Guest Post by Lizz Kingshott
(The Ethical Evolution)

So the term “ethical” can be broad, especially when it comes to fashion. I like to think of ethical fashion as fashion that tries to have a positive impact. If you decide to build an ethical wardrobe then it needs to be a conscious decision meaning that you think about every piece that goes into it and the impact is has on the environment, workers and animals.

There are three main types of ethical wardrobes and I’m here to break them down for you.

ethical wardrobes

The Thrifted

So, personally, my ethical wardrobe is “the thrifted.” The thrifted wardrobe is a wardrobe made entirely of or mostly of thrifted/second hand clothes. These can be clothes bought from charity shops, thrift shops, eBay or depop, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s not new items of clothing.

Thrifted wardrobes are great because they are affordable and keep a lot of clothes out of the landfill. You can find some amazing stuff in second hand stores and with a good eye its very easy to live nearly completely on second hand items. Unfortunately, second hand shopping is not perfect as it is easy to buy too much when everything is so cheap. Also some items you buy will still contain harmful plastics that end up in the oceans – but honestly that’s nearly unavoidable at the moment for most people, so don’t let that put you off.

ethical wardrobes

The Minimalist

The minimalist wardrobe is exactly what it sounds like. A lot of people call it a “capsule” wardrobe, usually consisting of 30 items of clothing that you combine into several different outfits. Usually people swap the items out every season as your 30 summer clothes probably won’t keep you warm in the winter.

This type of wardrobe is ethical as it minimises the supply and demand of clothing. By buying very little, you are having a much smaller effect on the planet than someone who buys lots of clothing. This wardrobe can be made up of thrifted items, ethically produced items or simply items of good quality that will last you a long time. Unfortunately, this wardrobe does not suit everyone, I have tried a minimalist wardrobe so many times but I don’t feel like the minimalist life is completely for me.

ethical wardrobes

The Ethically Sourced

I suppose you could call this the “most” ethical wardrobe, but it definitely is not ideal for everyone. The ethically sourced wardrobe is one made completely or mostly of clothes made by ethical sources. Often ethically produced clothing is more expensive (and rightly so) due to paying workers a living wage, sourcing sustainable fabrics and hand making items.

Ethically produced clothes often last a lot longer as they are made better, so this is an advantage. But you have to make sure you really love the items in order to invest in them. If you can afford to buy all or most of your clothes from ethical sources then I highly recommend it. Regardless, I would advise everyone to invest in long wear items such as coats, bags and shoes as these can often wear out fast when bought cheaply therefore contributing to further filling landfills.

ethical wardrobes

So, there you have it, three different types of ethical wardrobes. Which wardrobe do you have? If you don’t have an ethical wardrobe yet, then I hope my post has inspired you to start thinking about it now that I’ve broken it down a bit. Ethical fashion doesn’t have to be expensive and restrictive, so don’t let that put you off trying.

Stay ethical x

You can read more by Lizz Kingshott on her blog The Ethical Evolution.

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  • Catherine

    There is an awful lot of privilege not examined in this article.