Building a sustainable wardrobe can seem like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be! Making eco-conscious decisions through your clothes can be very exciting and can also make the process of curating your dream wardrobe even more enjoyable.
Step 1 - Optimize Your Closet
Start by going to your closet and analyze what you currently have to work with. These pieces will be your building blocks for setting up your ideal style, and it’s essential to be aware of all of them to avoid purchasing something you may already own. Go through every single item and evaluate what you don’t wear and why. This exercise will help you learn about your personal style, your preferences, what fits you best, and will shine a light on what key pieces are missing to complete your collection.
As you’re going through your closet, try to keep in mind ‘’What would Marie Kondō do?’’. If it doesn’t spark joy, it needs to go! You want everything to be in front of you (it helps to lay them out on the bed) to make sure you don’t miss anything. This will make it easier to clearly spot your essential pieces vs. the ones that are no longer serving you. If you haven’t been wearing something because a button is missing or a strap snapped off, it’s time to turn to YouTube tutorials and learn a few sewing techniques (or just become friends with your local seamstress! 😉). Holding on to clothes you don’t wear anymore takes up valuable space and makes it harder to see what you have—with a pared-down and more refined selection, you’ll know what you’re working with and will make wiser decisions when shopping.
Step 2 - Say No to Impulsive Purchases
Impulsive buys feel great in the moment, but often lead to the purchase of short-lived trends that end up in the back of our closet. We’ve all been there, and we can all benefit from breaking this cycle!
Now that you know exactly what your closet holds, make a list of what’s missing. Go through your clothes and create as many outfits as you can, while imagining which other elements would complete them. Is there a common denominator? If you find yourself thinking multiple times ‘’white shoes would look great with this’’ or ‘’If only I had a black coat to go over that’’, then you know you would get a lot of wear out of a new pair of sneakers and a classic black trench. Write these items down and keep a list for the next time you go shopping. We know this is easier said than done for some, so if you’re struggling with envisioning outfits, don’t be shy to ask your stylish friends for help or turn to Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration! Of course, you can always reach out to our team who will be delighted to assist you for any styling advice for your swimwear and leisurewear picks 😃
We recommend doing this seasonally, that way you will have time to note which items you’re missing and what may need to be replaced or mended. This will also be a good time to take note of what you have too much of. As we purge our closets, we often realize we have too many of one thing—too many scarves, too many plain tees, etc. It’s good to take note of “what not to buy” as well!
When looking for these new pieces, take your time! We cannot stress enough how buying something in a hurry leads to questionable decisions. Embrace the art of slowly curating a refined wardrobe. Now that in-person events are picking up, think of what could come up that would require a specific outfit. See if there is anything already in your closet that works and if not, add what is missing to your list and keep those items in mind the next time you go shopping. This will prevent last-minute purchases right before the event, and the extra time will allow you to hunt for something that suits your style, fits your budget and that you will feel amazing in.
When analyzing your potential purchase in the fitting room, ask yourself if it’s versatile enough to create more than one outfit. If it is, the next step is to evaluate how the piece looks and feels on you. Be picky! Is there anything about the cut, fabric, fit or finishing touches that bothers you? Do you feel 100% comfortable and confident in it? Any hesitation is a sign you should put it back and sleep on it. If you don’t think about it over the next few days, chances are it wasn’t meant to be.
Step 3 - Embrace Multiwear Pieces
Another way to assure your new finds offer versatility is to go for multiwear styles. Think tops and dresses with customizable straps, one-pieces that can be worn as swimwear or as a bodysuit, tunics you can wear in the city or as a cover-up at the beach, etc.
Designing clothing you can play around with is at the heart of Everyday Sunday’s creative process. In fact, many styles were imagined to be worn at the beach, as workout wear or as daytime pieces. Now that athleisure is in, it’s easier than ever to find comfy clothes without having to compromise on style. ES’s loungewear was created for this intent—to offer cozy and stylish pieces adapted for all occasions! Plus, many styles from the line mingle beautifully with our swim pieces, allowing you to create a ton of combinations. For example, you can pair a bikini top with biker shorts for the perfect hot yoga uniform or wear a one-piece swimsuit with jeans and a lounge vest for a casual-chic errands look.
Step 4 - Explore the World of Vintage
Second-hand shopping is a fun and eco way to feed your desire to acquire new pieces, while contributing to the circular economy. Thrift stores are not only the perfect destination for finding unique pieces, but are also great for developing your personal style in a creative way, without impacting your carbon footprint.
Even greener (and cheaper)—swap those items that just aren’t your style anymore with your friends. You never know how many gems are just sitting in their closet, waiting for a fresh pair of eyes to find them!
With many amazing vintage boutiques located in Montreal, here are our favourites:
- Ruse Boutique
- Charlotte & Gabrielle
- Schwap Club
- Empire Exchange
- Annex Vintage
- Eva B et Eva D
- Era Vintage Wear
- Citizen Vintage
Step 5 - Prioritize Organic and Recycled Fibers
This step requires extra consciousness when making purchases, but is a habit that will make a big difference for the planet and will ensure your money goes to companies who are doing their part. At Everyday Sunday, we’ve introduced the use of organic cotton and of fabrics that are entirely or partly made of recycled polyester, nylon or rayon for our loungewear, and have also launched three swimwear collections made partly or entirely of recycled nylon. As of now, close to 20% of our women’s swimwear is partly or entirely made of recycled nylon as we continue to increase our use of this fabric as well as of our other sustainable materials. Recycled or not, we always pick high quality fabrics which are hard-wearing and last well.
Some garments require a certain functionality that is difficult to match by natural fibers. This is the case for swimwear, for example. In this context, buying recycled nylon is a recommended alternative to minimize the environmental impact of your wardrobe. Nylon is not biodegradable but it can be recycled infinitely, and recycled nylon gives a second life to materials like reclaimed clothing and textile waste, which offsets part of its impact on our planet.
Step 6 - Make Your New Treasures Last for Years
Now that you’ve found practical pieces that reflect your personal taste, it’s time to give them some love! This last step is essential to make all the previous ones truly sustainable. There are a few things you can do to make sure your items stay in good shape.
Don’t underestimate the power of cold water. Washing on the cold setting is an overall wiser choice—it uses 90% less energy than when water needs heating, it’s more gentle on clothing, and with the right detergent removes stains just as well. Air drying your clothing also helps keep them looking new longer, since dryers can break down fibers, cause garments to shrink prematurely, and disintegrate dyes.
Also, items with elastic straps, waistbands or seams, such as bathing suits, bras, or sportswear, require even more delicate attention. The stretchy parts of these pieces have a shelf life and should be worn on rotation to let the elastic rest. This means you can have fun with variety by having a few on hand! Again, make sure you wisely choose fits, colours and prints you won’t get tired of. Having multiple styles of these items will allow you to keep them intact for many seasons, rather than wearing them out quickly and throwing them away.
Now, keep in mind that curating a sustainable and complete wardrobe is the work of a lifetime and definitely won’t happen overnight. However, by slowly integrating the tips mentioned above to your shopping habits, keeping the planet in mind when working on your style will become second nature. We can’t wait to hear how it goes!