Using a capsule wardrobe to minimize waste

So I might be a little behind the times – capsule wardrobes were sooooo 2015 (or were they 2014?).  But this is something I’ve been slowly working on and I’m finding it one of the best tools to help me make good purchasing decisions and get more out of less.  Overall I’m wearing what I have more and buying less, and only buying things I love (so wearing them more!).  This is a great tool for this clothing lover to reduce consumerism and move towards zero waste.

Today was the day that I looked through my capsule and decided what I wanted to keep for the summer capsule (most of it) and what pieces I needed to bring in from my stored summer gear.  This is around my 3rd try at the capsule wardrobe and I think I’m starting to get a bit better at it.   Pinterest has lots of great inspiration.

This current summer capsule is 32 pieces, and in my usual imperfect way I have a few caveats.  My capsule doesn’t include underwear, pajamas, shoes or accessories.  I would like to include shoes and accessories, but I just don’t have the willpower at this stage.  My capsule also doesn’t include my active/tech wear.  I love hiking, dancing, aerial silks, walking my dog and running (ok I don’t love running but it’s great cardio).  So I use quite a lot of active wear during the week.

My other excuse for having a relatively large capsule with some (ok quite a few) exclusions is that I live in Hobart, Australia where the weather is very unpredictable.  In the summer we can have high 30C’s one day and snow on the mountain the next – actually that could all probably happen in one day.  You know the Crowded house song “Four seasons in one day”?  Well I believe that was written about my home town Melbourne – but it might as well have been written about the whole southern part of Australia.

 

Ok – so what’s in my 32 piece summer capsule wardrobe?

  • 1 jacket
  • 4 dresses
  • 3 pants
  • 3 skirts
  • 1 shorts
  • 2 cardigans
  • 2 long-sleeved tops
  • 3 shirts
  • 6 T-shirts
  • 7 singlet/tanks

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And for those who’d like more details

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1 Jacket

  • This country road cotton jacket matches pretty much everything I own

 

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4 dresses

  • 1 black witchery maxi – worn to death over the last 3 years
  • 1 3/4 sleeved silk dress –  bought in the UK that can be dressed up or down
  • 1 x casual stretch cotton dress  – inherited from my Mum
  • 1 x Gorman gemstone dress – also can be dressed up or down

 

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3 pants/trousers

  • lightweight baggy Country road ankle-biters
  • Skinny, high-waisted, black sticks and stones jeans
  • Super lightweight Gorman pices pants – a bit disappointed with the wear of these – lots of pilling 😦

 

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3 skirts & 1 shorts

  • Patterned vintage, high-waisted, maxi skirt from Vinnies (thrift/op shop)
  • Long black maxi from the USA
  • Short denim skirt from USA
  • Super high-waisted, vintage, denim shorts from op/thrift shop in USA

 

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2 cardigans & 2 mid-sleeved tops

  •  striped, cotton, Gorman cardi
  • Cream, cotton Country Road cardi
  • 3/4 sleeved, cotton Country Road fruit top
  • 3/4 sleeved H&M stork top – not one of my most ethical purchases but couldn’t resist the print!

 

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3 Shirts

  •  Jag cotton flying fish shirt – great for wearing to conferences (I work with fish)
  • Pink/peach cotton shirt with origami birds – from somewhere in the UK
  • Jag silk flowered shirt

 

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6 T-shirts

  • Watermelon coloured T from somewhere in the UK
  • Obus cube pattered, oversize T
  • Homemade cactus pattern T
  • Gorman oversize black T
  • Back with white spots T
  • Esprit Tie died and stripes T

 

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7 Singlets/Tanks

  • Nancybird silk sleeveless shirt
  • Black ruffled singlet from Vinnies (thrift/op shop)
  • Green Witchery basic – great for layering under things
  • Dark blue kmart singlet – not one of my best choices but was desperate for basics
  • Watermelon kmart tank – ditto
  • Lace singlet from somewhere in USA – great for layering
  • Black tank from Madonna’s range (weird!)

 

Final thoughts

The capsule system works well if you have a space somewhere to store your out of season clothes.  My aim is to get down to a 30 piece capsule of things that I really, really love.  As you can see, I love patterns, so this is always going to be a bit of a challenge.  My out of season/not right now collection of clothes have also reduced since I started this process.  I feel like I am making more considered decisions about what I actually need in my wardrobe and what I will actually wear.  The only two (relatively) new items in this capsule are the fish pants which I bought for my recent travels and the cream cardi.  To be entirely honest, I do have another pair of pants that fill the same niche as the fish pants – but I fell in love.

You’ll also notice that most of the items in my capsule are made from natural (or predominantly natural) fibres.  I have been actively trying to switch to fibres that can eventually be composted and not end up contributing to landfill.  The only non natural fibre items have either been bought from op/thrift shops (e.g. patterned vintage maxi skirt and ruffled singlet) or I have had them for 4+ years (e.g. black maxi skirt and lace singlet).  Clothing ranges are also fairly limited in Hobart and I’m a terrible online shopper so most of my wardrobe comes from Witchery, Country Road and Gorman who all have pretty good ethical standards.  I’ve also hyperlinked a couple of smaller boutiques that I love in the text under the pics.  I’ll blog sometime soon on environmental impacts of clothing.

Happy capsuling

Love Sarah xx

 

 

 

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