When 30-year-old Lee Vosburgh, who’s based in Guelph, Ont., started her fashion blog, Style Bee, she zeroed in on maximizing her limited wardrobe. Consider trying her “10 x 10 Challenge,” which advises people to select 10 wardrobe pieces, come up with 10 outfits and rotate them accordingly over 10 days. “When you can see what you have to work with, you’re much less likely to feel like you don’t have anything to wear or you need something new,” she says. Here are her tips for building your most sustainable wardrobe yet:
Start where you are right now:
“Don’t add anything, and don’t get rid of anything,” says Vosburgh. Try things on and wear them out somewhere to really figure out what works and what doesn’t, and repeat the process for 30 days. That way you’re less likely to overlook pieces you actually want to keep.
Purge your closet responsibly:
Once you’re ready to part with some clothes, think about selling them so they don’t end up in a landfill. Vosburgh recommends downloading apps like Depop and TheRealReal or taking items to local consignment stores that will pay you 40 per cent of the sale proceeds.
Remember that sharing is caring:
Try turning your monthly book club into a little clothing swap as a fun way to change things up, says Vosburgh. Anything left over can be donated directly to organizations like The Salvation Army or Dress for Success.
Repair to re-wear:
According to Vosburgh, tailoring clothes that aren’t quite working can instantly transform them into custom pieces designed to fit your body. “It’s a great way to give new life to an old piece that might otherwise just sit on a shelf,” she says.
“It often means a higher price point,” says Vosburgh, “but you’re investing in an artist and their work and the time and effort that they put into it.”
Cost per wear:
Vosburgh recommends investing in the best quality pieces you can afford because they will stand the test of time and be easier to repair. “With lots of fast-fashion items, once they fall apart, there’s no way to salvage them,” she says.
Create a short wish list:
“When you’re tempted to impulse shop, you can refer to the list and remember what you’re really interested in and saving up for,” recommends Vosburgh. She also suggests capping your list at 10 items at any given time.