrobe. Let’s dive in, will we? 

 

#1 Take a good look at your current wardrobe

First and foremost, there’s no need to throw away your entire wardrobe to start anew. Are you surprised by this statement? Well, throwing it all away wouldn’t be very sustainable, no? Those clothes would just end up in a landfill somewhere, and that’s also something we would want to avoid. 

Instead of throwing it all out and starting over, we recommend that you take a good look at what you already have in your closet. Keep the pieces you love, and try styling them with other garments in your wardrobe. It might surprise you what you already have hanging around. Even if those are fast fashion garments, it’s better to wear them until they fall entirely apart than just get rid of them because they aren’t from the right sustainable brands. 

Besides, don’t just throw away clothes that have a minor defect. For example: does it have a hole? Most of the time, you could quickly fix that with a needle and thread. You can find a lot of easy-to-repair interventions that don’t take a lot of money out of your pocket to renew a piece of clothing. 

Do you have garments in your wardrobe you don’t see yourself wearing any time soon? No worries, you can easily give those a second life by selling them on one of those popular apps or donating them to a friend or a thrift shop. 

 

#2 Pinpoint sustainable brands 

When you want to bring in new pieces to start your brand new sustainable wardrobe, it’s important to look at sustainable brands. Doing your research is crucial in that matter. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as you hoped it would be. There are still quite a few companies that actively greenwash their brand. Greenwashing means that brands are misleading consumers to believe their brand is sustainable. They’re pretending to be greener or more socially responsible than they are. They might do this unknowingly or even intentionally. However, there are some telltale signs to identify those companies. We wrote a whole article about this subject that you can read here. 

Before you lose your spirit: these days, quite a few brands on the market do care about the environment. Most of the sustainable brands are easily identifiable by recognizable eco-labels and certifications. Those reliable certifications are voluntary norms and standards related to environmental, ethical and social issues. They are a trustworthy approach since a third party verifies them. 

Sustainable labels

The moral of the story is that you should always look into the brand and its certificates before buying. Do your research online, and don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper!

 

#3 Second-hand clothing 

Next to buying from sustainable brands, buying second-hand is also a great way to minimize your ecological footprint. By giving clothing a second life, you prolong their lifecycle and make sure they don’t end up in the landfills prematurely. 


# 4 Adapt your shopping habits 

Change starts with yourself. Choosing deliberately to buy less and more unique and durable staple pieces instead of on-trend fast fashion items will spruce up your wardrobe immediately. 

Bonus points if you buy locally. When your garments are being made and sold locally, you will skip another polluting step: shipping and transportation! 

Fast fashion is also notorious for child labor and horrid working conditions. On the other hand, Sustainable brands like Haze&Finn make the commitment to making sure their workers have a safe working environment and a fair wage. You probably also will feel better by selecting sustainable brands that care about our planet. 


#5 Make sure you check the sustainability claims

Unlike some other brands, Haze&Finn makes sure to stand for their sustainability claims. For example, we committed to replacing plastic fibers with recycled plastics. That’s why we use REPREVE as an insulation material for our jackets. REPREVE fibers are recycled plastic PET bottles and are a more sustainable alternative. 

Tactics like greenwashing - which other companies sometimes deploy - are why it’s essential to read the labels and do your research online. Always check the claims these brands are making. These days, there are also quite a few third-party websites out there that regularly check these things. Always handy to keep a tab on those! 

Sustainability commitment

 

# 6 Build a capsule wardrobe 

Building a capsule wardrobe is also a great option to minimize your ecological footprint. By consuming less and more consciously, you’ll take a big step into a more green and sustainable way of living. 

A capsule wardrobe consists of a few staple pieces and revolves around timeless clothes and accessories you can combine endlessly. Because you buy fewer clothes, you can make a conscious decision and save up for some sustainable pieces that might cost a bit more. 

Things we recommend including in your capsule wardrobe are neutral t-shirts or polo’s, a pair of black pants, one or two pairs of jeans, knits or sweaters for layering and some shirts for a more dressed-up look.  


# 7 Buy clothes made of sustainable materials and fabrics 

Choosing low-impact recyclable materials and fabrics is essential for a sustainable approach to fashion. Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester acrylic are known to contribute to the microplastic problem in our oceans. Each time you wash those, they shed a bit of their microfibres/plastics in the water. 

More natural fabrics like organic cotton, organic hemp, linen, silk and wool are more sustainable options. Those natural fibers are biodegradable and compostable. In the end, they won’t contribute to the plastic soup.

That’s why Haze&Finn committed to using 100% organic, sustainable, or recycled products by 2025. 

Apart from the fabric type, it’s also essential to look at the extraction and production process. For example, organic cotton is a more sustainable option than regular cotton. The latter’s cultivation uses a lot of water and quite a few pesticides and fertilizers, which are not good for our environment and the workers on those plantations. 

Sustainable fabrics and fibres

Conclusion

You adapted a whole new take on fashion and durability by buying sustainable clothing, and that’s great! The shift we see these days in the fashion industry and consumers towards sustainability is something that we can only applaud.  

At Haze&Finn, we also committed to become fully sustainable by 2025. We want to inform our customers and make sure they’re making a sustainable choice when buying from us. That’s why we launched our ‘1% for the Arctic’ initiative, which means that 1% of all our online sales will go to an organization or individual committed to preserving the Arctic. Together, we can take a giant leap into a more sustainable future!