Photo Credit: Everlane
The key to a stylish and sustainable wardrobe is having a selection of carefully chosen, mindfully-made essentials. A classic capsule wardrobe allows you to mix and match timeless pieces that never go out of fashion. Spend a bit of more on durable items that fit well and will last you a life time, choosing quality over quantity every time. Here are my top ten closet classics, with examples from ethical and environmentally conscious brands:
The Plain White Tee
The perfect plain tee is a key ingredient for a capsule wardrobe. Finding the right t-shirt to chuck on with a pair of skinnies or tuck into a pencil skirt can take time. Mainline Basics offer 100% natural fibre and organic cotton tops, made using North Carolina-knit fabric and finished in California where they are designed, cut and sewn. The print materials are tree-free, chlorine-free, ink-free, and 100% biodegradable. Mainline ships the final product to you inside undyed 100% organic cotton drawstring bags. They are currently working out the most sustainable way to ship internationally so watch this space!
The Classic Coat
A simple and stylish coat is essential for a classic winter look. Take your time to find a timeless piece you’ll wear over and over again for many years to come. Opt for black or charcoal grey to compliment whatever you wear underneath. This Cecilia Hammarborg Hackney coat is made of high-quality wool sourced from Italy and ensembled in London. At their mill, they have developed technology to produce fabric made of at least 65% recycled materials.
Little Black Dress
A little black dress is definitely a wardrobe must-have. Find a versatile style you can wear for a variety of different occasions, like the Penny dress by Reformation. A wrap front is subtly sexy and the tie waists helps create an hourglass silhouette. It’s perfect for a night out with heels and a clutch, for work with a cute pair of brogues, or the weekend with ankle boots or sneakers. The Penny dress also uses 74 gallons less water to make than the industry standard, emitting 11lbs less carbon dioxide too!
The White Shirt
A simple and chic white shirt can make an outfit. Do the buttons to the top for a pretty and preppy look, or leave a few undone for a more relaxed, but still sophisticated, style. Try to find the right length- one that can be tucked into a skirt but sits well over trousers. MARINA London is a 100% silk basics brand offering a collection of beautiful shirts and blouses. Founder Marina Guergova believes less is more, designing laid back luxury at it’s finest. Manufactured in Portugal, Marina visits the factory quarterly to maintain a strong relationship with her suppliers.
Classic Black Trouser
It’s definitely worth taking the time to find some really well-fitting, flattering black trousers. Tailored black pants are great for the office with pointed pumps, out for dinner with a pair of heels, or on a lazy Sunday with your favourite trainers. The DANN tailored boyfriend trouser by Nanushka are the perfect combination of smart and stylish. Nanushka source all their materials from Europe and produce garments locally in Hungary and Serbia.
The Boyfriend Jumper
A crew neck jumper is the perfect layering piece for a minimalist and timeless look that keeps you warm throughout the winter. Everlane have a range of beautiful, classic jumpers, including the Cashmere Crew made with 100% grade-A cashmere produced at a factory run by Mr. Chu in Hong Kong. Chu himself started as a factory worker and he has a unique slow-growth philosophy when it comes to building his business. Everlane are committed to radical transparency and ensure they regularly check up on their factories to ensure their integrity.
The Pencil Skirt
A plain pencil skirt is another super versatile item great for a capsule wardrobe. You can dress it up with a tight top and heels, make it smart by tucking in a shirt or blouse, or keep it casj with a plain tee. This People Tree Annina black pencil skirt is 95% organic certified cotton, 5% elastane. It is certified by the Soil Association’s organic textile standard.
A good pair of jeans should enhance your assets and flatten and firm and wobbly bits. Take the time to find a pair that make you feel great. Go for black or darker blue as they tend to be more slimming and are easier to dress both up or down. Levi’s are committed to improving the environmental impact of their denim. They have a Water<Less collection focused on reducing the amount of water used in production. They managed to reduce consumption by up to 96% for some styles, by removing water from stone washes and combining multiple wet cycle processes.
An elegant, tailored, black blazer instantly smartens an outfit. It can make you look and feel more professional and chic without wearing anything too fancy underneath. Opt for a slim cut and classic design that you’ll never grow tired of. Stella McCartney’s black Iris blazer is made of 100% wool with a fitted waist and one button fastening. They are a vegetarian company committed to operating a responsible and honest manner.
The Stripey Top
A stripey tee is a piece you’ll wear all year round. Make it smart and stylish with tailored trousers or a pencil skirt, or keep it casual with a pair of comfy jeans. Kowtow’s building block striped long-sleeve top is part of their brand new collection. It’s made of 100% fair trade certified organic cotton.