Sustainable but Stylish
Jessica Eva for Public Figure
Our guide to being a more conscious curator when it comes to your wardrobe.
When sustainability comes into the fashion conversation it often refers to how the garments are made but the most important thing to remember when shopping intentionally is to look for quality. The most sustainable piece in your wardrobe won’t be something that is just well made, but something that is well worn and will see you through a lifetime of outfits.
Look for good tailoring, quality assured fabrics and attention to detail which may require you to invest a little more in something that will last you, rather than a cheaper piece that will only survive a few wears. A single high rotation piece demands far less resources in production compared to multiple poorly made one-off wears.
A good question to ask yourself with each purchase is if the item will meet the ‘30 wears’ challenge - a movement started to encourage people on the journey to curating a sustainable wardrobe. The idea is to question whether you will wear an item a minimum of 30 times with every new purchase, focusing your decision making on the garment’s likelihood of longevity and good fit.
The classic wardrobe equation
Build a timeless wardrobe by working on a base of classic, trendless pieces and adding statements that express your personal style. Similar to the idea of a capsule wardrobe which relies solely on rotating basic pieces, a modified version of this to feel more ‘fashionably free’ is to approach shopping with an essentials-first mindset.
Look through your wardrobe and consider your most repeated outfits- maybe it’s the classic jeans and tee, layered silk slips, a statement dress and sneakers, androdynous tailoring pared down with sneakers…. Find your everyday uniform equations then focus your shopping on these elements. Even though the combination will remain similar, when making investments choose pieces that fit the mould but add a slight point of difference, for example adding a statement piece of jewellery or a twist on the basic with a new detail or modified shape. For example if you’re a shirt and jeans girl, a feature collar will update the equation one day, whilst a modern blazer and chunky sandal will give a cool but chic look on the next.
Build your style on the pieces you know you will love forever and wear on repeat instead of relying on passing trends to guide your new purchases. After all trends will die, but a woman that knows her true style will always be timeless.
Be materialistic (in the right way)
A big part of your wardrobe’s sustainability rating relates to the fabrics your clothes are made from. Whilst this is also a contributing factor to our aforementioned note on shopping for quality, opting for more eco friendly fabrics will help to reduce the impacts of your wardrobe on the environment.
We recently covered our most preferred sustainable fabrics here but the general rules we shop by are favouring natural or recycled fibres. For one, natural fibres when grown sustainably support natural biodiversity and after use the garment will biodegrade, leaving less of a trace on our planet than synthetics that survive hundreds of years in landfill. Alternatively choosing well made regenerated fabrics such as Econyl which is derived from recycled fishing nets and consumer waste saves these items from landfill and reduces carbon produced from manufacturing virgin materials.
Public Figure exists to promote honest luxury and an approach to dressing that celebrates fashion in a more sustainable way. We hope these tips help to guide you to be your most stylish self, whilst building a mindful collection of well made pieces.