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Fashioning Fall: Five Steps for Sustainable Style


Here a few simple ideas to update your look this Fall and conquer your closet.

1) Excavate your wardrobe. Maybe you’re a Martha Stewart type, with a place for everything and everything in its place. The rest of us have a few things tucked into drawers and shoved in the bottom of closets that we tend to forget about. One rainy afternoon, pull everything out. Try things on. A new season is a great time to take stock of what you have. Many of us have more clothing than we may realize.

2) Get organized. Consider keeping a ‘seasonal closet’ with a focus on the garments that are best for fall and winter. If some of your clothes were left hanging unused for more than six months or a year, decide if you need to hold on to them. Organizing makes it easier to put outfits together and make the most of what you own. While the temptation to hang on to my thinspiration jeans may be strong, it’s not always practical, so…

3) Take action. If your size, or personal tastes have changed, figure out what to do with clothing that no longer fits your style. Some clothes can be altered. If you’re not handy with a sewing machine (guilty as charged) find a local tailor and bring your favourite garments to them. It’s less expensive than buying new clothes. Gently used, unwanted clothes still have life in them. Investigate upcycling them into something completely new. You can also resell quality garments to make back a little cash, on sites like ebay, or donate them to a local charity store to benefit your community.

4) Host a swap party. Remember that sweet sweater you picked up a few years ago? The scarf your ex-boyfriend brought back for you from Italy that you can’t stand? You may not have worn them in a while, but someone else may love them. Invite your friends to bring their unwanted clothes. Break out the bubbly and everyone can take home something that’s new-to-you. It’s next to free, plus it’s fun and you’ll get inspired to refresh your style in an eco-conscious way.

5) Shop (but not until you drop). You may discover that you need to fill a few gaps in your wardrobe this season. If you enjoy vintage shopping, you can browse your favourite second-hand stores. Check the trends, but avoid buying on impulse. Resist the temptation to buy something only because it’s on sale, which is a sure way to accumulate closet clutter. Consider classic cuts and styles that suit your body type without compromising on high quality, whether you shop vintage or buy brand new.

Photo credit: is a belle / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Written by Angela Wallace of Sasstainable

Angela Wallace is the founder and editor of, an expert voice on ethical luxury and sustainable lifestyle. In 2009, she was granted Ryerson University’s Top 30 Under 30 Alumni award, because of her work as a motivational speaker, when she inspired over 30,000 students across North America. In 2013, she completed her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of London, at the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy. Her passion for the environment grew out of her family’s rural property in Raglan, Ontario, now a designated Natural Heritage System area in the Ontario Greenbelt. She is a published writer, contributing articles to Women's Post, Toronto’s leading business magazine for women. She enjoys urban gardening, writing, fashion and yoga and currently lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, Owen.

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