Conscious Closet - 5 Ways to Build an Ethical Fall Wardrobe

Cold weather is here, and with it, fashion's favorite season. Nothing like autumn's cozy layers and boots to get you re-inspired about your wardrobe. We've rounded up some fall staples from a few of our favorite ethical brands to aid you in building your conscious closet. 

For our fantasy fall wardrobe, we selected for quality over quantity. We are inspired by the concept of a capsule wardrobe, although we don't adhere to it strictly.

Here are five tips for how to mindfully explore your passion for fashion:

1. TAKE STOCK OF WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. Which pieces from seasons past can be worn again? Most knit sweater (if well made!) can be worn for years, as can jackets.This is a great time to clean and organize, dust the proverbial cobwebs off your winter wear, and put away strictly summer pieces. 

2. CONSIDER WHAT YOU NEED. Instead of heading out blindly on a seasonal shopping spree or spending hours getting lost online, spend some time with your freshly-sorted closet and make a short list of key pieces you want to upgrade. 

Well-worn items, such as boots or jeans, might need replacements, as well as that statement dress or blouse that you're wearing in every photo from last year. 

3. RESEARCH BRANDS. While this may sound like it takes the fun out of shopping, in actuality it looks a lot like shopping online, except you click the "ABOUT" page too. Pro Tip: if a brand doesn't mention having sustainable or ethical business practices, it almost certainly doesn't.

Try to dig a little deeper than just accepting ethical fashion buzzwords at face value  ... if a brand says they're "sustainable" but don't mention HOW, you might be wise to scrutinize further.

There are also great sustainable shopping guides that take the guesswork out of the equation, such as EcoCult and Sustainably Chic.

4. BUY LESS, CHOOSE WELL. Ethical brands often have a higher price tag BUT quality pieces will last for seasons to come. If you select for pieces you truly need, and opt for high quality staples that pair well with the other pieces in your closet, you can create countless looks with less. 

5. MAKE IT LAST. Care for your new pieces, and they will care for you. In Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she illustrates a way to treat your personal belonging with mindfulness and care, in order to extend their life and perhaps even bring you joy. You are more likely to do this if you've accomplished #4.

Opt for hand-washing, or at least eliminating the dryer, to give fibers a longer life. Hang up your clothes with care instead of letting them lie crumpled on the floor, and appreciate yourself in them as you get dressed. If an item gets damaged, take time to mend it, and think about the hands who made the garment as you do so. Take that moment to see yourself a part of chain of human hands who have created something useful and beautiful, and acted as a force for something good.

Here is some inspiration to help you with #3. 

1. Dorfman Pacific Gaucho Hat by Reformation 

2. Elsie Body Suit by YSTR

3. Split Moon Ring by Soko

4. Oversized Reversible Alpaca Cardigan by Cuyana

5. Clyde Work Pant by Elizabeth Suzanne 

6. Fez Top by Reformation 

7. Cosette Dress by Amour Vert

8. Brass Hair Pin by Favor 

9. Ring Neck Warmer by Emilime

10. Renata Silk Blouse Amour Vert

11. The Jacket in Merly Wash by Fashionable 

12. Flutter Lupita Clutch by Manos Zapotecas

13. Stretch Flood Jean by Reformation

14. Dreamer Antonia Market Tote by Manos Zapotecas

15. Floral Lana Bamboo Bodysuit by Azura Bay

16. The Joy Bootie by Amour Vert 

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