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5 Ways to Shop Your Own Closet

Global fashion brands have been producing clothes of lesser quality at increasingly rapid rates. In 2018, studies found that the fashion industry is responsible for up to 8 percent of global carbon emissions, and that number has been climbing ever since.  

Shopping fast fashion may seem more affordable, but throwaway culture and increased consumption make fast fashion expensive for consumers and the environment. Shopping your own closet is a great way to dress sustainably and reimagine the future of fashion.  

Here are some of our favorite ideas for sustainable fashion from your own closet. 


Upcycling is a great way to refashion wardrobe items. Using some creativity and imagination, you can customize something you want to wear using what you have. Some basics that are easy to upcycle include old shirts, jackets, jeans, and dresses. Transformation ideas include:  

-Cropping an old jacket to give it new life  

-Cutting a dress to make it into a new skirt 

-Turning old jeans into a bag/purse 

-Cropping old t-shirts  

Create a Capsule Wardrobe 

For a long-lasting alternative to fast fashion, try a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe consists of a few basic and classic pieces that can be easily mixed and matched. The key to a successful capsule wardrobe is avoiding trends. If your clothes never go out of style, you can often avoid purchasing clothes that will be thrown out in less than a year.  


Organize Your Closet  

One really simple way to participate in sustainable fashion is to organize your closet. Many people end up buying something they already own simply because they couldn’t see it in their closet. In fact, around 40 percent of clothing that is bought never gets used. By establishing what you already have, and making use of each item, you can significantly reduce waste. 

Cut Down on Excessive Washing 

Excessive washing can wear down your clothes and increase your carbon footprint. Just one load of laundry using a washer and dryer creates 3.3kg of CO2. To reduce this number, remember that items like jeans, jackets, pajamas, bras, skirts, and shorts can be worn three to four times before washing. For items that need to be washed more frequently, like shirts and delicates, try air-drying instead of putting them in the dryer. In the long term, your clothes are guaranteed to last longer.  


Make a Pinterest Board 

If you are bored with your clothes, try making an idea board before you hit the mall. Mixing and matching your clothes to create new outfits you’ve never worn before can help give your wardrobe a new sense of vibrance. Taking inspiration from people online, using your own creativity, or finding new ways to style an item are great ways to shop your own closet. To get started, YouTuber Hannah Louise Poston has some great summer fashion ideas in her video on shopping your own closet.

If You Do Have to Buy Something New... 

A great way to cultivate a sustainable summer wardrobe is by buying organic cotton clothing. Organic cotton requires less energy to produce, resulting in lower carbon yields. Organic cotton production is also free of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides, which often find their way into the water supply. If you can’t find organic cotton clothing, some great alternatives for sustainable summer fashion include linen and lyocell. 


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