Starting a Sustainable Wardrobe on a Budget

Have you heard of sustainable fashion? It’s a topic that's starting to become more and more popular these days because of many pollution problems that the fast fashion industry is creating. There are many fashion activists that are trying to change the world one little grain at a time.

For me Natalia, (founder of I have started this path to minimalism to teach women how to love their clothes and make them last longer. While starting this journey I discovered that ethical and sustainable fashion is quite expensive. You may have heard of vegan leather shoes or organic cotton shirts, or recycled plastic fibers used for leggings or even sneakers. All of these brands that are doing an awesome work finding more sustainable practices, will obviously put a lot of time and effort into choosing the right suppliers and paying a fair wage to their workers in India or Bangladesh.

sustainable fashion

All of this is one small part of why sustainable fashion is “designer worthy priced”. These brands are not trying to just sell a $5-piece item for $200 so that they can profit out of it, they are making smart decisions of paying each part of their supply chain a piece of the profit, so that they are all happy and part of a community.

For me ethical brands are obviously on my wish list, but when you have $100 to spend on clothes, I actually feel bad about spending my budget only on one item. I like to buy the best quality I can afford, but if that means spending $100 on a fast fashion brand, I will focus on selecting textures and fabrics that I know I can make them last longer, and I am okay with that. At Lexie & Lee you can definitely find a lot of affordable options for creating a capsule wardrobe.

 What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of items that don’t go out of fashion. If you start shopping with a capsule wardrobe mindset you will be on the right path to starting a sustainable wardrobe! The more you think of your next purchase, the more you will love it and appreciate it because it was an analyzed item that you took your time to think if it will go with the rest items in your wardrobe. (This is my capsule wardrobe for the spring 10x10 challenge)

Capsule wardrobe 10x10

 You might be thinking, how do I start doing this? Well here’s just a very broad view of the steps you can take and start a sustainable capsule wardrobe:

  1. Change your mindset: Learn to love what you already have, you don’t need 10 jeans, you don’t need 15 heels, focus on the basics and essentials. Less is more.
  2. Design a color palette: This means to analyze everything that is in your closet. Focus on selecting the colors you use the most and learn to know your style. What are your main colors, your base colors and your accent colors?
  3. Donate everything you don’t use: Nowadays people think that material things somehow are a reward to prove certain status in your life. Delete that from your mind. If you have had that same dress in your closet for more than one year and you never used it, seriously give it to someone else who will use it and love it more than you. Donating is a beautiful way of being sustainable or you can sell it to a thrift shop. The market for thrift shopping is growing more and more these days.
  4. Make a list to shop the basics you are missing: Do you have enough plain colored tops to match with everything? Do you have enough basic jeans? Are your shoes neutral colors that blend with most of the items in your wardrobe? These are just some questions to ask yourself because the capsule wardrobe you decide to build can be as small or as large as you are comfortable with. Some bloggers will tell you to live with 30 items, others 33, but the number really depends on you! If you currently have 100 items in your closet and you reduce it to 50, that is a great start! Then you can decide if your 50 items are still good for a few years or you can replace a few of them and shift your no longer wanted clothes to a secondhand market. That’s what being sustainable is all about.

I don't focus on telling followers to buy expensive ethical clothing. I firmly believe that being sustainable is making your clothes last longer and making more thoughtful purchases with a capsule wardrobe mindset. Yes, appreciating the ethical and sustainable brands is a start and a wish list for many, but you can start small; you can start saving up for these brands or you can focus your budget on shopping more affordable options with a capsule in mind at Lexie & Lee.

 Being a sustainable person is thinking about the consequences of our acts and trying to reduce the waste of our lives. Don’t feel bad about shopping for fast fashion brands.You can even shop secondhand items and that way you are also reducing the waste of fashion someone else didn’t want.

I hope this post has inspired you and removed some stereotypes about what being sustainable means. If you're reading this you are already a better person than the average online shopper. Use your clothes more than 5 times and shop with a mindset to make them last!

-Natalia from Marmag Creation

If you enjoyed this post give Natalia a follow on Instagram and subscribe to her newsletter for a free capsule wardrobe guide and monthly e-mails with an ethical fashion mindset.




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