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10 ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable

Wardrobe malfunction? West Sussex-based stylist Sophia Lorimer, a finalist in our Muddy Awards for best sustainable business, shares her tips on how to restyle, repurpose and reorganise your clothes.

Photography: Paul Placitelli

Sophia Lorimer, AKA “Fine Tuned Wardrobe”, based in Crawley is on a mission to help women overcome their wardrobe overwhelm and feel more body confident. As a sustainable fashion stylist, Sophia helps her clients nail their style to avoid buying things they don’t wear and edits what they do have so outfits can easily be put together. So, what are her top ten ways to make your wardrobe work for you?

1. Get to know your style 

Knowing your style is fundamental to a sustainable wardrobe because you are less likely to make the same wardrobe mistakes by buying items you will never wear. Think about the clothes you enjoy wearing and why. Look through magazines and social media – what clothes call out to you and why?  

2. Wardrobe edit 

Now you know what you like, it’s time to tackle the wardrobe and edit! This might feel like the scary bit but it’s quite therapeutic to actually see what you’ve got. Please don’t skip this step – it’s essential to eliminate the items that are no longer for you or fit in with your desired style. 

3. Organising as you go 

Make four piles so you know exactly what you want to keep and no longer need. I’d suggest these separate piles; KEEPS (for things you love and that fit); DONATE/SWAP (not for you anymore and could go to charity or can be swapped with a friend); SELL – (items that are in good condition can make you some money instead of just taking up space in your wardrobe); and TRY-ONS, (make time to try everything on to make sure it fits). There’s no point having a wardrobe full of clothes that don’t fit or make you feel less confident.

4. Styling 

Get creative with what you keep. Start with what you’re most drawn to whether that’s a colour or a fabric – see your wardrobe as your own personal shop. Wear things based on how you feel. Give yourself the time to get creative and have fun with your clothes will give you the confidence to put outfits together meaning you’re less likely to go and buy items you just don’t need. 

Photography: Paul Placitelli

5. Snap away 

Take photos of yourself or note down outfits on your phone that make you feel good. That way, when you get stuck on what to wear, take a look at your photos to get ideas rather than buying something new immediately. 

6. Filling the gaps 

This whole process might uncover gaps in your wardrobe that make it tricky to put things together, which is a good thing as you can now start to compile a clear shopping list of what you’re missing. Do you need a few basics to pull together your statement pieces or do you need to inject some colour? When you do need to add something I would always encourage you to shop preloved before buying new. My top preloved boutiques in Sussex and Surrey are: 

Instagram @prelovedofbrighton

1. Preloved of Brighton 

2. Gracies Clothing agency 

3. Rebound 

4. Circle Boutique 

5. Your preloved stories 

7. Do your research 

Buying quality items and really being aware of the fabrics and materials used can also play a big part in helping you have a more sustainable wardrobe. Buying quality well made pieces will be better in the long run for the planet and your purse and make it easier to shop your wardrobe.

8. Categorise by colour 

A well-organised wardrobe will not only save you time when you’re getting ready in the morning but it will also save you from buying what you already have. I see this a lot with my clients because an untidy wardrobe makes it harder to remember what you have. I start by organising wardrobes by colour, which makes it look tidy and easier to pick things out.  

Photography: Paul Placitelli

9. Divide and conquer  

Think about the items in your wardrobe and how you can maximise space. I always recommend velvet hangers to save space and they’re much kinder to clothes than metal ones. Also, don’t forget your drawers too, they are just as important as your hanging wardrobe. Use dividers or storage boxes to make it easier to separate items and make your wardrobe look as inviting as possible!  

10. Caring for your clothes 

Caring for your clothes will help prolong their lifespan. Get things mended instead of replacing them. Spot wash instead of washing them after every wear will help clothes look newer for longer and is kinder to the planet. Jeans for example, don’t need washing every time. 

Visit Sophia’s website FINE TUNED WARDROBE for more information about her sustainable styling services. 

Main Photography: Paul Placitelli

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